Section 1 of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA” or “the statute”) provides,
“it is the public policy of this state that all persons, except those persons incarcerated
in state or local correctional facilities, are entitled to full and complete information
regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them
as public officials and public employees, consistent with this act. The people shall
be informed so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.”(M.C.L.A.
15.231.) To that end, all people, excluding prisoners, are allowed to file FOIA requests
with Mott Community College. (the “College”). A requester must simply file a request
in writing with the College’s AVP of Human Resources (FOIA Coordinator) and the College
will begin processing his or her request. Verbal requests will require contact information
for follow up as the FOIA Coordinator or designee will summarize the verbal request
for accuracy in writing to the requester for content confirmation.
The College, in its initial response, will do one of the following within the timeframe
permitted by the statue: grant the request, partially grant the request, deny the
request, inform the requester that additional time is needed, require a fee deposit
prior to further processing, or inform the requester that the requested record has
not been sufficiently described.
If a request is denied or partially denied, the College will explain why the documents
have not been released and inform the requester of his or her challenge and appeal
A fee deposit will be required when processing a request that will require significant
College employee time and resources. The College will notify the requester of the
estimated cost and provide anon-binding, best efforts estimate of the time it will
take to complete the processing of the request, the College will determine that the
cost of processing the request is significantly less or greater than the estimated
cost. If that is the case, the College will notify the requester to allow the requester
to determine whether and how he or she wants to proceed with the request.
After the College receives a required deposit, it will make every effort to provide
the requested documents within the time estimate provided. Requesters must understand,
however, that at any given time, the College is processing multiple requests and cannot
devote all of its time to one particular request.
If a requester feels that he or she was wrongly denied responsive documents, he or
she may appeal to the Head of the Public Body, which for the purposes of these Procedures
and Guidelines is the President of the College, or file a civil action. If a requester
believes that the College has required a fee that exceeds the amount permitted under
the Procedures and Guidelines, he or she may file a civil action. Requesters are also
always free to contact Human Resources at 810-762-0565 with any questions about the
processing of their requests. Detailed Procedures and Guidelines follow.
Procedures and Guidelines
- How to submit a FOIA request to the College
- A FOIA request may be submitted in writing to the AVP of HR (FOIA Coordinator), in
the Office of Human Resources. The request may be transmitted in hard copy, by email,
by facsimile or verbally.
- The address is Mott Community College, Human Resources, CM 1024, 1401 E. Court St.,
Flint, MI 48503-2089. The email address is [email protected]. The fax number is 810-762-0595.
- A request should sufficiently describe the record(s) sought to enable the College
to find the record(s) and should provide the requester’s contact information.
- Please include “FOIA” or “FOIA Request” on written requests for information.
- Requests received electronically are deemed received the next business day. A business
day is defined as Monday through Friday, exclusive of holidays and institutional closure
- If a request is delivered to the FOIA Coordinator’s junk mail folder, the request
will be deemed received one business day after the FOIA Coordinator becomes aware
of the request. The FOIA Coordinator and designee will check the junk mail folder
on a regular basis.
- Verbal requests made via telephone or in person to the FOIA Coordinator will require
contact information for follow up. The FOIA Coordinator or designee will summarize
the verbal request for accuracy in writing to the requester for content confirmation.
- Responses to FOIA requests to the College
- The College will respond to a FOIA request within five (5) business days of the College
receiving the request.
- A response will consist of one or more of the following:
- A granting of the request
- A partial granting of the request, and a partial denial because some or a portion
of the records do not exist, are not in the possession of the College and/or are exempt
- A complete denial of the request because all of the records do not exist, are not
in the possession of the University, and/or are exempt from disclosure.
- A notice that more time is needed to process the request
- If more time is needed, the College will send out a follow up response
within 10 business days of the initial response.
- A notice that a fee deposit is required prior to further processing
- If a fee deposit is required, the College will include in its response a non-binding,
best efforts estimate regarding the time it will take to provide the records to the
- A notice that the record(s) sought has (have) not been sufficiently described to enable
the College to locate the record(s).
