Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0690
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Full Text of SB0690  93rd General Assembly

SB0690enr 93rd General Assembly


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 1        AN ACT concerning freedom of information.

 2        Be it  enacted  by  the  People  of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  5.  The Freedom of Information Act is amended by
 5    changing 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
 8    copy  any public record by the head of a public body may file
 9    suit for injunctive or declaratory relief.
10        (b)  Where the denial is from the head of a  public  body
11    of  the State, suit may be filed in the circuit court for the
12    county where the public body  has  its  principal  office  or
13    where the person denied access resides.
14        (c)  Where  the denial is from the head of a municipality
15    or other public body, except as provided in subsection (b) of
16    this Section, suit may be filed in the circuit court for  the
17    county where the public body is located.
18        (d)  The  circuit  court  shall  have the jurisdiction to
19    enjoin the public body from withholding public records and to
20    order  the  production  of  any  public  records   improperly
21    withheld  from the person seeking access.  If the public body
22    can show that exceptional circumstances exist, and  that  the
23    body  is  exercising  due  diligence  in  responding  to  the
24    request,  the  court  may  retain  jurisdiction and allow the
25    agency additional time to complete its review of the records.
26        (e)  On motion of the plaintiff, prior  to  or  after  in
27    camera  inspection,  the court shall order the public body to
28    provide an index of the records  to  which  access  has  been
29    denied.  The index shall include the following:
30        (i)  A  description  of  the  nature  or contents of each
31    document withheld, or each deletion from a released document,
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 1    provided, however, that the public body shall not be required
 2    to disclose the information which it asserts is exempt; and
 3        (ii)  A statement of the exemption or exemptions  claimed
 4    for each such deletion or withheld document.
 5        (f)  In  any  action  considered  by the court, the court
 6    shall consider the matter de novo, and shall conduct such  in
 7    camera  examination  of  the  requested  records  as it finds
 8    appropriate to determine if such records or any part  thereof
 9    may  be withheld under any provision of this Act.  The burden
10    shall be on the public body to establish that its refusal  to
11    permit public inspection or copying is in accordance with the
12    provisions of this Act.
13        (g)  In  the  event of noncompliance with an order of the
14    court to disclose, the court may enforce  its  order  against
15    any  public  official  or  employee  so  ordered or primarily
16    responsible  for  such  noncompliance  through  the   court's
17    contempt powers.
18        (h)  Except  as  to  causes  the court considers to be of
19    greater importance, proceedings arising  under  this  Section
20    shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and
21    be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable
22    date and expedited in every way.
23        (i)  If  a person seeking the right to inspect or receive
24    a copy  of  a  public  record  substantially  prevails  in  a
25    proceeding  under  this  Section,  the  court  may award such
26    person reasonable attorneys' fees and  costs.   If,  however,
27    the  court  finds that the fundamental purpose of the request
28    was to further the commercial interests of the requestor, the
29    court may award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs  if  the
30    court  finds  that  the record or records in question were of
31    clearly significant interest to the general public  and  that
32    the  public  body  lacked  any  reasonable  basis  in law for
33    withholding the record.
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 1    (Source: P.A. 85-1357.)