State Supreme Court Orders Arguments in FOIA Case Involving Schuette

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether state government can claim immunity as a defense for disclosing public records. The case involves former Attorney General Bill Schuette’s refusal to conduct a search to see if his office sent emails involving public business using private email accounts.

The court ordered the arguments in Progress Michigan v. Attorney General (SC docket No.158150-1) in the case that has been ongoing for several years.The court directed the two sides to address whether the state can argue it has either a sovereign or governmental immunity defense that would cover not releasing public records, and whether the FOIA waives such an immunity.

The Court of Claims had rejected Schuette’s argument that he had immunity, but the Court of Appeals held the filing was invalid from the beginning and found for Schuette. No date was set for the arguments before the Supreme Court.

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