Freedom of Information (FOIA) Form
How do I request a police or fire public record?
Requesting a police report or fire report under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be made through the mail, email, be faxed or requested in person. Details of the incident such as; names, dates, location of incident and incident number will be needed and helpful to identify the report.
As of October 2013, the Calhoun County Sheriff Office have been contracted to handle all police calls for service in the City of Springfield. Request for police reports may be made through the Springfield Department of Public Safety and will be forwarded to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office will handle your request per their FOIA Procedure and Guidelines.
NOTE: No request for police and fire public records will be processed from those who are incarcerated and serving a sentence.
Request by email: Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Request by mail: Send request to Springfield Department of Public Safety/Records, 601 Avenue A, Springfield MI 49037.
Request by fax: Fax request to (269)-969-2566.
Request in person: Visit the Springfield Department of Public Safety office, Monday – Thursday, 7:00 am – 5:30 pm. (Administration office is closed on Fridays)
What should I expect?
You will receive a response within five business days from the date our office received your request of one of the following:
- Granting your request
- Denying your request
- Extending our response to your request for not more than 10 business days
Are there fees associated with obtaining a public record?
There may fees associated with granting your request for a public record under FOIA. Those fees are calculated at a rate based on:
- The labor cost associated with searching for, locating and examining the public record.
- The labor cost associated with separating and deleting information exempt from disclosure under FOIA.
- The cost associated with duplicating the public record either onto non-paper physical media or paper.
- The labor cost associated with duplication the public record.
- The cost to mail or send the public record.
Should the good faith calculation of the cost of your request be more than $50.00, a deposit in the amount of 50% will be required. Once the deposit is received a non-binding best effort estimate of how long it will take to process the request will be given.
The first $20.00 of the FOIA fee may be waived if an affidavit is submitted stating that you are:
- Indigent and receiving specific public assistance; or
- If not receiving public assistance, stating facts demonstrating an inability to pay because of indigency.
You are eligible to receive the $20.00 waiver if you:
- You have previously received discounted copies of public records twice during a calendar year; or
- Are requesting information on behalf of other persons who are offering or providing payment to you to make the request.
How may I challenge the denial of a public record or an excessive fee?
If you believe that all or a portion of a public record has not been disclosed or has been improperly exempted from disclosure; you may file an appeal of the denial with the City Council. The appeal must be in writing, specifically state the word “appeal” and identify the reason or reasons you are seeking a reversal of the denial.
Within 10 business days of receiving the appeal the Mayor, on behalf of the City Council, will respond in writing by:
- Reversing the disclosure denial;
- Upholding the disclosure denial; or
- Reverse the disclosure denial in part and uphold the disclosure denial in part.
Whether or not you submitted an appeal of a denial to the City Council, you may file a civil action suit in Calhoun County Circuit Court within 180 days after the City’s final determination to deny your request.
If you believe that the fee charged for your request exceeded the amount permitted by state law, you must first submit a written appeal for a fee reduction to the City Council. The appeal must be in writing, specifically state the word “appeal” and identify how the required fee exceeds the amount permitted.
Within 10 business days after receiving the appeal, the Mayor, on behalf of the City Council, will respond in writing by:
- Waiving the fee;
- Reducing the fee and issue a written determination indicating the specific basis that supports the remaining fee;
- Upholding the fee and issue a written determination indicating the specific basis that supports the required fee; or
- Issue a notice detailing the reason or reasons for extending for not more than 10 business days the period during which the Mayor, on behalf of the City Council, will respond to the written appeal.
With 45 days after receiving notice of the City Council’s determination of the processing fee appeal, you may commence a civil action suit in Calhoun County Circuit Court for a fee reduction.
Need more detail or information?
This is only a summary of the City of Springfield’s FOIA Procedure and Guidelines. For more details and information, copies of the City of Springfield’s FOIA Procedure and Guidelines are available at no charge at any City office.
Visit the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office website at www.calhouncountymi.gov/government/sheriff for their FOIA Procedures.