HB4715 EnrolledLRB099 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 and by adding Section 11.6 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    (a-5) In accordance with Section 11.6 of this Act, a
11requester may file an action to enforce a binding opinion
12issued under Section 9.5 of this Act.
13    (b) Where the denial is from a public body of the State,
14suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
15public body has its principal office or where the person denied
16access resides.
17    (c) Where the denial is from a municipality or other public
18body, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Section,
19suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
20public body is located.
21    (d) The circuit court shall have the jurisdiction to enjoin
22the public body from withholding public records and to order
23the production of any public records improperly withheld from



HB4715 Enrolled- 2 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

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



HB4715 Enrolled- 3 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1    (g) In the event of noncompliance with an order of the
2court to disclose, the court may enforce its order against any
3public official or employee so ordered or primarily responsible
4for such noncompliance through the court's contempt powers.
5    (h) Except as to causes the court considers to be of
6greater importance, proceedings arising under this Section
7shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and
8be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable
9date and expedited in every way.
10    (i) If a person seeking the right to inspect or receive a
11copy of a public record prevails in a proceeding under this
12Section, the court shall award such person reasonable
13attorney's attorneys' fees and costs. In determining what
14amount of attorney's fees is reasonable, the court shall
15consider the degree to which the relief obtained relates to the
16relief sought. The changes contained in this subsection apply
17to an action filed on or after January 1, 2010 (the effective
18date of Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act of the 96th
19General Assembly.
20    (j) If the court determines that a public body willfully
21and intentionally failed to comply with this Act, or otherwise
22acted in bad faith, the court shall also impose upon the public
23body a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than
24$5,000 for each occurrence. In assessing the civil penalty, the
25court shall consider in aggravation or mitigation the budget of
26the public body and whether the public body has previously been



HB4715 Enrolled- 4 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1assessed penalties for violations of this Act. The court may
2impose an additional penalty of up to $1,000 for each day the
3violation continues if:
4        (1) the public body fails to comply with the court's
5    order after 30 days;
6        (2) the court's order is not on appeal or stayed; and
7        (3) the court does not grant the public body additional
8    time to comply with the court's order to disclose public
9    records.
10    The changes contained in this subsection made by Public Act
1196-542 apply to an action filed on or after January 1, 2010
12(the effective date of Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act
13of the 96th General Assembly.
14    (k) The changes to this Section made by this amendatory Act
15of the 99th General Assembly apply to actions filed on or after
16the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General
18(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12;
19revised 10-14-15.)
20    (5 ILCS 140/11.6 new)
21    Sec. 11.6. Noncompliance with binding opinion.
22    (a) The requester may file an action under Section 11 and
23there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the public body
24willfully and intentionally failed to comply with this Act for
25purposes of subsection (j) of Section 11 if:



HB4715 Enrolled- 5 -LRB099 17902 RJF 42264 b

1        (1) the Attorney General issues a binding opinion
2    pursuant to Section 9.5;
3        (2) the public body does not file for administrative
4    review of the binding opinion within 35 days after the
5    binding opinion is served on the public body; and
6        (3) the public body does not comply with the binding
7    opinion within 35 days after the binding opinion is served
8    on the public body.
9    For purposes of this subsection (a), service of the binding
10opinion shall be by personal delivery or by depositing the
11opinion in the United States mail as provided in Section 3-103
12of the Code of Civil Procedure.
13    (b) The presumption in subsection (a) may be rebutted by
14the public body showing that it is making a good faith effort
15to comply with the binding opinion, but compliance was not
16possible within the 35-day time frame.
17    (c) This Section applies to binding opinions of the
18Attorney General requested or issued on or after the effective
19date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly.