Michigan Public Record Laws


MCL (Michigan Compiled Laws) Sections 15.231 -15.246

Exemptions to Disclosure

The following records are exempt from disclosure:

  • Trade secrets
  • Information that would reveal the exact location of archaeological sites.

Access Rights

  • Any person
  • Reasonable opportunity for inspection and reasonable facilities for making memoranda or abstracts from records during usual business hours
  • May make reasonable rules to protect records and prevent excessive and unreasonable interference w/ discharge of entity’s functions
  • Copies furnished upon written request
  • If fee exceeds $50, may be required to pay no more than half of the total fee upfront as deposit
  • Search charge may be reduced or waived if custodian determines would be primarily in public interest
  • Must be written request
  • Response to request within 5 business days unless otherwise agreed to in writing; notice of denial, notice of denial in part, notice of extension for not more than 10 business days during which will respond – can’t extend response time more than once for any particular request
  • Written notice of denial must contain explanation of basis for denial under law, if the reason is based on law; certificate that record doesn’t exist, if that is the reason for denial; description of record or info on record that is separated or deleted, if record is separation or deletion is made prior to granting request; full explanation of requestor’s available remedies
  • If notice of extension, must give reasons for extension and date by which request will be granted in whole or in part, or denied
  • If separation is apparent, custodian must describe material exempted unless description would defeat purpose of exemption
  • Immediate access to certain records under the Enhanced Access to Public Records Act, w/ applicable fees

Destruction of Public Records

  • Head of agency must maintain retention/disposal schedule listing any record maintained by the agency
  • Secretary of State has supervisory authority over Michigan Historical Commission in examination of public records of Governor which have been certified as without administrative value [Op.Atty.Gen.1983, No. 6170, p. 156, 1983 WL 174712]
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