Freedom of Information (F.O.I.) Section
The Freedom of Information Section was created on July 1, 2001. On December 26, 2001, Executive Order No. 15 was issued; which, as required by the Michigan Freedom of Information Act:
- Designates the supervisor of the section as the City of Detroit Freedom of Information Act coordinator.
- Directs the section to process all Freedom of Information Act requests that are received by the City of Detroit.
- Authorizes the section to assess and collect all labor and copying costs.
Pursuant to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act and Executive Order No. 15, the section processes all Freedom of Information Act requests received by City officials, appointees, employees, departments, and agencies, with the exception of the Housing Commission.
- Provides oral legal advice to City clients regarding the requests
- Defends lawsuits that arise from the requests
- Provides written legal opinions and memoranda in response to clients' inquiries regarding the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.
- Gives presentations to the clients regarding the process.
The Municipal Section provides legal advice to the Mayor, the City Council, the City Clerk, and City departments, authorities, boards and commissions on legal issues that accompany the operation of the City government. Such advice includes interpreting the Michigan Home Rules Cities Act, the 1997 Detroit City Charter, and the 1984 Detroit City Code. Significantly, the section provides legal representation to the Board of Ethics, the Cable Commission, the City Council, the Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority, the Election Commission, the Human Rights Commission, and the Northwest Activities Center.
The section is responsible for researching and drafting written legal opinions and memoranda, as well as for drafting City ordinances and for reviewing proposed City ordinances that are drafted by other City departments and agencies. In addition, the section processes subpoenas for City officials, appointees, employees, departments and agencies where the City or its officials, appointees or employees are not parties in the case. Moreover, the section handles any litigation that arises from subpoenas, such as show-cause hearings, motions to quash, and motions for protective orders. In a like manner, the section handles grand jury subpoenas as well as investigative subpoenas. The section also defends litigation that arises from the Michigan Open Meetings Act and Michigan Election Law, and files litigation under the Michigan Public Heath Code to commit individuals to be treated for communicable diseases. Lastly, the Section prosecutes administrative hearings concerning denial, suspension, and revocation of City-issued business licenses.
The Contracts Section is responsible for providing legal advice and opinions to the Mayor, the City Council, the City Clerk, department directors, and agency heads regarding contracts and contract-related issues. The section reviews and drafts pre-bid documents; and reviews, drafts, negotiates and approves contracts that involve the City of Detroit. The section is also responsible for representing the Board of Water Commissioners. In addition, the section reviews and approves surety bonds and certificates of insurance related to the issuing permits and licenses. Moreover, the section is responsible for reviewing and drafting documents related to municipal bond transactions, including the corporation counsel's opinion letters and, litigation summaries for the official statement in a bond offering. Finally the section investigates and resolves contract claims.