Resources & Research

Freedom of Information Act

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act entitles all persons, except those incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees. Public records include writings (which include e-mail) prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body or its divisions and employees in the performance of an official function, from the time they are created. There are certain public records that are exempt from disclosure, and these are defined in the Act.  Further, the Act requires that public bodies designate a FOIA coordinator to receive and take action on FOIA requests. If there is doubt as to whether a certain course of action might violate the FOIA, the public body’s attorney should be consulted for advice and guidance.

League Publications

Freedom of Information Act: Responding to Emily FOIA
Complying with FOIA Requests for Absent Voter Data
Significant Changes to Michigan’s FOIA Take Effect July 1st (2015); Michigan Municipal Review magazine, March/April 2015
Freedom of Information Act – 2014 Changes – One Pager Plus Fact Sheet
Freedom of Information Act – Definitions – One Pager Plus Fact Sheet
Freedom of Information Act Statutory Exemptions – One Pager Plus Fact Sheet
Email and Retention of Records – One Pager Plus Fact Sheet

For more information, including sample Freedom of Information policies from Michigan communities, visit our Freedom of Information page.

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