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Monday, October 25, 2021

Court Upholds Dismissal of FOIA Lawsuit

In August 2018, an inmate submitted a FOIA request to the Illinois State Police (ISP) seeking certain lab reports containing fingerprints that were inventoried as evidence. The ISP denied the FOIA request. The inmate then filed a lawsuit, alleging that ISP violated FOIA and asking the court to order ISP to release responsive records. In response, ISP filed a motion to dismiss the case arguing that its denial was proper because the request was a repeated request since ISP had previously provided the inmate with all lab case files in response to prior FOIA requests and ISP had no additional records in its possession and custody. The court ruled in favor of ISP and dismissed the case. The inmate appealed the dismissal and claimed that ISP failed to produce an index of records in violation of FOIA.

In Love v. Illinois State Police, the appellate court upheld the ruling in favor of ISP, finding that the trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's complaint. The appellate court noted that there was no evidence in the record that the inmate was denied access to any records. Although FOIA section 11(e) allows the court, on plaintiff’s motion, to order a public body to provide an index of the records to which access has been denied," based on ISP's affidavit in this case, the inmate "had already been provided with the case files, and that there were no additional records to provide."

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink


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