A Freedom of Information Act request is a “written request that describes a public record sufficiently to enable the public body to find the public record.” MCL 15.243(1).
Requests should include a name, phone number, and mailing address.
There are over 10,000 public bodies in the State of Michigan subject to FOIA. The FOIA provides that a “public body” means any of the following:
The FOIA does not require a request in any specific form. It only requires a “written request,” which is defined as a “writing that asks for information, and includes a writing transmitted by facsimile, electronic mail, or other electronic means.” MCL 15.232(i). Further, however, the “written request” must also describe “a public record sufficiently to enable the public body to find the public record.” MCL 15.243(1).
The Attorney General’s FOIA pamphlet may be accessed on our website. The FOIA can also be accessed at the Michigan Legislature’s website.
If you have specific questions on how the statute may apply to your situation, you need to consult a private attorney. The law does not permit the Attorney General to provide legal advice or opinions to private individuals. MCL 14.32.
Upon legal date of receipt of a FOIA request, the public body has five (5) business days to respond. If needed, however, the public body may also send a written notice extending the time to respond by an additional 10 business days.
A public body may charge a fee for the cost of the search, examination, review, copying, separation of exempt from nonexempt information, and mailing costs. A fee can only be charged for the cost of search, examination, review, and the separation of exempt from nonexempt information if the failure to charge a fee for that request would result in unreasonably high costs to the public body, and the public body specifically identifies the nature of these unreasonably high costs. See MCL 15.234.