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Freedom of Information Act Policy

Freedom of Information Act Policy


Freedom of Information Act - Procedure Summary

Below is a summary of the procedure for requesting library records available under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. The library’s Freedom of Information Act Policy can be accessed here. (insert link)
 

How to make a request – All requests must be submitted in writing to:
Director/FOIA Coordinator
Bridgman Public Library
4460 Lake Street
Bridgman, MI 49106

 

Requests should be as specific as possible, so that the library can make a reasonable effort to find and identify the requested document. The written FOIA request must be dated, signed by the requester, and include contact information in case the request needs clarification.
 

Understanding the library’s response – The library’s FOIA Coordinator will respond to written request in five business days in one of the following ways:
 provide the requested document(s);
 notify the requester of an estimated fee for providing the information;
 notify the requester of a 10 day extension in response time;
 deny the request, if the document is exempted under MCLA 15.231 et. Seq.;
 or a combination of the above.

 

Certain library records, such as those that identify patrons or the material they check out, are exempt from disclosure under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. The library will observe this and other exemptions provided for in the Michigan Freedom of Information Act when responding to requests.
 

Charges and fees– Requests for library records will be filled for a fee to cover expenses related to research, review, copying and mailing of documents.
 Copying records will be charged at .10 a page
 Labor costs for retrieving, researching, photocopying, or converting a record to an electronic format will be calculated at the hourly rate of the lowest paid library employee
 Postage will be charged based on the actual cost of sending the records to the requester.

 

The FOIA Coordinator will provide the requester with an estimate of the fees associated with request prior to filling the request. Charges less than $20 will be waived. Charges will be waived if the release of the records benefits the general public.
 

Deposit requirements – In cases where a charge exceeding $50 is expected, a good faith deposit may be collected in advance, not to exceed one-half of the expected total fee. Release of documents will occur after the requester pays the deposit.
 

Denials and appeals process – If the library denies a request, the requester can submit a written appeal of the decision to the Library Board, or can begin an action in circuit court to compel the library to disclose the public records.

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