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


Sen. Christine Radogno

Filed: 5/18/2016





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 4715, AS AMENDED, by
3replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 5. The Freedom of Information Act is amended by
6changing Section 11 and by adding Section 11.6 as follows:
7    (5 ILCS 140/11)  (from Ch. 116, par. 211)
8    Sec. 11. (a) Any person denied access to inspect or copy
9any public record by a public body may file suit for injunctive
10or declaratory relief.
11    (a-5) In accordance with Section 11.6 of this Act, a
12requester may file an action to enforce a binding opinion
13issued under Section 9.5 of this Act.
14    (b) Where the denial is from a public body of the State,
15suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
16public body has its principal office or where the person denied



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



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



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1General Assembly.
2    (j) If the court determines that a public body willfully
3and intentionally failed to comply with this Act, or otherwise
4acted in bad faith, the court shall also impose upon the public
5body a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than
6$5,000 for each occurrence. In assessing the civil penalty, the
7court shall consider in aggravation or mitigation the budget of
8the public body and whether the public body has previously been
9assessed penalties for violations of this Act. The court may
10impose an additional penalty of up to $1,000 for each day the
11violation continues if:
12        (1) the public body fails to comply with the court's
13    order after 30 days;
14        (2) the court's order is not on appeal or stayed; and
15        (3) the court does not grant the public body additional
16    time to comply with the court's order to disclose public
17    records.
18    The changes contained in this subsection made by Public Act
1996-542 apply to an action filed on or after January 1, 2010
20(the effective date of Public Act 96-542) this amendatory Act
21of the 96th General Assembly.
22    (k) The changes to this Section made by this amendatory Act
23of the 99th General Assembly apply to actions filed on or after
24the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General
26(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12;



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1revised 10-14-15.)
2    (5 ILCS 140/11.6 new)
3    Sec. 11.6. Noncompliance with binding opinion.
4    (a) The requester may file an action under Section 11 and
5there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the public body
6willfully and intentionally failed to comply with this Act for
7purposes of subsection (j) of Section 11 if:
8        (1) the Attorney General issues a binding opinion
9    pursuant to Section 9.5;
10        (2) the public body does not file for administrative
11    review of the binding opinion within 35 days after the
12    binding opinion is served on the public body; and
13        (3) the public body does not comply with the binding
14    opinion within 35 days after the binding opinion is served
15    on the public body.
16    For purposes of this subsection (a), service of the binding
17opinion shall be by personal delivery or by depositing the
18opinion in the United States mail as provided in Section 3-103
19of the Code of Civil Procedure.
20    (b) The presumption in subsection (a) may be rebutted by
21the public body showing that it is making a good faith effort
22to comply with the binding opinion, but compliance was not
23possible within the 35-day time frame.
24    (c) This Section applies to binding opinions of the
25Attorney General requested or issued on or after the effective



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1date of this amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly.".