- The response will state the FOIA exemptions under which any information and/or documents
are withheld, if applicable.
- If any part of a request for records is denied for any reason, the response will set
forth the procedures for appealing the denial.
- Deposit Requirements
- A fee deposit will be required when the processing of a request will result in fees
equal to or greater than $50.00.
- The required deposit will equal up to 50% of the estimated cost of fulfilling the
request as calculated at the time of the initial response.
- If the College requires a deposit, it will not process the FOIA request further until
the deposit is paid.
- If, after receipt of the deposit and further processing of the request, the College
learns that the processing costs will be significantly different from the estimated
costs, the College will so notify the requester. Where the actual effort to search
for, review and separate exempt material significantly exceeds the original estimate,
the College will notify the requester. The requester may choose to receive a revised
fee deposit notice, or limit his/her original request to those records, which may
be processed within the time stated in the original fee estimate.
- A person who makes a FOIA request for which a deposit is required may withdraw that
FOIA request without charge instead of paying the required deposit. Failure to pay
the deposit will be deemed as a withdrawal of the FOIA request.
- The College will treat multiple concurrent FOIA requests on the same topic(s) and/or
regarding the same recordkeeper(s) from the same person as one FOIA request for purposes
of determining whether the fee is below $50.00.
- Where a requester who has not paid the final fee for the processing of an earlier
request files a new FOIA request, the College may require a deposit of all (100%)
of the estimated fees for processing the subsequent request prior to processing the
- Calculation and Payment of Fees
- Fees are calculated by adding together the following costs, as applicable:
- The labor costs for searching for, locating, and examining responsive records
- The labor costs for review, separation, and deletion of exempt information from non-exempt
- The cost of non-paper physical media, if used
- The cost per copy of paper copies, not to exceed $0.10/page for standard 8 ½ x 11
- The labor costs directly associated with duplication or publication, which may include
copying to non-paper media
- The cost of mailing
- A detailed FOIA fee itemization form will be provided by the College with the response.
The College requires payment in full of all fees incurred in processing a FOIA request
before delivering the final, responsive documents. The amount invoiced must be paid
within ninety (90) days.
- The College’s decision to deny access to public records sought by a FOIA request because
those records are, in whole or in part, exempt from disclosure does not excuse the
person who files that FOIA request from payment of fees for the work undertaken by
the College in response to that request.
- The College may waive or reduce the fees it is authorized to charge if it determines
that a waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because responding
to the FOIA request can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public.
- Fee reductions or waivers are required in certain instances involving proven indigence
or non-profit organizations. The College will apply these reductions or waivers in
accordance with the statute.
- Procedures for Challenge and Appeal
- If the College denies a request in whole or in part, the requester may:
- Submit an appeal to the Head of the Public Body, which for the purpose of these Procedures
and Guidelines is the President, in writing, via the FOIA Coordinator, using the contact
information listed in Item 1, above. The appeal must specifically use the word “appeal”
and identify the reason(s) the requester seeks reversal of the denial. The Head of
the Public Body must respond to the appeal within ten (10) business days by doing
one of the following:
- Reversing the FOIA Coordinator’s decision
- Upholding the FOIA Coordinator’s decision
- Reversing in part and upholding in part the FOIA Coordinator’s
- Issuing a notice of extension for not more than ten (10) additional
- Commence a civil action in the Court of Claims within one hundred eighty (180) days
after the College’s final determination to deny a request.
- If a requester believes that the College has required payment of a fee that exceeds
the amount permitted under these Procedures and Guidelines, he or she may commence
an action in the Court of Claims for a fee reduction within forty-five (45) days after
receiving the notice of the required fee.
- If a requester has questions regarding any FOIA response, including estimated fees
or actual fees assessed, the requester should not hesitate to contact the AVP of HR
at [email protected] or telephone at 810-762-0565.