CHAPTER 15 Exhibit A
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION PROCEDURE
(adopted September 26, 2011 by the Village of Noble, IL)
15-1-1 DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this Chapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
(a) "Public body" means all legislative, executive, administrative, or advisory bodies of the State, state universities and colleges, counties, townships, cities, villages, incorporated towns, school districts and all other municipal corporations, boards, bureaus, committees, or commissions of this State, any subsidiary bodies of any of the foregoing including but not limited to committees and subcommittees thereof, and a School Finance Authority created under Article 1E of the School Code. "Public body" does not include a child death review team or the Illinois Child Death Review Teams Executive Council established under the Child Death Review Team Act. The term “public body” or “Village” as used herein specifically refers to the Village of Noble, Illinois.
(b) "Person" or “Requester” means any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, organization or association, acting individually or as a group.
(c) "Public records" means all records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, electronic communications, including e-mails, recorded information and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body. A public record that is not in the possession of a public body but is in the possession of a party with whom the agency has contracted to perform a governmental function on behalf of the public body, and that directly relates to the governmental function and is not otherwise exempt under this Act, shall be considered a public record of the public body, for purposes of this Chapter.
(d) "Private information" means unique identifiers, including a person's social security number, driver's license number, employee identification number, biometric identifiers, personal financial information, passwords or other access codes, medical records, home or personal telephone numbers, and personal email addresses. Private information also includes home address and personal license plates, except as otherwise provided by law or when compiled without possibility of attribution to any person.
(e) "Commercial purpose" means the use of any part of a public record or records, or information derived from public records, in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services. For purposes of this definition, requests made by news media and non‑profit, scientific, or academic organizations shall not be considered to be made for a "commercial purpose" when the principal purpose of the request is (i) to access and disseminate information concerning news and current or passing events, (ii) for articles of opinion or features of interest to the public, or (iii) for the purpose of academic, scientific, or public research or education.
(f) "Copying" means the reproduction of any public record by means of any photographic, electronic, mechanical or other process, device or means now known or hereafter developed and available to the public body.
(g) "Head of the public body" means the president, mayor, chairman, presiding officer, director, superintendent, manager, supervisor or individual otherwise holding primary executive and administrative authority for the public body, or such person's duly authorized designee.
(h) "News media" means a newspaper or other periodical issued at regular intervals whether in print or electronic format, a news service whether in print or electronic format, a radio station, a television station, a television network, a community antenna television service, or a person or corporation engaged in making news reels or other motion picture news for public showing.
(i) “Business day” or “working day” is a regular day of the week (Monday through Friday)
when public offices and most businesses are open. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are not business days and shall not be counted in the 5 business day time period for responding to a Freedom of Information request.
(j) “Freedom of Information Act” or “Act” or “FOIA” refers to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act as now codified or hereafter amended at 5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.
(k) “Recurrent requester”, as used in Section 15-1-16 of this Code, means a person that, in the 12 months immediately preceding the request, has submitted to the same public body (i) a minimum of 50 requests for records, (ii) a minimum of 15 requests for records within a 30-day period, or (iii) a minimum of 7 requests for records within a 7-day period. For purposes of this definition, requests made by news media and non-profit, scientific, or academic organizations shall not be considered in calculating the number of requests made in the time periods in this definition when the principal purpose of the requests is (i) to access and disseminate information concerning news and current or passing events, (ii) for articles of opinion or features of interest to the public, or (iii) for the purpose of academic, scientific, or public research or education. For the purposes of this subsection (k), "request" means a written document (or oral request, if the public body chooses to honor oral requests) that is submitted to a public body via personal delivery, mail, telefax, electronic mail, or other means available to the public body and that identifies the particular public record the requester seeks. One request may identify multiple records to be inspected or copied.
