October 3, 2023, 10:25 am
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General Information About Illinois Public Records and Laws
In Illinois, public records are defined and outlined by the state's laws, specifically the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Under the state's laws, public records include all letters, writings, forms, reports, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing records and other data produced by or during government actions or on part of citizens. Individuals have access to this information, to the extent outlined by law. There are some situations in which this information is not available, including situations where the data is sensitive or could harm others or government activities.
Types of Public Records
There are numerous types of Illinois public records. Individuals who are seeking information will find that some of this information available through third party providers, the local agencies or through online searches. Available information includes the following.

·         All procedural rulings, instructions for staff and other information except for information exempted by law
·         All final opinions and orders made as a part of court proceedings, expect in the way of students and employee grievances
·         Policy interpretations that are adopted by the public body
·         All factual reports and inspection documents
·         Reports and data from independent contractors working for the public
·         Vital statistic information, including birth and death certificates, burial records and marital documents
·         Property transfers, title changes, tax payments, liens and state leases
·         All names, salaries and dates of employment for employees or officers representing public bodies
·         Grant information and contracts made
·         Complaints and the results of such complaints from the Department of Children and Family Services
·         Most documents related to sports facilities and the Sports Facilities Authority
There are numerous exclusions. Exclusion, under Illinois public records, occurs when there is some reason why the public data is not made available. All data protected under Federal law remains off limits, data and records that would identify victims of crime is also protected. Criminal history records are open to the public except for arrest information and records data about the charges that could be applied.
Gathering This Data
In general, Illinois expects for departments that manage the public records individuals are seeking to provide this information as soon as is possible. However, this information is often only available during normal business hours of operation. It there are numerous agencies that provide records for the public's access, but accessing this information online may or may not be possible. The following agencies may also provide detailed information.
·         Accident reports are available through the Illinois State police, to the level allowable under law.
·         The attorney general provides information regarding the businesses and organizations in the state.
·         For vital statistics, the IL Department of Public Health manages these and it will include birth and death certificates.
·         Criminal records are managed through the IL State Police Bureau of Identification Civil Processing Unit.
Individuals who wish to obtain Illinois public records can often find the information need through reliable sources online. This information will need certified by the government department to ensure the data is acceptable.
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