Though the state FOIA does not expressly define electronic messages as public records, two cases holding that tape recordings and computer records were subject to the law strongly suggest that most electronic messages would fall under the law. Payne v. Grand Rapids Police Chief, 178 Mich. App. 193, 443 N.W.2d 481 (1989); Farrell v. City of Detroit, 209 Mich. App. 7, 530 N.W.2d 105 (1995).
Specifically, government text messages were found to be public in recent cases, Flagg v. City of Detroit, 252 FRD 345, 356, 360 (E.D. Mich. 2008), and the high-profile cases People v. Kilpatrick, No. 08-10496, and Detroit Free Press v. City of Detroit, No. 08-100214-cz, in which hundreds of text messages of the former mayor of the city of Detroit were considered public records.