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

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

PAC Finds FOIA Violation in 8th Binding Opinion of 2024

A FOIA requester sought information about certain properties, including unit addresses and whether the units were occupied or vacant. The public body disclosed responsive records, but partly redacted street addresses for vacant units pursuant to Section 7(1)(v) of FOIA, asserting that disclosing the full street addresses would threaten community safety and make the buildings targets for squatters and other illegal activity.

After the requestor submitted a request for review with the Public Accessor Counselor (PAC), the PAC concluded that public body improperly redacted vacant unit street addresses under FOIA. PAC Op. 24-008.

The PAC determined that the exemption contained in Section 7(1)(v) of FOIA narrowly authorizes redacting records that consist of or depict (1) existing vulnerability assessments, security measures, or response policies or plans, (2) that are created for the purpose of identifying, preventing, or responding to potential attacks on a community or its infrastructure, and (3) when disclosing the vulnerability assessment, security measure, or response policy or plan could reasonably be expected to expose the vulnerability or jeopardize the effectiveness of the measures, policies, or plans, or the safety of the personnel who implement them or the public.

Although the public body argued it redacted street addresses as a security measure to protect its vacant properties, the PAC disagreed with the scope of the public body’s redactions, finding that the street addresses for vacant public housing units did not qualify as existing vulnerability assessments, security measures, or response policies or plans to justify redaction under this FOIA exemption.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink


Post a Comment