Public Access Opinion 15-009

Unwarranted invasion of privacy exemption

Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
Case: Public Access Opinion 15-009
Date: Monday, September 28, 2015

The public body must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to section 7(1)(c). A 7(1)(c) personal privacy exemption claim requires the balancing of the public’s interest in disclosure of certain information against the individual’s privacy interest. Close family members of a decedent may have a right of privacy in the disclosure of records concerning the decedent. To determine if the public interest outweighs any privacy rights four factors are considered and weighed: (1) the requester’s interest in disclosure, (2) the public interest in disclosure, (3) the degree of invasion of personal privacy, and (4) the availability of alternative means of obtaining the requested information.

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

Shanell M. Bowden, IASB Law Clerk