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FOIA

City Clerk Violates FOIA for Redacting Residential Names

According to the Attorney General’s Public Access Opinion 21-007, Peter Czosnyka sent a FOIA (5 ILCS 140/1) request to the Chicago City Clerk’s Office seeking copies of “letters of exception: residential parking issued in the 45th Ward between 05/20/18 to… Continue Reading →

Failure to Timely Tender Copies of Mayor Lightfoot’s Text Messages Leads to Violation Section 3(b) of the FOIA Act

The AG’s office issued an opinion on August 31, 2021, concluding that the Mayor’s Office violated Section 3(b) of the FOIA Act (5 ILCS 140/3(d)) according to the Attorney General’s Public Access Opinion 21-008. Chicago Tribune reporter, Gregory Pratt, submitted… Continue Reading →

Court Rejects Civil Penalties for Failure to Comply With FOIA

The Second District Appellate Court recently affirmed a Winnebago County Court’s decision denying civil penalties against the State’s Attorney for failure to comply with plaintiff’s FOIA request. The Second District’s opinion in Williams v. Bruscato, 2021 IL App (2d) 190971… Continue Reading →

Appellate Court Determines That 28,000 Pages Of Records Is Not Unduly Burdensome Under FOIA

In Greer v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 2021 IL App (1st) 200429, the appellate court found that reviewing 28,000 pages of records responsive to a FOIA request was not unduly burdensome. On October 12, 2018, Tyrone… Continue Reading →

New PAC Opinion Provides Public Bodies With Clarity on the Types of Records Protected by the Juvenile Court Act

The Illinois Public Access Counselor’s (PAC) Office recently issued a binding PAC opinion finding a public body in violation of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for improperly denying a FOIA request for records concerning a juvenile victim. This… Continue Reading →

Does FOIA Require Providing Documents From A Third-Party Vendor?

The Attorney General’s Office has issued a new binding opinion (PAC Opinion 20-006) on a FOIA request which sought to obtain records from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) regarding data on head injuries incurred by inmates in IDOC custody… Continue Reading →

First District v. Fourth District’s Interpretation On Releasing Communications Sent/Received On Personal Devices – A Difference All Public Officials Should Know

A recent Illinois First District Appellate Court decision, Better Government Association v. The City of Chicago Office of Mayor and the City of Chicago Department of Public Health, 2020 IL App. (1st) 190038 (August 5, 2020), addresses whether communications on… Continue Reading →

Does FOIA Require Maintaining Records As Well As Providing Them?

On the last day of 2019, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) released its last binding opinion of the year. In PAC Opinion 19-013, the PAC found the City of Bunker Hill in violation of Illinois’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for… Continue Reading →

Court Sheds Light on FOIA’s Unduly Burdensome Exception

A recent Illinois appellate court decision, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Inc. v. The Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 2018 IL App. (1st) 171846 (December 3, 2018), is instructive on the procedural requirements that a… Continue Reading →

General Assembly Amends Local Records Act to Require Public Posting of Severance Agreements with Individuals Who Have Engaged in Discrimination or Harassment

Pursuant to Public Act 100-1040 (“Act”), effective immediately, any unit of local government, school district* or other local taxing body (collectively referred to as a “taxing body”) that enters into a severance agreement with an employee or contractor who has engaged in sex discrimination or sexual harassment is required to publish “information” regarding such… Continue Reading →

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