Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 093-0466
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Public Act 093-0466


Public Act 93-0466 of the 93rd General Assembly

Public Act 93-0466

SB690 Enrolled                       LRB093 06480 JAM 06603 b

    AN ACT concerning freedom of information.

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

    Section 5.  The Freedom of Information Act is amended  by
changing Section 11 as follows:

    (5 ILCS 140/11) (from Ch. 116, par. 211)
    Sec.  11.   (a)  Any  person  denied access to inspect or
copy any public record by the head of a public body may  file
suit for injunctive or declaratory relief.
    (b)  Where  the  denial is from the head of a public body
of the State, suit may be filed in the circuit court for  the
county  where  the  public  body  has its principal office or
where the person denied access resides.
    (c)  Where the denial is from the head of a  municipality
or other public body, except as provided in subsection (b) of
this  Section, suit may be filed in the circuit court for the
county where the public body is located.
    (d)  The circuit court shall  have  the  jurisdiction  to
enjoin the public body from withholding public records and to
order   the  production  of  any  public  records  improperly
withheld from the person seeking access.  If the public  body
can  show  that exceptional circumstances exist, and that the
body  is  exercising  due  diligence  in  responding  to  the
request, the court may  retain  jurisdiction  and  allow  the
agency additional time to complete its review of the records.
    (e)  On  motion  of  the  plaintiff, prior to or after in
camera inspection, the court shall order the public  body  to
provide  an  index  of  the  records to which access has been
denied.  The index shall include the following:
    (i)  A description of the  nature  or  contents  of  each
document withheld, or each deletion from a released document,
provided, however, that the public body shall not be required
to disclose the information which it asserts is exempt; and
    (ii)  A  statement of the exemption or exemptions claimed
for each such deletion or withheld document.
    (f)  In any action considered by  the  court,  the  court
shall  consider the matter de novo, and shall conduct such in
camera examination of  the  requested  records  as  it  finds
appropriate  to determine if such records or any part thereof
may be withheld under any provision of this Act.  The  burden
shall  be on the public body to establish that its refusal to
permit public inspection or copying is in accordance with the
provisions of this Act.
    (g)  In the event of noncompliance with an order  of  the
court  to  disclose,  the court may enforce its order against
any public official  or  employee  so  ordered  or  primarily
responsible   for  such  noncompliance  through  the  court's
contempt powers.
    (h)  Except as to causes the court  considers  to  be  of
greater  importance,  proceedings  arising under this Section
shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and
be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable
date and expedited in every way.
    (i)  If a person seeking the right to inspect or  receive
a  copy  of  a  public  record  substantially  prevails  in a
proceeding under this  Section,  the  court  may  award  such
person  reasonable  attorneys'  fees and costs.  If, however,
the court finds that the fundamental purpose of  the  request
was to further the commercial interests of the requestor, the
court  may  award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs if the
court finds that the record or records in  question  were  of
clearly  significant  interest to the general public and that
the public body  lacked  any  reasonable  basis  in  law  for
withholding the record.
(Source: P.A. 85-1357.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2004