The NEW way to deny FOIA requests

By:  Diane Benjamin

Normal and ISU get along so well because both believe in ruling instead of governing.  Neither thinks you have the right to know what they are up to.

I asked ISU for emails just in the last 8 months concerning the leased space for ISU Galleries and the Town of Normal.  If you forgot, Normal voted 4-3 to renew the free 5 year lease.

My FOIA was denied because:

ISU denial

That amounts to almost 10 emails a day for 8 months.  They knew I was looking for information just on the lease.  They also know filing with the Attorney General is useless.

Welcome to tyranny folks.  That is where your opinion is immaterial because enforcing the law is no threat to those who violate it.

 

20 thoughts on “The NEW way to deny FOIA requests

  1. So if complying with a FOIA request takes too long or there are too many places to look for the requested information, you get issued a “Get Out of FOIA” card? That sounds illegal? Is this because they are in “higher” education or are they frequenting a marijuana dispensary too often?

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  2. This is a load of crap and we know it. Maybe I should use this defense when filing my taxes. It requires too much work and time….request denied. A student should use this approach when doing a research paper. Too much work and time (stolen from my beer and hoocha time) request denied. The FOIA requests go to people who are paid to do this job. Maybe failure to do the work should result in dismissal. Imagine if a person in a divorce proceeding refused to provide information in discovery as it takes too much time, they would be held in contempt. I hold Illinois state in contempt.

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  3. Actually, most if not all public records laws contain an exception for burdensome requests. In IL, they are called “voluminous” and are defined as any request that generates 500 or more pages of information.

    “Voluminous request” means a request that: (i) includes more than 5 individual requests for more than 5 different categories of records or a combination of individual requests that total requests for more than 5 different categories of records in a period of 20 business days; or (ii) requires the compilation of more than 500 letter or legal-sized pages of public records unless a single requested record exceeds 500 pages. “Single requested record” may include, but is not limited to, one report, form, e-mail, letter, memorandum, book, map, microfilm, tape, or recording.”

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  4. See (5 ILCS 140/3.6) Sec. 3.6. Voluminous requests for how the public entity must proceed in the case of a voluminous request – it includes the right of the entity to deny the request as overly burdensome.

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  5. Nice Diane – just trying to provide information as some of your readers seem to think this is totally illegal, when in fact ISU is ostensibly acting within the law. I am not commenting on whether they found 2300 pages or not, I am just pointing out that, as usual, your headlines are inaccurate and inflammatory, leading people to believe there is more going on than reality. If they found 2300 pages worth of docs or not – I cannot say, but don’t act like they didn’t comply with the FOIA law when there is a provision for them to deny huge requests.

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  6. As I said, I was not commenting on the actions ISU took, only that there is a provision in the law to narrow or deny public records requests as some of the commenters seemed to think otherwise. I am done.

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      1. You complain incessantly about government workers wasting too much time. You then create a request for someone to manually sift through 2400 emails, and complain about them exercising their (completely legal) right to not jump through your hoops?? So… government workers shouldn’t waste time unless it’s for your requests.

        This whole site is a monument to the spirit of complaining. And your response to those who offer gentle correction to your meanderings reveals a lot.

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  7. Perhaps you should FOIA the list of emails? To, From, cc, Date, Subject, and whether there are attachments all usually show up in a listing screen, should be well under 500 pages, and may give you some hints towards what they’re hiding, or at the very least how they mis-applied the original request to lead to a denial.

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  8. Has ISU not heard of the great new invention called a computer? They waste tax monies on everything else (too many to even begin to list) yet they dont have their business on computers? So much for higher education! They really should come up with a better lie than this one!

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