Sen. Daniel Biss

Filed: 4/11/2013





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 1514, AS AMENDED,
3by replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 5. The Freedom of Information Act is amended by
6changing Section 11 as follows:
7    (5 ILCS 140/11)  (from Ch. 116, par. 211)
8    Sec. 11. (a) Any person denied access to inspect or copy
9any public record by a public body may file suit for injunctive
10or declaratory relief.
11    (b) Where the denial is from a public body of the State,
12suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
13public body has its principal office or where the person denied
14access resides.
15    (c) Where the denial is from a municipality or other public
16body, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Section,



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1suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county where the
2public body is located.
3    (d) The circuit court shall have the jurisdiction to enjoin
4the public body from withholding public records and to order
5the production of any public records improperly withheld from
6the person seeking access. If the public body can show that
7exceptional circumstances exist, and that the body is
8exercising due diligence in responding to the request, the
9court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency additional
10time to complete its review of the records.
11    (e) On motion of the plaintiff, prior to or after in camera
12inspection, the court shall order the public body to provide an
13index of the records to which access has been denied. The index
14shall include the following:
15        (i) A description of the nature or contents of each
16    document withheld, or each deletion from a released
17    document, provided, however, that the public body shall not
18    be required to disclose the information which it asserts is
19    exempt; and
20        (ii) A statement of the exemption or exemptions claimed
21    for each such deletion or withheld document.
22    (f) In any action considered by the court, the court shall
23consider the matter de novo, and shall conduct such in camera
24examination of the requested records as it finds appropriate to
25determine if such records or any part thereof may be withheld
26under any provision of this Act. The burden shall be on the



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1public body to establish that its refusal to permit public
2inspection or copying is in accordance with the provisions of
3this Act. Any public body that asserts that a record is exempt
4from disclosure has the burden of proving that it is exempt by
5clear and convincing evidence.
6    (g) In the event of noncompliance with an order of the
7court to disclose, the court may enforce its order against any
8public official or employee so ordered or primarily responsible
9for such noncompliance through the court's contempt powers.
10    (h) Except as to causes the court considers to be of
11greater importance, proceedings arising under this Section
12shall take precedence on the docket over all other causes and
13be assigned for hearing and trial at the earliest practicable
14date and expedited in every way.
15    (i) If a person seeking the right to inspect or receive a
16copy of a public record prevails in a proceeding under this
17Section, the court shall award such person reasonable
18attorneys' fees and costs. In determining what amount of
19attorney's fees is reasonable, the court shall consider the
20degree to which the relief obtained relates to the relief
21sought. The changes contained in this subsection apply to an
22action filed on or after the effective date of this amendatory
23Act of the 96th General Assembly.
24    For the purposes of this subsection, a requester prevails
25if he or she obtains relief through (i) a voluntary or
26unilateral change in position by the public body after suit has



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1been filed, unless the public body can demonstrate that its
2voluntary or unilateral change was not caused by the filing of
3litigation under this Section, (ii) an enforceable written
4agreement or consent decree, or (iii) a judicial order.
5    (j) If the court determines that a public body willfully
6and intentionally failed to comply with this Act, or otherwise
7acted in bad faith, the court shall also impose upon the public
8body a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than
9$5,000 for each occurrence. In assessing the civil penalty, the
10court shall consider in aggravation or mitigation the budget of
11the public body and whether the public body has previously been
12assessed penalties for violations of this Act. The changes
13contained in this subsection apply to an action filed on or
14after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th
15General Assembly.
16(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12.)
17    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
18becoming law.".