15-1-2 POLICY. It is declared to be the public policy of the Village that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of the Village pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. The official acts and policies of the public officials and public employees of the Village shall be consistent with the terms of this Chapter and that Act. If any provision of this Chapter should conflict with the Act, the terms of the Act shall prevail. All provisions of the Act shall be deemed incorporated into this Chapter by reference.
15-1-3 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION OFFICER(S); OPEN MEETINGS ACT OFFICER(S). The Village Clerk is hereby designated the Freedom of Information Act Officer of the Village. The Village may also designate such other persons as Freedom of Information Act Officers as the Village deems appropriate. All such designated Freedom of Information Act Officers shall be trained in accordance with the Act. (All designated Freedom of Information Act Officers shall also be designated as the Open Meetings Acct Officers of the Village and shall be trained in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.) The Office of the Public Access Counselor shall be informed of the names of those persons so designated as Freedom of Information Act Officers and as Open Meetings Act Officers. Except in instances when records are furnished immediately, Freedom of Information Officers, or their designees, shall receive requests submitted to the public body under this Act, ensure that the Village responds to requests in a timely fashion, and issue responses under this Act. Freedom of Information Officers shall develop a list of documents or categories of records that the public body shall immediately disclose upon request.
Upon receiving a request for a public record, the Freedom of Information Officer shall:
(1) note the date the public body receives the written request;
(2) compute the day on which the period for response will expire and make a notation of that date on the written request;
(3) maintain an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the request has been complied with or denied; and
(4) create a file for the retention of the original request, a copy of the response, a record of written communications with the requester, and a copy of other communications.
15-1-4 PUBLIC RECORDS AVAILABLE; PREVAILING WAGE PAYROLLS; PUBLIC FUNDS RECORDS. The Village shall make available to any person for inspection or copying all public records, as provided in the Freedom of Information Act, except as to those public records considered exempt under the Act, and shall certify the same if so requested. Such records specifically include the following:
(A) All records relating to the obligation, receipt, and use of public funds of the Village.
(B) All certified payroll records submitted to the Village pursuant to the Prevailing Wage Act, except that contractors’ employees’ addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers must be redacted by the Village prior to disclosure.
15-1-5 REQUESTS TO BE IN WRITING. All requests for inspection or copying of public records must be in writing and should be addressed to the Freedom of Information Officer, but can be delivered to any employee or officer of the Village, who shall immediately forward the same to the Freedom of Information Officer. The Village shall accept any written request make by mail, personal delivery, fax, email or other means available. Oral requests for records shall not be accepted. The requester should, but is not required to, include the following information in any request for public records:
(A) The requester’s full name, mailing address and telephone number at which the requester can be reached during normal business hours (requests may be made anonymously, but adequate information must be provided to allow the Village to fulfill the request);
(B) A description of the records sought, being as specific as possible, and the format desired for any copies requested (i.e. paper copy, electronic copy, type of electronic format, etc.), and whether such copies should be certified;
(C) A statement as to whether the request is for inspection, copying, or both, and as to whether the request is for commercial benefit purposes. If a copying fee waiver or reduction is requested, the statement should so indicate that request and also provide information sufficient for the public body to determine that a fee waiver or reduction is in the public interest. The requester is not required to provide a purpose for the request unless he is requesting a fee waiver or reduction.
(D) A statement as to whether the requester desires to pick up the requested copies or have them mailed to the requester. Certain postage costs may be charged to the requester (see below).
The Freedom of Information Officer shall make available a form for use by requesters (see attached sample request form); however, no request shall be denied for failure to use any particular form. The requester shall be provided the times and places where records will be made available and the persons from whom such records may be obtained.
15-1-6 FEES AND COPYING.
