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Public Access Opinion 16-001

Failure to Respond to a FOIA Request

Administrator Contracts
Case: Public Access Opinion 16-001
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016

An individual submitted a FOIA request to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for various First Amendment-related worksheets and for communications issued by the Crime Prevention Information Center generated from August 2014 through October 2014. CPD did not respond to the FOIA request within 5 business days, extend its time for a response under Section 3(e), or deny the request in writing. CPD then repeatedly failed to respond to subsequent requests by the Public Access Bureau that it respond to the FOIA request. The PAC ordered CPD to immediately provide all records responsive to the FOIA requester, subject only to any permissible redactions under Section 7 of FOIA. The bottom line here is that public bodies must respond to FOIA requests within the time permitted per statute.

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