How to file a Freedom of Information Act - WNEM TV 5

How to file a Freedom of Information Act

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Have you ever wanted to know information that your government might have? 

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1976 to ensure public access to government records.

Most government records in Michigan are considered public, unless specifically exempted by the law, which provides access to things like salaries and vendor payments, meeting minutes and agendas, mug shots and criminal records.

The first step in filing a request is determining who holds the records. Sometimes the answer is obvious - city clerks typically keep meeting minutes; treasurers typically keep copies of checks.

Every city, village, township, county and state department is required to name a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, coordinator. That person is responsible for processing FOIA requests.

When in doubt about who holds the records you want, before submitting a request call the public body and ask for the FOIA coordinator.

Explain what information you are seeking and he or she should help direct your request to the appropriate place.

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