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MI Prisoner’s FOIA Suit Dismissed for Lack of Injury by Delay

David Lakin, a Michigan state prisoner, filed suit in state court against the Department of Corrections (DOC) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Mich. Comp. Laws § 15.231, et seq. (Mich. Stat. Ann. § 4.1801(1), et seq.), when the DOC failed to respond to his request for records in a timely manner. After the suit was filed, but before the DOC was served, the DOC responded to Lakin’s records request. The trial court dismissed the case and Lakin appealed.

The Court of Appeals of Michigan found that the DOC had violated its duty under the FOIA to respond within the prescribed amount of time. However, the appellate court held that Lakin suffered no injury by the delay, and therefore couldn’t prevail under the statute. As he didn’t prevail, he was not entitled to attorney’s fees. The lower court’s order of dismissal was affirmed. See: Lakin v. MI DOC, MI Court of Appeals, 1998 WL 1989913.

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Related legal case

Lakin v. MI DOC