(A) When a person requests a copy of a record maintained in an electronic format, the public body shall furnish it in the electronic format specified by the requester, if feasible. If it is not feasible to furnish the public records in the specified electronic format, then the public body shall furnish it in the format in which it is maintained by the public body, or in paper format at the option of the requester. A public body may charge the requester only for the actual cost of purchasing the recording medium, whether disc, diskette, tape, or other medium. (For example, if information is produced on CDs, the Village may only charge the actual cost of purchasing the CDs). A public body may not charge the requester for the costs of any search for and review of the records or other personnel costs associated with reproducing the records, except for commercial requests as provided in subsection (F) of this Section. Except to the extent that the General Assembly expressly provides, statutory fees applicable to copies of public records when furnished in a paper format shall not be applicable to those records when furnished in an electronic format.
(B) Except when a fee is otherwise fixed by statute, each public body may charge fees reasonably calculated to reimburse its actual cost for reproducing and certifying public records and for the use, by any person, of the equipment of the public body to copy records. No fees shall be charged for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies requested by a requester. The fee for black and white, letter or legal sized copies shall not exceed 15 cents per page. If a public body provides copies in color or in a size other than letter or legal, the public body may not charge more than its actual cost for reproducing the records. In calculating its actual cost for reproducing records or for the use of the equipment of the public body to reproduce records, a public body shall not include the costs of any search for and review of the records or other personnel costs associated with reproducing the records, except for commercial requests as provided in subsection (F) of this Section. Such fees shall be imposed according to a standard scale of fees, established and made public by the body imposing them. The cost for certifying a record shall not exceed $1.
(C) The public body may NOT charge postage costs for mailing any amount of copies by regular U.S. Mail to the requester if he requests that the records be mailed to him instead of picking up the records from the location designated for providing records to requesters. However, if the requester asks that the records be sent to him by means other than regular U.S. Mail, then that cost may be charged to the requester. The public body MAY require that all allowed fees and costs be paid by the requester prior to the copying and provision of the requested records.
(D) Documents shall be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge, as determined by the public body, if the person requesting the documents states:
(1) the specific purpose for the request and indicates that a waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest.
(2) a waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest if the principal purpose of the request is:
[A] to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety and welfare or the legal rights of the general public, and
[B] is not for the principal purpose of personal or commercial benefit.
(3) for purposes of this subsection, "commercial benefit" shall not apply to requests made by news media when the principal purpose of the request is to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety, and welfare or the legal rights of the general public.
(E) The imposition of a fee not consistent with the above subsections (A) and (B) of this Section constitutes a denial of access to public records for the purposes of judicial review.
(F) A public body may charge up to $10 per each hour spent by personnel in searching for and retrieving a requested record. No fees shall be charged for the first 8 hours spent by personnel in searching for or retrieving a requested record. A public body may charge the actual cost of retrieving and transporting public records from an off-site storage facility when the public records are maintained by a third-party storage company under contract with the public body. If a public body imposes a fee pursuant to this subsection (F), it must provide the requester with an accounting of all fees, costs, and personnel hours in connection with the request for public records. The provisions of this subsection (F) apply only to commercial requests.
15-1-7 TIME LIMIT FOR COMPLIANCE WITH REQUEST (NONCOMMERCIAL).
(A) Except for requests made for commercial purposes, the Village shall promptly either comply with or deny a request for public records within 5 business days after the Village’s receipt of the request (not necessarily when the Freedom of Information Act Officer becomes aware of the request), unless the time for response is properly extended as hereafter noted. (The day that the request is received does not count as one of the 5 business days.) Denial shall be in writing as hereafter noted. Failure to comply with a written request, extend the time for response, or deny a request within 5 business days after its receipt shall be considered a denial of the request. A public body that fails to respond to a request within the requisite periods in this Section but thereafter provides the requester with copies of the requested public records may not impose a fee for such copies. A public body that fails to respond to a request received may not treat the request as unduly burdensome as hereafter noted.
