In June 2020, the Mackinac Center filed a public records request with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs concerning businesses that allegedly violated the governor's executive orders related to COVID-19. For more than five months, LARA sent nothing, despite having been paid for the time the department said it would take to compile the information. LARA promptly released the information after this lawsuit was filed and the case was settled in November.
On June 5, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a public records request in accordance with Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The request was simple: the Mackinac Center asked for copies of any cease-and-desist letters sent to businesses for violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency executive orders and copies of complaints filed with the state concerning businesses violating the orders.
The estimated cost provided by LARA for the request was $1,327.64. The Center paid this amount, and the department acknowledged payment on July 7.
For five months, LARA failed to produce the records requested. In November, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed suit against the department, which correspondingly released the records and settled the case, with the final fees for the documents being waived.