In the words of none other than Richard Nixon, “When information which properly belongs to the public is systematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and eventually incapable of determining their own destinies.”  We’d like to think of those words as a warning, but too often government officials apparently see them as a playbook.

Loevy & Loevy is highly experienced in litigating Freedom of Information suits in Illinois and around the country.  We have litigated against many federal agencies (including the FBI, CIA, State Department, FCC, Homeland Security, and others), the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Cook County, the Cook County State’s Attorney, and many other municipalities and other units of government at all levels.

Some of our victories include:

  • Forced Chicago Police Department to release Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson III shooting videos
  • Forced the offices of both the Mayor of the City of Chicago and the Governor of the State of Illinois to release so-called “private” emails related to public business
  • Forced FBI to release records about a corrupt CPD officer who had testified against our client in his criminal case, ultimately assisting our client in obtaining his exoneration
  • Forced the release of video played at trial through First Amendment right of access to court records
  • Forced Chicago Police Department, Chicago Public Schools, and other public bodies to address widespread problems with untimely FOIA responses
  • Forced Village of Rosemont to release financial terms of its entertainment venue leases and defeated argument that home-rule units of local government can create new bases to withhold records under local ordinances
  • Forced Chicago Transit Authority to release extensive records regarding the Ventra bidding process
  • Established favorable law at the Illinois Supreme Court on access to records when government privatizes its functions
  • Established favorable law on use of records obtained under FOIA to pursue False Claims Act cases on behalf of defrauded units of government
  • Forced Chicago Police Department to release years of records showing allegations of misconduct by officers (commonly known as “CR files”)
  • Forced Chicago Police Department to release records showing acquisition and use of “stingray” surveillance equipment
  • Forced a Cook County municipality to produce years of emails, and forced Chicago Police Department to release years of files from fatal officer involved shootings, after waiving the “undue burden” exemption through failure to respond to the applicable FOIA request
  • Overturned an Attorney General opinion that allowed a public body to lock an electronic document based on a “fear of manipulation”
  • Forced Chicago Police Department to conduct more thorough searches for records relevant to potential exoneration claims by people who may have been wrongfully convicted
  • Forced release of state grand jury subpoena over the objection of the Cook County State’s Attorney
  • Reached long-term settlement agreement to resolve question of whether individuals using public records on social media qualified as news media for FOIA purposes
  • Forced public pension plan to release gift and perk information
  • Forced school district to produce settlement agreement wrongfully withheld on the basis of confidentiality provision

Click here to access our Guide to the Illinois FOIA.

Loevy Blog

Topic: Police Misconduct

10 AM Today – Hearing to Determine if All Harith “Snoop” Augustus Videos Should be Released

City is Defying FOIA Law by Refusing to Release Videos This morning a Cook County judge will hold a hearing to determine if the Chicago Police Department should be forced under the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act to release all videos surrounding the controversial July 14th police killing of South Shore barber Harith “Snoop” Augustus,… Read More

Family of Unarmed Black Man, Beaten & Shot in the Back by Police, Sues for Justice

Video poking holes in the police version of events is available here. WICHITA, KS, 8/9/2018 – The family of 24-year-old Matthew Holmes, beaten and shot to death last August by a county sheriff’s deputy, and then beaten further while he lay dying, sued the McPherson and Harvey County, Kansas Sheriff’s Departments, City of Newton, and… Read More