(i) the requested records are stored in whole or in part at other locations than the office having charge of the requested records;
(ii) the request requires the collection of a substantial number of specified records;
(iii) the request is couched in categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it;
(iv) the requested records have not been located in the course of routine search and additional efforts are being made to locate them;
(v) the requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from disclosure under Section 7 of the Act or should be revealed only with appropriate deletions;
(vi) the request for records cannot be complied with by the public body within the time limits prescribed by paragraph (A) of this Section without unduly burdening or interfering with the operations of the public body;
(vii) there is a need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or among two or more components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.
The person making a request and the public body may agree in writing to extend the time for compliance for a period to be determined by the parties. If the requester and the public body agree to extend the period for compliance, a failure by the public body to comply with any previous deadlines shall not be treated as a denial of the request for the records.
(C) When additional time is required for any of the above reasons, the public body shall, within 5 business days after receipt of the request, notify the person making the request of the reasons for the extension and the date by which the response will be forthcoming. Failure to respond within the time permitted for extension shall be considered a denial of the request. A public body that fails to respond to a request within the time permitted for extension but thereafter provides the requester with copies of the requested public records may not impose a fee for those copies. A public body that requests an extension and subsequently fails to respond to the request may not treat the request as unduly burdensome as hereafter noted.
15-1-8 UNDULY BURDENSOME REQUEST.
(A) Requests calling for all records falling within a category shall be complied with unless compliance with the request would be unduly burdensome for the complying public body and there is no way to narrow the request and the burden on the public body outweighs the public interest in the information. Before invoking this exemption, the public body shall extend to the person making the request an opportunity to confer with it in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions. If any body responds to a categorical request by stating that compliance would unduly burden its operation and the conditions described above regarding time limits for compliance with a request are met, it shall do so in writing, specifying the reasons why it would be unduly burdensome and the extent to which compliance will so burden the operations of the public body. Such a response shall be treated as a denial of the request for information.
(B) Repeated requests from the same person for the same records that are unchanged or identical to records previously provided or properly denied under this Act shall be deemed unduly burdensome under this provision. A request is deemed as “repeated” when the same identical request has been made three times or more.
15-1-9 TIME LIMITS FOR REQUESTS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
(A) A public body shall respond as follows to a request for records to be used for a commercial purpose within 21 working days after receipt. The response shall (i) provide to the requester an estimate of the time required by the public body to provide the records requested and an estimate of the fees to be charged, which the public body may require the person to pay in full before copying the requested documents, (ii) deny the request pursuant to one or more of the exemptions set out in the Act, (iii) notify the requester that the request is unduly burdensome and extend an opportunity to the requester to attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions, or (iv) provide the records requested.
(B) Unless the records are exempt from disclosure, a public body shall comply with a request within a reasonable period considering the size and complexity of the request, and giving priority to records requested for non‑commercial purposes.
(C) It is a violation of the Act for a person to knowingly obtain a public record for a commercial purpose without disclosing that it is for a commercial purpose, if requested to do so by the public body.
15-1-10 CERTAIN INFORMATION EXEMPT FROM INSPECTION AND COPYING. Information exempted by 5 ILCS Sec. 140/7 and 5 ILCS Sec. 140/7.5 of the Freedom of Information Act shall be exempt from inspection and copying. If a record contains both exempt and nonexempt information, the exempt information shall be deleted by redaction and the remainder of the record made available for inspection and copying. Subject to this requirement, the exemptions shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) Information specifically prohibited from disclosure by federal or State law or rules and regulations implementing federal or State law.
(B) Private information, unless disclosure is required by another provision of the Act, a State or federal law or a court order.
(C) Personal information contained within public records, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, unless the disclosure is consented to in writing by the individual subjects of the information. "Unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" means the disclosure of information that is highly personal or objectionable to a reasonable person and in which the subject's right to privacy outweighs any legitimate public interest in obtaining the information. The disclosure of information that bears on the public duties of public employees and officials shall not be considered an invasion of personal privacy.
