Revised FOIA Response Procedure in light of Executive Order 2020-38
As a result of the Governor’s April 6, 2020 Executive Order (Order) No. 2020-38, the Charter Township of Lyon (“Township”) will continue to fulfill Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the extent possible due to the circumstances arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic and subject to the procedures set forth in this notice, which are based on that Order.
Pursuant to the Governor’s Order, “strict compliance” with some FOIA response requirements has been temporarily suspended. The Township now has ten (10) business days to respond to a FOIA request or appeal received via mail, hand-delivery, or fax. That time period begins when a Township employee physically opens the envelope containing the request or appeal, or takes a faxed request or appeal from the fax machine, not the dates when requests are considered to be received under the FOIA. The Township will provide written notice to the requestor should compliance with any of the current COVID-19 emergency orders preclude the Township from providing a response within the new timeline.
Additionally, if the FOIA request requires “in-person efforts” to prepare the response, e.g. search, examination and copying of documents, then the Township may defer responding to that portion of the request until the expiration and/or any extension of the Order and will provide written notification to the requestor explaining the reasons for the deferral. If a requestor informs the Township in writing they want to revise their FOIA request to exclude the portions requiring “in-person efforts,” then the Township will respond to the request for records that would not require such efforts within the time frames set forth in MCL 15.235. Finally, the Township will continue to respond to all public records requests submitted and seeking records via email or website submission that do not require “in-person” efforts within the statute’s current guidelines set forth in MCL 15.235
The Township will follow the above procedures and adhere to the Governor’s Order through its effective date of June 4, 2020 and/or any extension of the Order’s duration.