Written Public Summary
Consistent with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Public Act 442 of 1976, the following is the Written Public Summary of the Township’s FOIA Procedures and Guidelines relevant to the general public.
This is only a summary of the Township’s FOIA Procedures and Guidelines. For more details and information, copies of the Township’s FOIA Procedures and Guidelines are available at no charge at any Township office and on the Township’s website: www.twp.grand-blanc.mi.us.
1. How do I submit a FOIA request to Grand Blanc Township?
To obtain a copy of a public record, you shall make a written request. This can be done via GovQA public records request portal, or submit your request in person, by mail or email.
Mail: Grand Blanc Township 5371 S. Saginaw Street Grand Blanc, Michigan 48507
Grand Blanc Township Police
Mail: Grand Blanc Township Police 5405 S. Saginaw Street Grand Blanc, Michigan 48507
- No specific form to submit a written request is required. However, a FOIA Request Form is available on the Township’s website at www.twp.grandblanc.mi.us.
- Requests must include a name, phone number or email address, and mailing address that meets United States Postal Service addressing standards.
- A request must sufficiently describe a public record so as to enable the Township to find it.
2. What kind of response can I expect to my request?
- Within 5 business days after receiving a FOIA request the Township will issue a response. If a request is received by fax or electronic method, the request is deemed to have been received on the following business day. The Township will respond to your request in one of the following ways:
- Grant the request,
- Deny the request,
- Grant the request in part and deny in part, or
- Take one (1) ten (10) business day extension to respond for a total of no more than 15 business days.
- Issue a written notice indicating that the public record requested is available at no charge on the Township’s website
- If the request is granted, or granted in part, the Township will ask that payment be made for the allowable fees associated with responding to the request before the public record is made available. Fees are calculated using the procedures and guidelines and you will receive a detailed itemization of the fee.
- If the cost of processing the request is expected to exceed $50, or if you have not paid for a previously granted request, the Township will require a deposit before processing the request.
- If the request is denied, the Township will inform you of the basis for its denial in a written notice. Reasons the Township may deny a request include:
- You did not describe the records you requested well enough, and the Township cannot determine what you are asking for;
- The Township has determined that it does not have records that respond to your request in its possession; or
- The records you have requested are exempt from public disclosure.
3. What are the Township's deposit requirements?
- If the Township estimates the fee to process your FOIA request to exceed $50, the Township will require that you provide a good-faith deposit in the amount of 50% of the total estimated fee. The deposit will not exceed half of the total estimated fee.
- When the Township requests the deposit, it will provide you a non-binding best efforts estimate of how long it will take to process the request after you have paid your deposit.
4. How does the Township calculate FOIA processing fees?
The Michigan FOIA statute permits the Township to charge for the following costs associated with processing a request:
- Labor costs associated with searching for, locating and examining a requested public record, when failure to charge a fee will result in unreasonably high costs to the Township.
- Labor costs associated with a review of a record to separate and delete information exempt from disclosure, when failure to charge a fee will result in unreasonably high costs to the Township.
- Labor costs associated with copying or duplication, which includes making paper copies, making digital copies, or transferring digital public records to non-paper physical media or through the Internet.
- The cost of copying or duplication, not including labor, of paper copies of public records. This may include the cost for copies of records already on the township’s website if you ask for the township to make copies.
- The cost of CD’s, USB drives or other digital or similar media when the requester asks for records in non-paper physical media. This may include the cost for copies of records already on the township’s website if you ask for the township to make copies.
- The cost to mail or send a public record to a requestor.
5. How may I challenge the denial of a public record or an excessive fee?
Appeal of a Denial of a Public Record/Excessive Fee
If the Township charges a fee or denies all or part of your request, you may appeal to the Township Board by filing a written appeal of the denial with the office of the Township Supervisor.
The appeal must be in writing, specifically state the word “appeal,” and identify the reason or reasons you are seeking a reversal of the denial or identify the basis for which the fee should be reduced. You may use the Township FOIA Appeal Form (To Appeal a Denial of Records), which is available on the Township’s website:
The Township Board is not considered to have received a written appeal until the first regularly scheduled Township Board meeting following submission of the written appeal.
Within 10 business days of receiving the appeal the Township Board will respond in writing by:
- Reversing the disclosure denial.
- Upholding the disclosure denial; or
- Reverse the disclosure denial in part and uphold the disclosure denial in part.
Whether or not you submitted an appeal of a denial to the Township Board, you may file a civil action in Circuit Court within 180 days after the Township's final determination to deny your request. If you prevail in the civil action the court will award you reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements. If the court determines that the Township acted arbitrarily and capriciously in refusing to disclose or provide a public record, the court shall award you damages in the amount of $1,000.
The Township Board is not considered to have received a written appeal until the first regularly scheduled Township Board meeting following submission of the written appeal. Within 10 business days after receiving the appeal, the Township Board will respond in writing by:
- Waiving the fee;
- Reducing the fee and issue a written determination indicating the specific basis that supports the remaining fee;
- Upholding the fee and issue a written determination indicating the specific basis that supports the required fee; or
- Issuing a notice detailing the reason or reasons for extending for not more than 10 business days the period during which the Township Board will respond to the written appeal.
Within 45 days after receiving notice of the Township Board’s determination of the processing fee appeal, you may commence a civil action in Circuit Court for a fee reduction. If you prevail in the civil action by receiving a reduction of 50% or more of the total fee, the court may award all or appropriate amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements. If the court determines that the Township acted arbitrarily and capriciously by charging an excessive fee, court may also award you punitive damages in the amount of $500.
This FOIA Written Public Summary becomes effective April 5, 2022 upon approval of the Township Board, as reflected in the regular meeting minutes dated April 5, 2022. Revisions to this public summary shall only be enacted when approved by the Township Board and reflected in the applicable meeting minutes. This public summary shall be updated as appropriate.