Section 11 § 15.241 – Matters required to be published and made available by state agency; form of publications; effect of matter not published and made available; exception; action to compel compliance by state agency; order; attorneys' fees, costs, and disbursements; jurisdiction; definitions.
(1) A state agency must publish and make available to the public all of the following:
(a) Final orders or decisions in contested cases and the records on which they were made.
(b) Promulgated rules.
(c) Other written statements that implement or interpret laws, rules, or policy, including but not limited to guidelines, manuals, and forms with instructions, adopted or used by the agency in the discharge of its functions.
(2) Publications may be in electronic format or in pamphlet, loose-leaf, or other appropriate form in printed, mimeographed, or other written matter.
(3) Except to the extent that a person has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof, a person is not required to resort to, and shall not be adversely affected by, a matter required to be published and made available, if the matter is not so published and made available.
(4) This section does not apply to public records that are exempt from disclosure under section 13.
(5) A person may commence an action in the
court of claims circuit court or before the Commission to compel a state agency to comply with this section. If the court or Commission determines that the state agency has failed to comply, the court or Commission shall order the agency to comply and must award reasonable attorneys' fees, costs, and disbursements to the person commencing the action. The court of claims has exclusive jurisdiction to issue the order.
(6) If an attorney or law firm appeals a request filed by that attorney or law firm to a court or the Commission, and prevails as provided in subsection (5), that attorney or law firm shall be entitled to whatever fees and costs would be awarded if the attorney or law firm had represented a client in that appeal, including the attorneys’ fees that would have been awarded for such representation.
(6)(7) As used in this section, "state agency", "contested case", and "rule" mean "agency", "contested case", and "rule" as those terms are defined in the Administrative Procedures Act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.
The changes to this section are intended to empower the Commission to address issues regarding documents that must be published automatically.
- MCL § 15.241(5): This amendment empowers the Commission to hear FOIA disputes involving the state. It also makes clear that attorneys’ fees and costs are mandatory if a requestor prevails in an action against the state.
- MCL § 15.233(6): This amendment is similar to those above, and ensures that attorneys who represent themselves in FOIA action can obtain attorneys’ fees and costs.