FOIA Procedure Summary

Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), records in possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon written request. Pursuant to Section 2 ( c ) of the Act, a public record is any records, reports, forms, data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other documentary characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used, received, in possession of or under the control of any public body

Some records are, however, not available for disclosure through the FOIA process. These items are specifically outlined in the Act in Section 7 ( 1 ) ( a ) thru ( y ) and Section 7.5 (Statutory Exemptions). Some FOIA disclosures may also be restricted by confidentiality provisions imposed by other state and federal statutes. The FOIA process does not supersede applicable statutory or judicial mandates concerning confidentiality, proprietary business/ trade matters, clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy matters, etc.

For specific information related to the  Illinois Freedom of Information Act you may read the entire statute on the Illinois Attorney General's website.

FOIA Officer for the Village of St. Joseph

Joseph Hackney
Village Administrator
(217) 469.7371

FOIA Request Procedure

All requests for public records must be made in writing, preferably on a Village FOIA form. If a requester is unable to obtain one of these forms, the Village will accept any legible written request, provided that the request is clearly and concisely stated.

The requestor shall provide the following information in their request for public records:

  • Full Name of Requestor
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Description of the Documents Being Sought
  • Specify Whether the Requestor Will be Inspecting the Documents or if They Want Copies
  • Specify if the Requestor Wants the Records to be Certified

When possible, the requestor should:

  • Identify the Type of Record
  • Identify the Approximate Date of the Record
  • Department Where the Record may be Located

If the request is for Commercial Purposes, the requestor must disclose that fact to the Village at the time the request is made. It is a violation of the Act to knowingly obtain a record for a commercial purpose without such consent.

Procedures for Providing Records to Requestors

Generally, public records will be made available for inspection at the Village Municipal Building, located at 207 East Lincoln Street, St. Joseph, Illinois 61873 during the hours of 7:00 am to 12:30 and 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 

During any inspection of records, a requestor shall be prohibited from bringing bags, brief cases or other containers into the designated inspection room. Documents that the requestor wishes to have copied shall be segregated during the inspection process. An employee of the Village shall be present during the inspection and will perform all copying at the conclusion of the inspection. Copies of public records shall be provided to the requestor only upon receipt of payment of any charges due.

Charges for copies of public records shall be assessed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/6). Charges may be waived in any other case where the FOIA Officer, or the designee, determines that the waiver serves the public interest, pursuant to Section 6 of the Act.