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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Person's Own FOID Card Records Are Exempt from FOIA

In 2018, a requester submitted a FOIA request to the Illinois State Police (ISP) seeking records regarding his FOID card, including his application, any application denials, and other documents containing information that would have made the requestor ineligible for a FOID card. ISP denied the request in its entirety, citing section 7.5(v) of FOIA, which exempts from disclosure the names and information of people who have applied for FOID cards. After the requestor sued claiming that ISP violated FOIA by denying his request, the circuit court ruled in favor of the requester and ordered ISP to disclose the responsive FOID card records, finding that ISP improperly denied the FOIA request pursuant to FOIA exemption 7.5(v), because that exemption does not apply to persons seeking their own FOID card information.

ISP appealed, and an Illinois Appellate Court reversed the circuit court, finding in favor of the ISP in Woosley v. Illinois State PoliceThe Appellate Court determined that FOIA prohibits ISP from disclosing FOID card information to the requester. The Appellate Court cited to a 2023 Illinois Supreme Court case (Hart v. Illinois State Police, which we previously reported on), where the Supreme Court held that section 7.5(v) of FOIA is a blanket exemption prohibiting the disclosure of all FOID card information under FOIA, even to an individual seeking his or her own FOID card information. 

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink


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