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The Freedom of Information Act, being Mich Public Act 442 of 1976 (“FOIA” or the “Act”), provides for disclosure of public records that are not exempt from disclosure. To fulfill this mandate, the Township adopted “Freedom of Information Act Procedures and Guidelines” (the “Procedures”) for handling FOIA requests. This document summarizes the Township’s Procedures in accordance with FOIA.
I. Submitting a FOIA Request
You must submit a request for Township public records in writing to the Township’s FOIA Coordinator. You may request either (a) to receive a copy of Township records, or (b) to review Township records. Requests must include your complete name, address and contact information. Your address must be written in compliance with the United States Postal Service addressing standards and your contact information must include a valid telephone number and/or email address. You may request either (a) to receive a copy of Township records, or (b) to review Township records.
You may submit the FOIA request for records in person, by mail or via electronic means (i.e., fax, e-mail or other electronic means). Requests submitted in person or by mail are deemed received as of the date of receipt. Requests submitted to the Township via electronic means are deemed received by the FOIA Coordinator one business day after the date the electronic transmission is made.
II. Township’s Response to a FOIA Request
Once the Township receives your FOIA request, the Township will respond to your request within five business days, unless the Township extends the period to respond to the request by not more than 10 business days, in addition to the original five business days.
In response to a FOIA request, the Township may: (1) grant the request (and provide either a copy of the requested public record or the opportunity to review the record, in accordance with your request); (2) deny the request if no such record exists or the record is exempt pursuant to one of the exemptions under the Act that are applicable to the Township; or (3) grant the request in part and deny the request in part.
If the Township issues a 10-business-day extension to respond to the FOIA request, the Township’s written response to a FOIA request will include (1) an estimate as to when the Township expects to provide the requested records to you, and (2) a detailed summary on the estimate of cost to provide the records to you.
Please note that FOIA does not require the Township to make a compilation, summary or report of public records or other information.
III. Reviewing Township Public Records
You may request to review Township public records. If you make such a request, the Township will make facilities available to inspect the requested records during the Township’s normal business hours and when the records can reasonably be made available. You must submit a request form describing the requested documents prior to the Township allowing the inspection of the records.
You cannot write on, mark or alter any original Township records that you are reviewing. You will be allowed to have only an erasable pencil with you, if you wish to take notes. No pens or indelible writing instruments are allowed. A Township official will be present during your inspection of Township records if original records are involved; you may be charged a fee to defray the Township’s cost of the monitoring service to protect the records from loss, unauthorized alteration, mutilation, or destruction. Original records cannot be removed from the location provided for inspection and note taking.
*For more information regarding the Township’s FOIA Procedures and Guidelines see the links at left.