Freedom of Information Act Procedures

 

  • Request Form (Make your request online!)
     
    ( Please direct police-related questions to FOI Officer Deputy Chief Terri Kincaid at 847-599-7050. For all other questions, please contact FOI Officer Erik Jensen, 847-599-7500.
    )

Purpose

These procedures are intended to implement the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1et seq.; Senate Bill 189, P.A. 096-0542), effective January 1, 2010, as amended.  The Village of Gurnee supports the policy of providing public access to the public records in the possession of the Village while, at the same time, protecting legitimate privacy interests, and maintaining administrative efficiency and operational priorities.



Requesting Public Records

Requests for public records shall be submitted to the following:

  • For all non-police related requests, submit to the Freedom of Information Officer (Patrick Muetz) or his/her designee at the Village Hall (325 N. O’Plaine, 847-599-7500).


  • For all police-related requests, submit to FOI Officer Deputy Chief Terri Kincaid or his/her designee at the Police Station (100 N. O'Plaine, 847-599-7050).


In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), such requests shall be made in writing.  For your convenience, the Village does have a standardized form that you may use.  However, this form is not required.  If you choose not to use this form, the following information is required:


1. The requestor's full name, address and telephone number;

2. A description of the records being sought, being a specific as possible, and whether the request is for inspection of the records, copies of the records, or both.

Oral requests may be considered and will be handled expeditiously. However, the required response times and the appeal procedures contained in the FOIA and these procedures do not apply to oral requests.



Village Response

A. The Village shall respond to a written request for public records within 5 working days after the receipt of such request.
 

B. The Village may give notice of an extension of time to respond which does not exceed an additional 5 working days, or a total of 10 working days from the written request. Such an extension is allowable only if written notice is provided within the original 5 working day time limit and only for the reasons provided in Section 3 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/3(e)). Such notice of extension shall state the reasons why the extension is necessary.
 

C. The Village shall respond to a request for public records in one of the following ways:
1) Approve the request;
2) Approve in part and deny in part;
3) Deny the request;
4) Give notice of an extension; or
5) Provide an opportunity for a conference.
 

D. Upon approval of a request for public records, the Village may either provide the materials immediately, give notice that the materials shall be made available upon payment of reproduction costs, or give notice of the time and place for inspection of records.  The Village may redact information that is exempt under Section 7/1(d) of the Act. 
 

E. Categorical requests creating an undue burden upon the Village shall be denied only after extending to the requestor an opportunity to confer in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions in accordance with Section 3(g) of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/3 (g)).
 

F. A denial of a request for public records shall be made in writing. It shall state the reasons for the denial in accordance with either Section 3(f) or Section 7 (5 ILCS 140/7) of the FOIA and the names and titles of individuals responsible for the decision. It shall also inform the requestor of the right to seek review from either the Illinois State Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor or from a court.


G. Copies of all FOIA requests and responses will be maintained at the respective department as set forth in 5 ILCS 140/3.5(a)(4) and 140/9(b).



Appeal of a Denial

A requestor whose request has been denied, may file a “Request for Review” with the Public Access Counselor established in the office of the Attorney General, not later than 60 days after the date of the final denial.  This request must be made in writing and must include the requestors signature, a copy of the request for access to records and any responses from the public body.  The request is to be submitted to:

                                    Public Access Bureau
                                    500 S. 2nd Street         
                                    Springfield, IL  62706
                                    Publicaccess@atg.state.il.us

The Public Access Counselor has 60 calendar days to respond.



Copying and Inspection of Public Records (FOIA)

A. Copies of public records shall be provided to the requestor only upon payment of any charges which are due. Charges may be waived in any case where the Village determines that the waiver serves the public interest.

B. Inspection of public records will be conducted during normal business hours at the Village Hall. For purposes of convenience, the Village and/or requestor may request that inspection take place in another Department office location. An employee of the Village may be present through the inspection. A requestor may be prohibited from bringing bags, brief cases, or other containers into the inspection room. Documents which the requestor wishes to have copied shall be segregated during the course of the inspection. All copying shall be done by Village employees.
 

C. Black and photo copies – Free up until 50 pages, with $0.15 per each additional page
Plats & Plans - $0.50 per square foot
CDs - $0.50 per CD
VHS Tapes - $1.30 per tape
Postage - Cost

E. Records stored by electronic data processing shall be handled in the same manner and under the same rules as normal public record documents (on paper).  The Village will attempt to provide electronic files in the requested format and will confer with the requestor if this is not possible.