District » Freedom of Information Act Requests

Freedom of Information Act Requests

Summary of Procedures and Guidelines for FOIA Requests

 

  • FOIA Statute

The FOIA may be accessed at the Michigan Legislature’s website: www.legislature.mi.gov (in the “MCL Content” box type “FOIA”).  If you have specific questions on how the statute may apply to your situation, please consult a private attorney. 

 

  • Definition of a FOIA Request

A Freedom of Information Act request is a “written request that describes a public record sufficiently to enable the public body to find the public record.”  MCL 15.243(1).  A special form is not required to make a FOIA request.

 

  • Submitting a FOIA Request to the South Redford School District

A written FOIA request may be sent to:

 

South Redford School District

26141 Schoolcraft Road

Redford, MI  48239

Attention: FOIA Coordinator

 

FOIA requests may also be submitted electronically at communication@southredford.org, or by facsimile at 313 535-6121.

 

Requests should include your name, phone number, and mailing address.

 

  • When the School District Will Respond to a FOIA Request

Upon legal date of receipt of a FOIA request by the school district FOIA Coordinator, the school district has five (5) business days to respond.  A written request made by facsimile, electronic mail, or other electronic transmission is not received by a public body's FOIA coordinator until one (1) business day after the electronic transmission is made. If needed, however, the school district may also send a written notice extending the time to respond by an additional 10 business days.  For complex requests, a later date may be agreed to in writing by the requestor. 

 

  • How the School District Will Respond to a FOIA Request

The school district will respond in writing to a written FOIA request.  When the requested information is on the school district’s website, the written response will include the website address and webpage location of the information.  A written response may be fulfilled by         US mail, email, facsimile, or other medium requested, if the school district has the technological capability to comply with the request.  In addition, the school district may fulfill a FOIA request by allowing the requestor to inspect certain readily available public records in person during business hours.

 

  • What Fees the School District Will Charge Relating to a FOIA Request

All fees charged by the school district relating to a FOIA request shall be in accordance with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.  (See MCL 15.234.) The school district may charge a fee for the cost of the search, examination, review, copying, separation of exempt from nonexempt information, and mailing costs.  A fee can only be charged for the cost of search, examination, review, and the separation of exempt from nonexempt information if the failure to charge a fee for that request would result in unreasonably high costs to the school district and the school district specifically identifies the nature of these unreasonably high costs.  Fees can include cost of paper copies (.10 per page maximum), actual mailing costs, labor costs (at the hourly rate equal to the lowest paid district central office secretary plus a fringe benefit multiplier of up to 50%) for actual time spent to the nearest 15 minute increment rounded down. 

 

The fee may be waived or reduced if the request will primarily benefit the general public.

 

A good faith deposit of not more than ½ of the total estimated fee may be requested if the fee estimate or charge exceeds $50.  A 100% deposit may be required from individuals who have requested, but not paid for, records in the past.  The school district’s request for a deposit shall include a detailed itemization of the costs associated with fulfilling the FOIA request as well as a best efforts estimate regarding the time frame it will take to comply with the law in providing the public records to the requestor. 

 

A public record search shall be made and a copy of a public record shall be furnished without charge for the first $20 of the fee for each request to an individual who is entitled to information under this act and who submits an affidavit stating that the individual is indigent and is then receiving public assistance or, if not receiving public assistance, stating facts showing inability to pay the cost because of indigency.  There will be no reduction in fee if the individual is making the request on behalf of an outside party in exchange for payment or other remuneration, or the individual has already received two discounted copies of public records during that calendar year.

 

Fees must be paid in full upon fulfillment of the FOIA request.  Please see the school district’s fee schedule for more information.

 

  • Contents of the Response to a FOIA Request

The school district shall respond to a FOIA request by doing one of the following:

  • Grant the Request.
  • Deny the request. (if no record exists or information requested is exempt from disclosure under FOIA)
  • Grant the Request in part and deny the request in part.
  • Issue a notice extending, for not more than 10 business days, the period in which the school district shall respond to the request.
  • Issue a written notice indicating that all or a portion of the requested information is available on the district’s website.
  • Issue a written notice of estimated fees associated with the fulfillment of the request, and/or request a deposit prior to fulfilling the request if the estimated fees exceed $50.

 

The school district is not required to create a record when one does not currently exist.

 

Additionally, if a request for a public record is denied for any reason (even when the reason for the denial is that the record does not exist), the school district’s response will provide written notice of denial and include a full explanation of the requesting person’s right to appeal, seek judicial review, and seek attorney’s fees and damages. 

 

In any action commenced under the FOIA, the South Redford School District will not willfully and intentionally fail to comply with a FOIA request or otherwise act in bad faith.

 

___________________________________________________________________ 

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request

Fee Itemization Form

 

All fees charged by the school district relating to a FOIA request shall be in accordance with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.  (See MCL 15.234.) The school district may charge a fee for the cost of the search, examination, review, copying, separation of exempt from nonexempt information, and mailing costs.  A fee can only be charged for the cost of search, examination, review, and the separation of exempt from nonexempt information if the failure to charge a fee for that request would result in unreasonably high costs to the school district and the school district specifically identifies the nature of these unreasonably high costs. The fee may be waived or reduced if the request will primarily benefit the general public.  A good faith deposit of not more than ½ of the total estimated fee may be requested if the fee estimate or charge exceeds $50.  A 100% deposit may be required from individuals who have requested, but not paid for, records in the past.   All fees are to be paid in full when request is fulfilled.

