FOIA Advisor

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Q&A: records held by homeowner's association in Illinois

Q&A (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.  My question concerns paying for the first 50 pages on a FOIA request in Illinois.  I was told that the first 50 pages were free, but after that you pay 50 cents a page.  The records I am interested in are the meeting minutes of a homeowner's association.

A.   In Illinois, a FOIA requester is entitled to the first 50 pages free of charge.  Any additional pages can cost a maximum of 15 cents per page.  The records of a homeowner's association, however, are not subject to the Illinois FOIA because a homeowner's association is considered a private entity, not a "public body."  Fortunately, you may have the right to access the meeting minutes pursuant to other Illinois laws, which are discussed in the following article.  If you need legal advice or further information, you might wish to contact a real estate attorney or the Illinois Office of Attorney General.