(D) Records in the possession of any public body created in the course of administrative enforcement proceedings, and any law enforcement or correctional agency for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that disclosure would:
(i) interfere with pending or actually and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings conducted by any law enforcement or correctional agency that is the recipient of the request;
(ii) interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings conducted by the public body that is the recipient of the request;
(iii) create a substantial likelihood that a person will be deprived of a fair trial or an impartial hearing;
(iv) unavoidably disclose the identity of a confidential source, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source, or persons who file complaints with or provide information to administrative, investigative, law enforcement, or penal agencies; except that the identities of witnesses to traffic accidents, traffic accident reports, and rescue reports shall be provided by agencies of local government, except when disclosure would interfere with an active criminal investigation conducted by the agency that is the recipient of the request;
(v) disclose unique or specialized investigative techniques other than those generally used and known or disclose internal documents of correctional agencies related to detection, observation or investigation of incidents of crime or misconduct, and disclosure would result in demonstrable harm to the agency or public body that is the recipient of the request;
(vi) endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel or any other person; or
(vii) obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation by the agency that is the recipient of the request.
(E) Records that relate to or affect the security of correctional institutions and detention facilities.
(F) Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated, except that a specific record or relevant portion of a record shall not be exempt when the record is publicly cited and identified by the head of the public body.
(G) Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person or business where the trade secrets or commercial or financial information are furnished under a claim that they are proprietary, privileged or confidential, and that disclosure of the trade secrets or commercial or financial information would cause competitive harm to the person or business, and only insofar as the claim directly applies to the records requested.
(i) All trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained by a public body, including a public pension fund, from a private equity fund or a privately held company within the investment portfolio of a private equity fund as a result of either investing or evaluating a potential investment of public funds in a private equity fund. The exemption contained in this item does not apply to the aggregate financial performance information of a private equity fund, nor to the identity of the fund's managers or general partners. The exemption contained in this item does not apply to the identity of a privately held company within the investment portfolio of a private equity fund, unless the disclosure of the identity of a privately held company may cause competitive harm.
Nothing contained in this paragraph (G) shall be construed to prevent a person or business from consenting to disclosure.
(H) Proposals and bids for any contract, grant, or agreement, including information which if it were disclosed would frustrate procurement or give an advantage to any person proposing to enter into a contractor agreement with the body, until an award or final selection is made. Information prepared by or for the body in preparation of a bid solicitation shall be exempt until an award or final selection is made.
(I) Valuable formulae, computer geographic systems, designs, drawings and research data obtained or produced by any public body when disclosure could reasonably be expected to produce private gain or public loss. The exemption for "computer geographic systems" provided in this paragraph (i) does not extend to requests made by news media as defined in Section 2 of the Act when the requested information is not otherwise exempt and the only purpose of the request is to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety, welfare, or legal rights of the general public.
(J) The following information pertaining to educational matters:
(i) test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer an academic examination;
(ii) information received by a primary or secondary school, college, or university under its procedures for the evaluation of faculty members by their academic peers;
(iii) information concerning a school or university's adjudication of student disciplinary cases, but only to the extent that disclosure would unavoidably reveal the identity of the student; and
(iv) course materials or research materials used by faculty members.
(K) Architects' plans, engineers' technical submissions, and other construction related technical documents for projects not constructed or developed in whole or in part with public funds and the same for projects constructed or developed with public funds, including but not limited to power generating and distribution stations and other transmission and distribution facilities, water treatment facilities, airport facilities, sport stadiums, convention centers, and all government owned, operated, or occupied buildings, but only to the extent that disclosure would compromise security.
(L) Minutes of meetings of public bodies closed to the public as provided in the Open Meetings Act until the public body makes the minutes available to the public under Section 2.06. of the Open Meetings Act.
(M) Communications between a public body and an attorney or auditor representing the public body that would not be subject to discovery in litigation, and materials prepared or compiled by or for a public body in anticipation of a criminal, civil or administrative proceeding upon the request of an attorney advising the public body, and materials prepared or compiled with respect to internal audits of public bodies.
