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A Better Partnership
May 21, 2014

COA determines that the claims records of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association are not subject to disclosure

In Coalition Protecting Auto No-Fault v. Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, several groups had sought access to the MCCA's claims data pursuant to the state's Freedom of Information Act and other legal theories.  The Court of Appeals determined that these groups were not entitled to the information.  First, it concluded that there was an express statutory exception providing that these records were not subject to disclosure under FOIA.  The Court also concluded that this statutory exception did not violation the state constitution because: (1) it did not violate the requirement that amendments to statutes require the re-enactment of amended statute as the exception did not revise, alter or amend FOIA because FOIA itself allowed for the creation of statutory exceptions; and (2) it did not violate the Title-Object clause of the constitution that prohibits the body of a statute to exceed the scope of its title because the title indicated that the act defined the rights, powers and immunities of associations in the insurance business, and this statutory FOIA exception was such an immunity.  Finally, the Court concluded that there was no common law right to these records as the legislature's enactment of FOIA clearly preempted any such common law right.

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