In Hosey v. City of Joliet, No. 17-MR-1334 (Will County), Plaintiff Joseph Hosey, a reporter, submitted a request to the City of Joliet under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for copies of videotaped interrogations of four criminal defendants involved in a 2013 double homicide. The City denied his request, and the Illinois Attorney General made a non-binding determination that Hosey was entitled to the videos. When the City again declined to disclose the videos, Hosey sued under Section 11 of FOIA seeking to compel their disclosure. Hosey argued that the videotaped interrogations were shown in open court during the criminal proceedings and thus were no longer private or otherwise confidential. The City moved for summary judgment, citing various exceptions under FOIA which prohibit or limit the videos’ disclosure.
Will County Circuit Court Judge John Anderson agreed with the City that Section 103-2.1(g) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 725 ILCS 5/103-2.1(g), prevented the City from disclosing the videos in their entirety. This section prohibits the release of recorded interrogations made by an accused during a custodial interrogation even if requested under FOIA. The Court found that the plain, broad language of this section applied here to prevent the City from disclosing the videotaped interrogations even after the criminal defendants had been convicted and the videos had been shown in open court. The Court thus granted the City summary judgment. Mike Bersani and Yordana Wysocki represented the City.