WRITTEN PUBLIC SUMMARY
DEARBORN HEIGHTS SCHOOL DISTRICT NO.7 AND MICHIGAN'S FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
As a public institution in the state of Michigan, Dearborn Heights School District No.7 is subject to provisions of the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Under the FOIA, "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...." Consequently, any individual other than a federal, state or county prisoner has the right to inspect and/or receive copies of public records maintained by the District.
WHAT IS A PUBLIC RECORD?
The FOIA defines a public record as a "writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created."
The law defines a "writing" as "handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostatting, photographing, photocopying, and every other means of recording, and includes letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films or prints, microfilm, microfiche, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, or other means of recording or retaining meaningful content." E-mail messages are considered public records under the FOIA if they deal with official District business. A person's correspondence requesting information under the FOIA is also considered a public Record. However, the law specifically excludes computer software from the definition of public record.
Please note that the District is not required to make a compilation, summary or report of information, or to create a new public record.
HOW TO FILE A FOIA REQUEST WITH THE DISTRICT
The superintendent's office and/or their designee is responsible for handling all FOIA requests. Written FOIA requests should be sent to the attention of District FOIA Coordinator Claudia Portscheller, Dearborn Heights School District No.7, 20629 Annapolis Street, Dearborn Heights, MI, 48125. Requests can also be faxed to the office at 313.278.1413 or e-mailed to [email protected].
The District has prepared a FOIA request form, which is available through the superintendent's office and may be used to submit requests. If that form is not used, the following is recommended when making a request:
- Please specify with as much detail as possible the records you wish to inspect and/or receive copies of. For example, if applicable, please include the time period involved and the department where the documents may be located, if you know it.
- Please include your mailing address and daytime phone number, as well as an e-mail address and fax number, if applicable.
CAN SOME RECORDS BE WITHHELD?
HOW MUCH TIME DOES THE DISTRICT HAVE TO RESPOND?
FEES FOR PROVIDING DOCUMENTS
CAN I INSPECT A PUBLIC RECORD IN PERSON?
WHAT RECOURSE DO I HAVE IF THE RESPONSE IS UNTIMELY, THE FEE IS EXCESSIVE OR I AM DENIED INFORMATION?