Requesting Records

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-22-03

FOIA does not prohibit public bodies from regulating public comment period during open meetings. A public comment period rule prohibiting speakers from asking questions of the public body and its staff does not violate FOIA's allowance for records requests to be made verbally. FOIAC cannot render opinions regarding possible federal constitutional violations.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-34-01

Neither a volunteer fire company nor a committee created to handle the company's finances are public bodies; the minutes taken by a non-public body nonetheless become public records when they are provided to a public body (such as a city council); a non-public body's financial records in the possession of a local treasurer are not public records; a public record cannot be withheld simply because the public body for whom the record is prepared has not yet received it; there is no FOIA requirement that a request for records be made in writing.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-35-01

Unlike an annual request to be notified of meetings, FOIA does not require a public body to honor a standing request for records; however, to ease the administrative burden of responding multiple requests, the body may want to honor the annual request.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-20-00

The annual report on the compensation plan being developed by the Department of Human Resources is a public record.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-11-00

public body not required to merge two separate databases to create a record containing the information sought by a requester; requester can ask for both databases and manipulate the raw data himself.

Fisher v. King

No 1st Amendment right of access to government-held information.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-01-00

Inquiries as to the status of e-mail under the Freedom of Information Act, charges for electronic records, the working papers exemption, assessment of fees for producing a requested record, the meaning of 'reasonable specificity'

Attorney General's Opinion 1998 #005

A record's copyright status does not prevent it from being released under FOIA; lyric sheets and audio tapes are official records.

Attorney General's Opinion 1991 #007

Citizen does not have a right to make a continuing request for records that do not yet exist.

Associated Tax Service Inc. v. Fitzpatrick

The purpose or motivation behind a request made under FOIA is irrelevant to a citizen's entitlement to requested information.

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