Michigan FOIA Laws

Michigan Open Meetings Act

The Michigan Open Meetings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Meetings are any gathering of a quorum of a public body with the intention of deliberation or deciding on public matters. If violated, anyone can file a suit within 60 days of the release of official minutes and within 30 days regarding matters relating to contracts. Fines of up to $1,000 may be issued for a first offense and up to $2,000 for a second offence.

Open Meetings Act Mich. Comp. LawsAnn. §15.261 etseq.

Closed: Collective bargaining; real estate transactions; and pending litigation discussions. Discussion of certain personnel matters and student records may be closed if relevant board votes to close. Michigan's Open Meetings Act (Adobe Acrobat File)

Michigan Freedom of Information Act

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act, enacted in 1977,  is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Michigan. Records are defined as a writing which encompasses handwriting, typing, printing, photographing, photocopying, and every other means of recording, and includes letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, or other means of recording or retaining meaningful content prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created."

Any person other than incarcerated felons may request public records in Michigan. A person who asks for access to public records is not required to justify his or her request. A person can use the information any way they please. The Michigan Freedom of Information Act allows 5 days for any response to record requests.

Open Records Law Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §15.231 etseq

Exempt: Information deemed private; trade secrets; advisory communications with government agencies; attorney-client communications; medical counseling and psychological facts or appraisals; records of campaign committees; and some law enforcement records.

Visit, Michigan Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.