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In The News

Friday, March 22, 2013

Michigan Legislators Looking To Exempt 911 Calls from Freedom of Information Act

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Josh Covert

In January Michigan legislators introduced a proposed bill (HB 4011) that would exempt 911 calls from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  FOIA allows citizens to request information from public bodies like police agencies.  FOIA is important for criminal defendants and their attorneys because it is often the only way to obtain certain information.  Currently 911 calls are not exempt and can be requested provided that the call does not fit into one of the well delineated exceptions.  If HB 4011 passes it will create another exception to FOIA.  According to the proposed bill 911 calls will only be released to the public if the person requesting the 911 call is the same person who made the call or it is either requested by a law enforcement agency or relevant to an investigation of a legal matter.

“It seems strange that the legislators would seek to remove a layer of transparency from the government and prevent citizens from obtaining information” says attorney Joshua M. Covert.  Covert continues “a well-informed public is critical to our form of government and legislators should broaden FIA and not restrict its reach.”   If you are charged with a crime where a 911 call is important call the Nichols Law Firm and speak with attorneys who understand FOIA and both its powers and limitations.  Call 517-432-9000. 

Link to the proposed bill:


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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.