Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

PAC Rejects Public Body's Use of "Investigatory Exemption"

The PAC issued its second binding opinion of 2022, concluding that a Village violated FOIA by failing to prove that certain records were exempt from disclosure under several FOIA investigative exemptions. PAC Op. 22-002

In 2021, a not-for-profit organization that provides certain services to persons impacted sexual abuse submitted a FOIA request to a municipal police department seeking certain records regarding their client. The Village denied the FOIA request in its entirety citing FOIA exemption 7(1)(d)(ii), which exempts records that would interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings, and FOIA exemption 7(1)(d)(vii), which exempts records that would obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation.

The requester appealed to the PAC, which found that the Village improperly withheld the responsive records. The PAC determined that the Village failed to provide a specific basis as to why the investigatory exemptions applied. Specifically, the PAC found that the Village failed to demonstrate that the records related to any "active administrative enforcement proceeding," that a criminal investigation was ongoing, or how disclosure of the records would obstruct that investigation. 

The PAC also noted that section 2.15(a) of FOIA requires municipalities to disclose basic arrestee information, and the Village failed to demonstrate how disclosing any of this required information would interfere with a law enforcement proceeding or endanger law enforcement or other persons.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink


Post a Comment