(N) Records relating to a public body's adjudication of employee grievances or disciplinary cases; however, this exemption shall not extend to the final outcome of cases in which discipline is imposed.
(O) Administrative or technical information associated with automated data processing operations, including but not limited to software, operating protocols, computer program abstracts, file layouts, source listings, object modules, load modules, user guides, documentation pertaining to all logical and physical design of computerized systems, employee manuals, and any other information that, if disclosed, would jeopardize the security of the system or its data or the security of materials exempt under this Section.
(P) Records relating to collective negotiating matters between public bodies and their employees or representatives, except that any final contract or agreement shall be subject to inspection and copying.
(Q) Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to determine the qualifications of an applicant for a license or employment.
(R) The records, documents and information relating to real estate purchase negotiations until those negotiations have been completed or otherwise terminated. With regard to a parcel involved in a pending or actually and reasonably contemplated eminent domain proceeding under the Eminent Domain Act, records, documents and information relating to that parcel shall be exempt except as may be allowed under discovery rules adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court. The records, documents and information relating to a real estate sale shall be exempt until a sale is consummated.
(S) Any and all proprietary information and records related to the operation of an intergovernmental risk management association or self‑insurance pool or jointly self‑administered health and accident cooperative or pool. Insurance or self insurance (including any intergovernmental risk management association or self insurance pool) claims, loss or risk management information, records, data, advice or communications.
(T) Information contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of a public body responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions or insurance companies, unless disclosure is otherwise required by State law.
(U) Information that would disclose or might lead to the disclosure of secret or confidential information, codes, algorithms, programs, or private keys intended to be used to create electronic or digital signatures under the Electronic Commerce Security Act.
(V) Vulnerability assessments, security measures, and response policies or plans that are designed to identify, prevent, or respond to potential attacks upon a community's population or systems, facilities, or installations, the destruction or contamination of which would constitute a clear and present danger to the health or safety of the community, but only to the extent that disclosure could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the effectiveness of the measures or the safety of the personnel who implement them or the public. Information exempt under this item may include such things as details pertaining to the mobilization or deployment of personnel or equipment, to the operation of communication systems or protocols, or to tactical operations.
(W) (This subparagraph deliberately left blank.)
(X) Maps and other records regarding the location or security of generation, transmission, distribution, storage, gathering, treatment, or switching facilities owned by a utility, by a power generator, or by the Illinois Power Agency.
(Y) Information contained in or related to proposals, bids, or negotiations related to electric power procurement under Section 1‑75 of the Illinois Power Agency Act and Section 16‑111.5 of the Public Utilities Act that is determined to be confidential and proprietary by the Illinois Power Agency or by the Illinois Commerce Commission.
(Z) Information prohibited from being disclosed by the Illinois Personnel Records Review Act. (820 ILCS 40/1 et seq), including but not limited to records of a disciplinary report, letter of reprimand, or other disciplinary action of an employee of the Village when a third party is requesting such records of that employee, until written notice is provided pursuant to said Act prior to the date of disclosure of such records.
(AA) Certified payroll records submitted to the Village pursuant to the Prevailing Wage Act are NOT exempt, except that contractors’ employees’ addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers MUST be redacted by the Village prior to disclosure.
15-1-11 NOTICE OF DENIAL OF REQUEST; APPEALS.
(A) Each public body denying a request for public records shall notify the requester in writing of the decision to deny the request, the reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis for the application of any exemption claimed, and the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial. Each notice of denial by a public body shall also inform such person of the right to review by the Public Access Counselor and provide the address and phone number for the Public Access Counselor. A person whose request to inspect or copy a public record is denied by the Village may file a request for review with the Public Access Counselor established in the Office of the Attorney General not later than 60 days after the date of the final denial. The request for review must be in writing, signed by the requester, and include (i) a copy of the request for access to records and (ii) any responses from the public body. Each notice of denial provided to the requester shall also inform such person of his right to judicial review under Section 11 of the Freedom of Information Act.
