Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4715
Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of HB4715  99th General Assembly



HB4715 EngrossedLRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1    AN ACT concerning government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Freedom of Information Act is amended by
5changing Section 11 as follows:
6    (5 ILCS 140/11)  (from Ch. 116, par. 211)
7    Sec. 11. (a) Any person denied access to inspect or copy
8any public record by a public body may file suit for injunctive
9or declaratory relief.
10    (b) Where the denial is from a public body of the State,
11suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
12public body has its principal office or where the person denied
13access resides.
14    (c) Where the denial is from a municipality or other public
15body, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Section,
16suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
17public body is located.
18    (d) The circuit court shall have the jurisdiction to enjoin
19the public body from withholding public records and to order
20the production of any public records improperly withheld from
21the person seeking access. If the public body can show that
22exceptional circumstances exist, and that the body is
23exercising due diligence in responding to the request, the



HB4715 Engrossed- 2 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency additional
2time to complete its review of the records.
3    (e) On motion of the plaintiff, prior to or after in camera
4inspection, the court shall order the public body to provide an
5index of the records to which access has been denied. The index
6shall include the following:
7        (i) A description of the nature or contents of each
8    document withheld, or each deletion from a released
9    document, provided, however, that the public body shall not
10    be required to disclose the information which it asserts is
11    exempt; and
12        (ii) A statement of the exemption or exemptions claimed
13    for each such deletion or withheld document.
14    (f) In any action considered by the court, the court shall
15consider the matter de novo, and shall conduct such in camera
16examination of the requested records as it finds appropriate to
17determine if such records or any part thereof may be withheld
18under any provision of this Act. The burden shall be on the
19public body to establish that its refusal to permit public
20inspection or copying is in accordance with the provisions of
21this Act. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt
22from disclosure has the burden of proving that it is exempt by
23clear and convincing evidence.
24    (g) In the event of noncompliance with an order of the
25court to disclose, the court may enforce its order against any
26public official or employee so ordered or primarily responsible



HB4715 Engrossed- 3 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1for such noncompliance through the court's contempt powers.
2    (h) Except as to causes the court considers to be of
3greater importance, proceedings arising under this Section
4shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and
5be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable
6date and expedited in every way.
7    (i) If a person seeking the right to inspect or receive a
8copy of a public record prevails in a proceeding under this
9Section, the court shall award such person reasonable
10attorney's attorneys' fees and costs. In determining what
11amount of attorney's fees is reasonable, the court shall
12consider the degree to which the relief obtained relates to the
13relief sought. The changes contained in this subsection apply
14to an action filed on or after January 1, 2010 (the effective
15date of Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act of the 96th
16General Assembly.
17    (j) If the court determines that a public body willfully
18and intentionally failed to comply with this Act, or otherwise
19acted in bad faith, the court shall also impose upon the public
20body a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than
21$10,000 $5,000 for each occurrence. In assessing the civil
22penalty, the court shall consider in aggravation or mitigation
23the budget of the public body and whether the public body has
24previously been assessed penalties for violations of this Act.
25If the public body fails to comply with the court's order after
2630 days and the court's order is not on appeal or stayed, the



HB4715 Engrossed- 4 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1court may impose an additional penalty of up to $1,000 for each
2day the violation continues. The changes contained in this
3subsection that are made by Public Act 96-542 apply to an
4action filed on or after January 1, 2010 (the effective date of
5Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act of the 96th General
7(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12;
8revised 10-14-15.)