Most common FOIA Questions:
Q. Why do I have to fill out a FOIA request for my report? Why can’t I have the report I’m requesting right now? The officer said I could come up and get a copy.
A. In response to changes in the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140) effective 1/1/2010, the City of Springfield instituted the policy that all requests for public records shall be made to the Office of the City Clerk in writing. Requests taken in the SPD Records Section must be emailed to the City Clerk and logged into their tracking system. The requested records must be collected and reviewed by Records personnel to see if any of the information contained in them are subject to FOIA exemptions before they are sent to the Office of the City Clerk for distribution. The Statute allows an initial five (5) days to respond to a request. The actual time required depends on how long it takes us to collect and review the records in a request as well as the number of requests being handled by the Records Section at the time.
Q. How do I file a FOIA request?
A. The City of Springfield requires that all FOIA requests be made in writing. You may request in person by filling out a short request at the SPD Records Section customer service window or at the City Clerk’s office. The City Clerk’s website includes not only the request form but also their email address for electronic requests (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also make your request at the police department’s front desk after regular work hours.
The City Clerk’s FOIA website is: http://www.springfieldcityclerk.com/FOIA/FOIADefault.aspx
Q. Will you email the requested report to me?
A. Yes. At the time of your request please indicate the method of delivery you desire. The City Clerk’s office will mail or email your records as well as call you to pick them up. They prefer not to fax them.
Q. Why can’t I have a report that contains a juvenile suspect or arrestee? I need a copy to give my insurance company.
A. We are prevented by State statute from releasing juvenile offender reports. The Illinois Juvenile Court Act mandates that reports in which a minor was arrested, charged or investigated must be withheld in full. Under FOIA, Exemption 7(1)(a) allows a public body to withhold information specifically prohibited from disclosure by Federal or State law or rules.