An interesting e-mail FOIA in Michigan

The Detroit News is reporting on a situation where a county court employee used her court e-mail privileges to conduct school board business.

The newspaper had to file two Michigan FOIA requests to obtain the e-mail records, which show that the employee spent enough time doing school board business while working for the court that she managed to irk several people.

An interesting feature of this case is that when the Detroit News initially filed their request with the court, it was rejected on the claimed grounds that judiciary branch employees are exempt from the state’s FOIA law.

So, the newspaper simply filed their request with “the county’s Information Technology Department, which controls the computer system” and got the e-mails that way.

Persistence and creativity can pay when you hit a wall in the FOIA process.

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