Revised FOIA Response Procedure in Light of Executive ORder 2020-38
Freedom of Information Act Procedures and Guidelines
Freedom of Information Act Public Summary
Request for Public Records (FOIA) Form
As a result of the Governor’s April 5, 2020 Executive Order (Order) No. 2020-38, the City of Farmington Hills (“City”) will continue to fulfill Freedom of Information Act requests to the extent possible due to the circumstances arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and subject to the procedures set forth in this notice, which are based on that Order.
Pursuant to the Governor’s Order, “strict compliance” with some of FOIA’s response requirements have been temporarily suspended. The City now has ten (10) business days to respond to a FOIA request or appeal received via mail, hand-delivery or fax, and the calculation of the new time period begins when a City employee physically opens the correspondence containing the FOIA request and/or appeal, not when it is postmarked and/or dated. The City will provide written notice to the requestor should compliance with any of the current COVID-19 emergency orders preclude the City from providing a response within the new timeline.
Additionally, if the FOIA request requires “in-person efforts” to prepare the response, e.g. search, examination and copying of documents, then the City may defer responding to that portion of the request until the expiration and/or any extension of the Order and will provide written notification to the requestor explaining the reasons for the deferral. If a requestor informs the City in writing they want to revise their FOIA request to exclude the portions requiring “in-person efforts”, then the City will provide the records that would not require such effort within the time frames set forth in MCL 15.235. Finally, the City will continue to respond to all public records request submitted and seeking records via email or website submission, that do not require “in-person” efforts within the statute’s current guidelines set forth in MCL 15.235.
The City will follow the above procedures and adhere to the Governor’s Order through its effective date of June 4, 2020 and/or any extension of the Order’s duration.