Michigan Supreme Court splits on whether records held by university library are public

The Michigan Supreme Court deadlocked April 9, 2021, on whether records possessed by a University of Michigan library are considered public, The Detroit News reported. The 3-3 ruling allows an immigration lawyer to move forward with a public records request for documents donated to the university by an anti-immigration activist. In 2010, Dr. John Tanton…


Michigan city and township officials respond to FOIA from ‘Emily’

City and township officials in Mason County and across the state were rocked last week by a mysterious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all copies of all Election Day ballots and personal absentee voter information from the 2016 presidential election. The request came from an organization called United Impact Group with a listed…


Ann Arbor reverses FOIA denial, releases Y Lot appraisal report

ANN ARBOR, MI – The city of Ann Arbor has reversed its decision to withhold a Y Lot appraisal report from the public. The city released the 83-page document from Alcock & Williams LLC on Wednesday, April 18, showing the appraisal firm’s August 2017 value analysis for the former YMCA property. The city sold the…


Michigan Attorney General: FOIA does not impose deadline for fulfilling request

Each year in mid-March, we celebrate Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week is a national initiative organized by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about open government and celebrate government transparency. One of the laws that protects transparency and open government is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This act protects the public’s…


Michigan Bill will require FOIA requests be fulfilled promptly

A proposed bill would establish a deadline for the state to fulfill Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Requests would need to be fulfilled within 60 days. In December, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Michigan’s FOIA law does not specify a particular timeline for when a state department must fulfill a request. “In a…


Michigan Gov. Snyder Approves Cybersecurity FOIA Exemptions

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Open-records disclosures can no longer include information on cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Monday that allows for the exclusion of cybersecurity information shared with Michigan State Police and other government bodies. The changes cleared the Legislature in a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Brandt Iden…


Michigan Legislature OKs exempting cybersecurity info from FOIA

LANSING, MI (AP)–   Cybersecurity plans and vulnerabilities would be exempt from open-records requests under legislation approved by Michigan’s Legislature.    Legislators sent the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday on a 104-4 vote, paving the way for the state to block cybersecurity information shared with Michigan State Police and other public bodies. Supporters of…


Michigan FOIA expansion bills tweaked in committee

The House Competitiveness Committee is expected to act Thursday on bills expanding public records acts to the governor's office and legislature under new, tightened language.

Michigan is one of two states that currently does not subject the legislature or governor to its open records laws, which helped the it earn the bottom spot on a 2015 ranking of transparency among the states.


House votes to expand Michigan FOIA law

The state House passed a package of bills Wednesday that for the first time in Michigan would subject the governor's office and the Legislature to state open records laws.

The Free Press reported in 2014 that Michigan was one of only two states in which both the governor and the Legislature have blanket exemptions from public records disclosure laws.



Michigan Rep: State FOIA needs expanding after Flint water crisis

Michigan Rep. Jon Hoadley is calling for an expansion in Michigan's Freedom of Information Act following Gov. Rick Snyder's announcing plans to release emails on the Flint water crisis.

Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, applauded the move toward better access but remained skeptical.

"He will release whichever ones he wants to release, and there will be no penalty if he chooses to forget to release a couple, or if he doesn't release some of the other emails, maybe, between various members of his administration," Hoadley said.