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Freedom of Information Act

Foster Swift provides advice and counsel to public entities regarding all aspects of Michigan's Freedom of Information Act, 1976 PA 442 ("FOIA"). While public officials are often familiar with, and receive training on, the basics of FOIA, many FOIA requests involve more complex, nuanced, and sensitive issues that require careful consideration and action. We help our clients respond to requests for public records in an appropriate, timely and legally compliant manner, and maintain the confidential nature of information, as appropriate.

Some of the FOIA questions and issues that we frequently help our clients confront include:

  • Does the FOIA apply if a request does not specifically reference the FOIA or is not submitted on an official FOIA form?
  • Must "public records" that are contained on an official's personal computer be turned over?
  • How quickly must a response be delivered, and how can extensions be obtained?
  • What must be done to properly deny a request?
  • How, when, and for what should fees be collected from the requester?

Our comprehensive FOIA services include:

  • Responding to requests for records
  • Assisting with FOIA appeals
  • Drafting and review FOIA policies and procedures
  • Assisting in the resolution of FOIA disputes
  • Representing public entities in litigation involving FOIA disputes and alleged violations
  • Training officials on FOIA requirements, including what constitutes a "public record"

The FOIA is designed to assist the public in gaining access to records and information from federal, state and local governments. Foster Swift FOIA attorneys, through their extensive experience representing public entities, have the expertise to help clients uphold their obligations under the FOIA and navigate through issues that may arise under the law.

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Freedom of Information Requests (FOIA)