Royal Oak, MI asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Michigan

Q: Can police personnel files be exempt from a FOIA request? I requested a officers personnel file and was denied.

MCL 15.243 sec 13 (1 ,s, ix) was used as reason for denial.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: It is possible for police personnel files to be exempt from a FOIA request depending on the specific laws and regulations of the state in question. In Michigan, MCL 15.243 sec 13 (1 ,s, ix) allows for exemption of certain information from public disclosure, including "[p]ersonnel records of law enforcement officers, including but not limited to, disciplinary reports, letters of reprimand, and personnel evaluations." Therefore, it is possible that the officer's personnel file could be exempt from disclosure under this provision. However, it is best to consult with an attorney familiar with Michigan FOIA laws to determine if there are any exceptions or if there is a legal basis to challenge the denial of the request.

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