(i) The contact information for the Public Access Counselor is:
Public Access Counselor
Public Access Bureau
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62706
(ii) Information regarding right to judicial review.
(a) Any person denied access to inspect or copy any public record by a
public body may file suit for injunctive or declaratory relief.
(b) Where the denial is from a public body of the State, suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the public body has its principal office or where the person denied access resides.
(c) Where the denial is from a municipality or other public body, except as provided in subsection (b) of this subsection, suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the public body is located.
(d) The circuit court shall have the jurisdiction to enjoin the public body from withholding public records and to order the production of any public records improperly withheld from the person seeking access. If the public body can show that exceptional circumstances exist, and that the body is exercising due diligence in responding to the request, the court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency additional time to complete its review of the records.
(e) On motion of the plaintiff, prior to or after in camera inspection, the court shall order the public body to provide an index of the records to which access has been denied. The index shall include the following:
(i) A description of the nature or contents of each document withheld, or each deletion from a released document, provided, however, that the public body shall not be required to disclose the information which it asserts is exempt; and
(ii) A statement of the exemption or exemptions claimed for each such deletion or withheld document.
(f) In any action considered by the court, the court shall consider the matter de novo, and shall conduct such in camera examination of the requested records as it finds appropriate to determine if such records or any part thereof may be withheld under any provision of this Act. The burden shall be on the public body to establish that its refusal to permit public inspection or copying is in accordance with the provisions of this Act. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving that it is exempt by clear and convincing evidence.
(g) In the event of noncompliance with an order of the court to disclose, the court may enforce its order against any public official or employee so ordered or primarily responsible for such noncompliance through the court's contempt powers.
(h) Except as to causes the court considers to be of greater importance, proceedings arising under this Section shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way.
(i) If a person seeking the right to inspect or receive a copy of a public record prevails in a proceeding under this subsection, the court shall award such person reasonable attorneys' fees and costs. In determining what amount of attorney's fees is reasonable, the court shall consider the degree to which the relief obtained relates to the relief sought.
(j) If the court determines that a public body willfully and intentionally failed to comply with this Act, or otherwise acted in bad faith, the court shall also impose upon the public body a civil penalty of not less that $2,500 nor more than $5,000 for each occurrence. In assessing the civil penalty, the court shall consider in aggravation or mitigation the budget of the public body and whether the public body has previously been assessed penalties for violations of the Act.
(B) When a request for public records is denied on the grounds that the records are exempt under Section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act (or Section 15-1-10 herein), the notice of denial shall specify the exemption claimed to authorize the denial and the specific reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis and a citation to supporting legal authority. Copies of all notices of denial shall be retained by each public body in a single central office file that is open to the public and indexed according to the type of exemption asserted and, to the extent feasible, according to the types of records requested.
(C) Any person making a request for public records shall be deemed to have exhausted his or her administrative remedies with respect to that request if the public body fails to act within the time periods provided herein this Chapter.
(D) A person whose request to inspect or copy a public record is made for a commercial purpose as defined in subsection (e) of Section 15-1-1 of this Article may not file a request for review with the Public Access Counselor. A person whose request to inspect or copy a public record was treated by the public body as a request for commercial purpose under Section 15-1-9 of this Article may file a request for review with the Public Access Counselor for the limited purpose of reviewing whether the public body properly determined that the request was made for a commercial purpose.
15-1-12 GRANTING OF REQUEST; PROCEDURE FOR INSPECTION. When a freedom of information request is granted, the documents will be made available for inspection at the Village Hall during regular business hours. Copies shall be made upon request as set forth herein.
15-1-13 WRITTEN REQUEST NOT REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN DOCUMENTS. The following documents shall be made available for inspection and copying without a written request; however, the requester shall contact the Freedom of Information Act Officer in advance to set a mutually convenient time. These documents, if copied, shall be subject to the copying fee set forth herein.
