Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB4715
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Full Text of HB4715  99th General Assembly


Rep. Terri Bryant

Filed: 3/31/2016





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 4715 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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



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1public body is located.
2    (d) The circuit court shall have the jurisdiction to enjoin
3the public body from withholding public records and to order
4the production of any public records improperly withheld from
5the person seeking access. If the public body can show that
6exceptional circumstances exist, and that the body is
7exercising due diligence in responding to the request, the
8court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency additional
9time to complete its review of the records.
10    (e) On motion of the plaintiff, prior to or after in camera
11inspection, the court shall order the public body to provide an
12index of the records to which access has been denied. The index
13shall include the following:
14        (i) A description of the nature or contents of each
15    document withheld, or each deletion from a released
16    document, provided, however, that the public body shall not
17    be required to disclose the information which it asserts is
18    exempt; and
19        (ii) A statement of the exemption or exemptions claimed
20    for each such deletion or withheld document.
21    (f) In any action considered by the court, the court shall
22consider the matter de novo, and shall conduct such in camera
23examination of the requested records as it finds appropriate to
24determine if such records or any part thereof may be withheld
25under any provision of this Act. The burden shall be on the
26public body to establish that its refusal to permit public



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1inspection or copying is in accordance with the provisions of
2this Act. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt
3from disclosure has the burden of proving that it is exempt by
4clear and convincing evidence.
5    (g) In the event of noncompliance with an order of the
6court to disclose, the court may enforce its order against any
7public official or employee so ordered or primarily responsible
8for such noncompliance through the court's contempt powers.
9    (h) Except as to causes the court considers to be of
10greater importance, proceedings arising under this Section
11shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and
12be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable
13date and expedited in every way.
14    (i) If a person seeking the right to inspect or receive a
15copy of a public record prevails in a proceeding under this
16Section, the court shall award such person reasonable
17attorney's attorneys' fees and costs. In determining what
18amount of attorney's fees is reasonable, the court shall
19consider the degree to which the relief obtained relates to the
20relief sought. The changes contained in this subsection apply
21to an action filed on or after January 1, 2010 (the effective
22date of Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act of the 96th
23General Assembly.
24    (j) If the court determines that a public body willfully
25and intentionally failed to comply with this Act, or otherwise
26acted in bad faith, the court shall also impose upon the public



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1body a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than
2$10,000 $5,000 for each occurrence. In assessing the civil
3penalty, the court shall consider in aggravation or mitigation
4the budget of the public body and whether the public body has
5previously been assessed penalties for violations of this Act.
6If the public body fails to comply with the court's order after
730 days, the court shall impose an additional $1,000 penalty
8for each day the violation continues. The changes contained in
9this subsection that are made by Public Act 96-542 apply to an
10action filed on or after January 1, 2010 (the effective date of
11Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act of the 96th General
13(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12;
14revised 10-14-15.)".