The Georgia Constitution provides that “[p]ublic officers are the trustees and servants of the people and are at all times amenable to them” a provision now referenced in the statutory purpose section of the Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71, that Georgia’s chief justice famously called “no empty phrase, but an obligation that is enforceable in a court of law.” Davis v. City of Macon, 262 Ga. 407, 419 S.E.2d 483 (1992) (Weltner, C.J., concurring).
Within five business days of receiving a FOIA request, MCL 15.235(2) requires the public body to do one of the following: (a) grant the request; (b) issue a written notice denying the request; (c) grant the request in part and issue a written notice denying the request in part; or (d) issue a notice extending the time to respond to the request for not more than ten business days. Id. The public body may not issue more than one notice of extension for a particular request. MCL 15.235(2)(d). If the public body issues a notice extending the period of time to respond, it must specify the reasons for the extension and the date by which the public body will respond. MCL 15.235(7). In addition, the public body and the requestor may agree in writing to a different response time. MCL 15.235(2).
Failure to respond to the request pursuant to MCL 15.235(2) within five business days constitutes a final determination to deny a request if either: (a) the failure was willful and intentional; or (2) the request included language conveying a request for information within the first 250 words of the correspondence, or the envelope or subject line specifically included words such as “FOIA” or “freedom of information.” Id.
“A written request should identify or describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to enable the agency to ascertain which records are being requested.” 65 Pa. Con. Stat. § 67.703. The requester must identify a “discrete” group of documents either by type or recipient. SeeOffice of the D.A. v. Bagwell, 155 A.3d 1119, 1143 (Pa. Cmmw. 2017), reconsideration denied (Apr. 12, 2017), appeal denied sub nom.Office of D.A. v. Bagwell, 174 A.3d 560 (Pa. 2017) (finding that a request for “all e-mails, memos and letters” exchanged between a district attorney and city office during a 15-month period was sufficiently specific).