Time line of events:
A) One guy filed a request for records
B) the agency acknowledged the request w/i 4 business days, saying that they will work on it
C) agency complained it was too complex
D) guy agreed to amend the request [now the commission considered it a NEW request]
- guy understood that it would take a long time to complete the request
E) two months go by and the guy calls to see where records are
F) agency says that they are still working on it
G) guy filed FOI appeal
F) Yesterday, the FOI Commission made a final decision that they had no jurisdiction in the case
Why? Because the guy was nice enough to wait 30 days after the amended request w/o filing a complaint or harassing the agency.
The reasoning explained is that once you file a request, every day that they do not provide you with access to the records is a day of denial. And you must file your appeal within 30 days of a denial. Any day of denial, unless you renew the request[as this would be a new request]. The four business day requirement? Irrelevant -- the next day, if they do not provide the record requested is a denial and every day after that is a separate denial.
How to avoid this pratfall with lengthy requests? Simple, when you feel that the agency is not prompt for a request filed awhile ago, simply re-file the request and the next day file an appeal with the FOI Commission.
Or just file an appeal the day after you file the request for records initially.
Last edited by davidmcbeth; 02-05-2015 at 04:21 PM.