Freedom of Information Act

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Muskegon County Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Portal 

Michigan Freedom of Information Act

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act, enacted in 1977,  is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Michigan. Records are defined as a writing which encompasses handwriting, typing, printing, photographing, photocopying, and every other means of recording, and includes letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, or other means of recording or retaining meaningful content prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created."

Any person other than incarcerated felons may request public records in Michigan. A person who asks for access to public records is not required to justify his or her request. A person can use the information any way they please. The Michigan Freedom of Information Act allows 5 days for any response to record requests.

Open Records Law Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §15.231 et seq.

Exempt: Information deemed private; trade secrets; advisory communications with government agencies; attorney-client communications; medical counseling and psychological facts or appraisals; records of campaign committees; and some law enforcement records.

PLEASE NOTE: Court Records and Vital Records (such as birth, death, and marriage records) are NOT subject to FOIA and your request will be denied. For Court Records, please contact either the 60th District Court (misdemeanor or traffic cases) at 231-724-6258, or 14th Circuit Court (felony or family court cases) at 231-724-6251.  For Vital Records, please contact 231-724-6221.

Muskegon County Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request 

You can submit a request verbally or in writing for public record(s) to any of the County departments that may possess that record. Your request must sufficiently describe the requested public record with relevant details such as names, dates, and department retaining the records, so that the FOIA Coordinator can find the requested record within a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount of effort.

Submitting a Request

Requests for records can be submitted Online Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Records Request or by mail or hand delivery by using the Paper Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Records Request Form

Response Time

Your public records request will be processed within 5 business days or a 10 business days extension may be requested. You may further extend the time for a response in writing. Please Note: A written request submitted electronically is not deemed received by a public body’s FOIA coordinator until 1 business day after the electronic transmission is made.