(A) Ordinances and written resolutions.
(B) The journal (i.e. minutes) of the Village Board, not including executive session minutes.
(C) Any personnel code, building code, other technical code, or any other regulation of the Village adopted by the Village, whether by ordinance, resolution or otherwise.
15-1-14 DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION ABOUT PUBLIC BODIES. The Village shall prominently display at the Village Hall, make available for inspection and copying without charge, and shall send through the mail if requested at no charge, each of the following:
(A) A brief description of itself, which will include, but not be limited to a short summary of its purpose, a block diagram giving its functional subdivisions, the total amount of its operating budget, the number and location of all of its separate offices, the approximate number of full and part-time employees, and the identification and membership of any board, commission, committee, or council which operates in an advisory capacity relative to the operation of the public body, or which exercises control over its policies or procedures, or to which the public body is required to report and be answerable for its operations; and
(B) A brief description of the methods whereby the public may request information and public records, a directory designating the Freedom of Information Act Officer or Officers, the addresses where requests for public records should be directed, and any fees allowable under the Act.
(C) The Village shall post this information on its website if it maintains one.
15-1-15 LIST OF CATEGORIES OF RECORDS. As to public records prepared or received after the effective date of this Chapter, the Freedom of Information Act Officer shall maintain and make available for inspection and copying a reasonably current list of all types or categories of records under its control. The list shall be reasonably detailed in order to aid persons in obtaining access to public records pursuant to the Act. The Freedom of Information Act Officer shall furnish upon request a description of the manner in which public records stored by means of electronic data processing may be obtained in a form comprehensible to persons lacking knowledge of computer language or printout format.
15-1-16 RECURRENT REQUESTERS.
(A) Notwithstanding any provision of this Article to the contrary, a public body shall respond to a request from a recurrent requester, as defined in subsection (k) of Section 15-1-1, within 21 business days after receipt. The response shall (I) provide to the requester an estimate of the time required by the public body to provide the records requested and an estimate of the fees to be charged, which the public body may require the person to pay in full before copying the requested documents, (ii) deny the request pursuant to one or more of the exemptions set out in this Article, (iii) notify the requester that the request is unduly burdensome and extend an opportunity to the requester to attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions, or (iv) provide the records requested.
(B) Within 5 business days after receiving a request from a recurrent requester, as defined in subsection (k) of Section 15-1-1, the public body shall notify the requester (I) that the public body is treating the request as a request under subsection (k) of Section 15-1-1, (ii) of the reasons why the public body is treating the request as a request under subsection (k) of Section 15-1-1, and (iii) that the public body will send an initial response within 21 business days after receipt in accordance with subsection (A) of this Section.
(C) Unless the records are exempt from disclosure, a public body shall comply with a request within a reasonable period considering the size and complexity of the request.
(See 5 ILCS Sec. 140/1 et seq.; Ord. No. 2010-648, 01-11-10; Ord. No. 2011-661, 09/27/11)
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
Telephone number: ___________________________________
Records requested (please be as specific as possible) ___________
I want to [ ] examine and/or [ ] copy those records (check all that applies).
I understand that I may have to pay for certain copying costs or postage costs, and that I will have to pay such costs upfront before I am provided the records that I am requesting. No fees shall be charged for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies requested by a requester. The fee for black and white, letter or legal sized copies shall not exceed 15 cents per page. If a public body provides copies in color or in a size other than letter or legal, the public body may not charge more than its actual cost for reproducing the records.
I want to [ ] pick up the requested records myself, or [ ] have the records mailed to me by
[ ] regular U.S. Mail, or [ ] certified mail, or [ ] other means __________________________. (check all that applies - requester must pay for any mailing costs other than regular U.S. mail)
[ ]I want the copies to be certified.
This request [ ] is or [ ] is not made for commercial benefit purposes (check one).
Other information or requests that I am seeking: ________________