Public Access Opinion 19-003

Duty to Respond to FOIA Requests

Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
Case: Public Access Opinion 19-003
Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Village of Ringwood (Village) violated FOIA by failing to comply with, deny in whole or in part, or otherwise appropriately respond to a FOIA request. On October 30, 2018, the Requestor submitted a FOIA request for records concerning public meetings of the Village Board of Trustees from April 2016 through October 2018. Receiving no response by November 8, 2018, the Requestor contacted the PAC. The PAC sent two letters to the Village but received no response. The PAC then left a voicemail message for the Village Clerk, but again received no response. As of February 19, 2019, the Village had not responded to the PAC.

The PAC held that the Village violated Section 3(d) of FOIA by failing, within five business days after receiving the October 30, 2018 FOIA request, to provide the requested records, extend the time for its response pursuant to Section 3(e) of FOIA, or deny the request in whole or in part. The PAC ordered the Village to provide the Requestor with all records responsive to her FOIA request.

This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.