Public Access Opinion 23-012

Duty to Respond to FOIA Requests

Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
Case: Public Access Opinion 23-012
Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2023

On April 25, 2023, Requestor submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the City of Chicago Department of Transportation (Department), seeking copies of specified email metadata between January 1, 2023 and April 24, 2023. The Department did not respond to the request.

Section 3(d) of FOIA provides that public bodies must either comply with or deny a FOIA request within 5 business days after receiving the request. Denial must be in writing.

On review, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) found that the Department had violated Section 3(d) by failing to respond to the request. The PAC ordered the Department to provide the Requestor with copies of the responsive records, redacting portions exempt from disclosure, and issue a written denial for any records redacted.

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

Michelle Yang, IASB Law Clerk