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Case Law Update: Freedom of Information of Act

Day v. City of Chicago, No. 1-08-1164 (2-9-09) is an Illinois decision that found that when the trial court erred when it granted 2-619 motion to dismiss FOIA request by plaintiff, who had been convicted of murder based on confession given to police officers, requesting general case and arrest reports from police station where he was interrogated; because City’s affidavit that redacted portions of the documents are exempt because they involve ongoing murder investigation, are conclusory; and trial court failed to conduct in camera review of the portions which the City claims are exempt. Further, the trial court must give the plaintiff an opportunity to explore his argument that the City waived the personal information exemption to the FOIA by giving defendant the arrest records in the context of his criminal trial. In addition, the affidavits are too conclusory for court to determine that some documents satisfy the deliberative process exemption without the court first examining them in camera. This case will affect discovery methods in Illinois.