Jackson MI, Civic Address Data

Nick Ingalls filed this request with the Open Records of Jackson County, MI.

It is a clone of this request.

Est. Completion None
Awaiting Appeal


From: Nick Ingalls

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Michigan's Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), I hereby request the following records:

A Shapefile or CSV containing at minimum the Address Points (house # and street name) and their corresponding Latitude/Longitude. If additional data such as the Unit Number, City, Zipcode, Parcel Id exists they should be included as well.

If this cannot be accessed, the parcel file including situs address would suffice.

Other names for this include: E911 Address Database, Civic Address File, Parcel Dataset, Land Ownership Dataset, Tax Parcels, Address Points.

I also intent to publish the data via the OpenAddresses Publication platform and would request a waiver of fees for the request.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Nick Ingalls

From: Open Records

Mr. Ingalls,

Please see the attached response to your Freedom of Information Act request.

Joni Johnson
Deputy Director - Human Resources
Jackson County
120 W. Michigan Ave.
Jackson, MI 49201
FAX: 517-788-4404

From: Nick Ingalls

For: Chairman James E. Shotwell, Jr.,
Care of: Joni Johnson, Human Resources Deputy Director

Subject: APPEAL rejection of FOIA request for Civic Addresses due to Excessive Fees

Per MCL 15.240 Sec 10 (1)(a) I am appealing the decision made on 12/08/2017 to deny me the requested records until full payment was made.

On 12/08/2016, Joni Jackson notified me that in order to complete my request I would be required to pay the sum of fifteen thousand dollars before the request could proceed and that this fee schedule was determined by the council
under MCL 15.443 Enhanced Access to Public Records Act.

Per MCL 15.443 Sec 3 (1)(c) the county may:
> Charge a reasonable fee established by the public body's governing body for providing access to either of the following:
> (i) A geographical information system.
> (ii) The output from a geographical information system.

In my case I am requesting (ii) The output from a geographical information system.

Unfortunately $15000 is far above the allowances the act makes for charging a "reasonable fee" for the following reasons:

- The fee places the records out of the ability of any individual, only letting companies access a public record. The Michigan Freedom of Information act was created to give the general public access to records they would otherwise not be able to access. As it stands only a company would have the assets to be able to purchase the file.

I will refer to an excellent study done by The Atlantic [1], to have the disposable income to purchase this file I would have to make well over 100k a year just to have the ability to spend that vast majority of earnings for a given year for the records.

- The fee is well above the current market value for similar data from different counties. 3 counties within MI have released the data to me with no charge what-so-ever. More have released data at duplication cost - namely $25 to $50. Commercial fees for the data typically range from $100 to $125 per county.

As such I would ask that you grant me access to the records for a "reasonable fee" as charged for similar data.

As allowed under MCL 15.240 Sec 10 (2) I look forward to a response within 10 business days.


[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/very-sad-graph-how-much-americans-have-left-to-spend-after-essentials-today/260606/