 

 

Requestor’s Name ______________________________________________________________

 

 

Fee Estimate _____________________________  Date of Request: _______________________

 

 

Deposit Required __________________________

 

Labor Costs (Locating, retrieving, reviewing, redacting, copying, duplicating):

 

# Labor Hours:

(to the nearest 15 minute increment rounded down)                                         ________________

 

Hourly Rate:

(based on rate of lowest paid Central Office clerical staff member)                ________________

 

Fringe Benefit Costs:

(Up to 50% of cost of labor hours, not to exceed actual cost)                          ________________

                 

 

Labor hours ______  x  Hourly Rate ___________  +  Fringe Benefit Costs  = ____________

 

 

Printing Costs:

 

 

Total Pages ____________  x  .10/page = ________________

 

 

TOTAL (Labor + printing): $ _____________________

 

 

___________________________________________________________________ 

 FOIA Request (FAQ’s)

 

  • What is a FOIA Request?

A Freedom of Information Act request is a “written request that describes a public record sufficiently to enable the public body to find the public record.”  MCL 15.243(1).  A special form is not required to make a FOIA request.

 

  • How do I submit a FOIA request to the South Redford School District?

FOIA requests can be sent to:

 

South Redford School District

26141 Schoolcraft Road

Redford, MI  48239

Attention: FOIA Coordinator

 

Requests may also be submitted electronically at communication@southredford.org, or by facsimile at 313 535-6121.

 

Requests should include your name, phone number, and mailing address.

 

  • Where can I access the FOIA statute, and what if I have specific questions?

The FOIA may be accessed at the Michigan Legislature’s website: www.legislature.mi.gov.

If you have specific questions on how the statute may apply to your situation, please consult a private attorney. 

 

  • How long does the school district have to respond to my FOIA request?

Upon legal date of receipt of a FOIA request, the school district has five (5) business days to respond.  The date after receipt of the request by the district FOIA Coordinator is counted as day one. If needed, however, the school district may also send a written notice extending the time to respond by an additional 10 business days.  For complex requests, a later date may be arranged in agreement with the requester. 

 

  • Does the district provide a written response to a FOIA request?

The school district will respond in writing to a written FOIA request.  When the requested information is on the school district’s website, the written response will include the website address and webpage location of the information.  A written response may be fulfilled by         US mail, email, facsimile, or other medium requested, if the school district has the technological capability to comply with the request.  In addition, the school district may fulfill a FOIA request by allowing the requester to inspect certain readily available public records in person during business hours.

 

  • May the school district charge for a FOIA response and, if so, how much?

All fees charged by the school district relating to a FOIA request shall be in accordance with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.  The school district may charge a fee for the cost of the search, examination, review, copying, separation of exempt from nonexempt information, and mailing costs.  A fee can only be charged for the cost of search, examination, review, and the separation of exempt from nonexempt information if the failure to charge a fee for that request would result in unreasonably high costs to the school district and the school district specifically identifies the nature of these unreasonably high costs.  Fees can include cost of paper copies (.10 per page maximum), actual mailing costs, labor costs for actual time spent to the nearest 15 minute increment (hourly rate equal to the lowest paid staff member plus a fringe benefit multiplier of up to 50%). 

 

A good faith deposit of not more than ½ of the total estimated fee may be requested if the fee estimate or charge exceeds $50.  A 100% deposit may be required from individuals who have requested, but not paid for, records in the past. 

 

The fee may be waived or reduced if the request is in the public interest.

 

No charge for the first $20 of a fee shall be made to an individual who submits an affidavit proving indigence or receipt of public assistance or, if not receiving public assistance, states facts showing inability to pay the cost because of indigence.  There will be no reduction in fee if the individual is making the request on behalf of an outside party.

 

Fees must be paid in full upon fulfillment of the FOIA request. (See MCL 15.234.)  Please see the school district’s fee schedule for more information.

 

  • What will be in the school district’s response to my FOIA request?

The school district shall respond to a FOIA request by doing one of the following:

  • Grant the Request.
  • Deny the request. (if no record exists or information requested is exempt from disclosure under FOIA)
  • Grant the Request in part and deny the request in part.
  • Issue a notice extending, for not more than 10 business days, the period in which the school district shall respond to the request.
  • Issue a written notice indicating that all or a portion of the requested information is available on the district’s website.
  • Issue a written notice of estimated fees associated with the fulfillment of the request, and/or request a deposit prior to fulfilling the request if the estimated fees exceed $50.

 

The school district is not required to create a record where one does not currently exist.

 

Additionally, if a request for a public record is denied for any reason (even when the reason for the denial is that the record does not exist), the school district’s response will provide written notice of denial and include a full explanation of the requesting person’s right to appeal, seek judicial review, and seek attorney’s fees and damages.