Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Information
A person has the right to submit a written request for public record(s) from the City of Fenton and its departments. The request must sufficiently describe the public record to enable the FOIA Coordinator to identify the requested public record. Please see the following PDFs for detailed information regarding the City's policies and procedures regarding FOIA Requests.
- FOIA Procedures and Guidelines (PDF)
- FOIA Public Summary (PDF)
- FOIA Enhanced Access to Public Records Policy (PDF)
- FOIA Request Form (PDF)
Designated FOIA Coordinator
The City Clerk is the designated FOIA Coordinator, who will accept and disseminate all non-police written information requests. The Clerk will forward the request to the appropriate City Department. The Deputy Clerk shall be authorized to act as a FOIA Coordinator designee, in the absence of the Clerk. The Police Department Dispatch shall act as a designee for requests issued for Police records.
The FOIA Coordinator and designees shall be responsible to accept and process requests for public records and approve denials in accordance with the Michigan FOIA. The FOIA Coordinator shall also be responsible for keeping a copy of all written requested for 1 year and 1 day after the request is made. The FOIA Coordinator shall also be responsible for sending written notices of the 10-day extension of response time when a request cannot be completed within the allocated 5 business days (6 days if the request is received by electronic mail or facsimile) statutory time period.
Designated FOIA Coordinator: Jennifer Kienast, City Clerk
Responsibilities of the Requester
The requester of records must submit a written request for public record(s) from the City of Fenton and its departments. All Police Department requests must be submitted to the Police Department Secretary.
The written request must sufficiently describe the public record to enable the FOIA Coordinator or designee to identify the requested public record. A new written request must be made each time supplemental information is requested.
Responsibilities of the City of Fenton
The FOIA Coordinator or designees shall respond to all written requests within 5 business days, unless a notice of extension has been sent.
If the request indicates that the requester desires to inspect public records, the FOIA Coordinator will contact the requester to arrange for inspection of non-exempt public records at a reasonable time. The inspection and examination of public records shall be conducted by the requesting person in the presence of an employee of the City.
If the request indicates that the requester wishes to have copies of public records prepared and/or mailed, the FOIA Coordinator shall be responsible for providing copies of non-exempt public records, subject to the payment of costs.
If the written request is denied, the FOIA Coordinator or designee shall issue a written notice denying the request.
Neither the City of Fenton nor the FOIA Coordinator are obligated to create a record, list, compilation or summary of information which does not already exist. This exemption includes analyzing, compiling, or summarizing existing information into a new format.
The City will utilize its best efforts to respond to all requests made pursuant to the Michigan FOIA. However, the City will search only the most likely locations for responsive public records. The City of Fenton is not required under the Michigan FOIA to search each and every record it maintains in order to discover material that might pertain to a specific request.
Costs for Responding to FOIA Requests
The following costs incurred in responding to a FOIA request shall be chargeable to each FOIA requester:
- Photocopying charges of 10 cents per page, or if the nature of the duplication necessitates duplication by outside sources, the actual cost of employing such outside sources.
- Labor costs at the hourly wage of the lowest-paid employee of the City of Fenton capable of retrieving the information necessary to comply with a request incurred in duplication, mailing, search, examination, review and the deletion and separation of exempt and non-exempt information. The City shall specifically identify the costs.
- Actual mailing costs.
- The City may require a deposit in good faith if the cost to produce the request is excessive. In this event, the FOIA Coordinator will notify the requester.
- Actual duplication costs for photographs, videotapes, tape cassettes, maps, plans, or microforms and any other type of medium requested.
- The FOIA Coordinator may waive some or all of the costs of responding to a FOIA request if furnishing copies of the requested documents is considered as primarily benefitting the general public.
In accordance with the Michigan FOIA, where a person's request for a public record is denied, in whole or in part, the person shall be entitled to file a written appeal of the decision in accordance with the following process:
- The FOIA Coordinator shall immediately, upon receipt, refer all written FOIA Appeals to the City Manager. The City Manager shall then review any materials submitted by the appellant, any written comments received from the FOIA Coordinator or designees, and any other information that the City Manager deems necessary.
- The City Manager has 10 days, absent compelling reason for an extension of time, to take any of the following actions in response to the filing of an appeal of a FOIA request denial:
- Reverse the disclosure denial.
- Issue a written notice to the requester affirming the disclosure denial.
- Reverse the disclosure denial in part and issue a written notice to the requester affirming the denial in part.