Board of Commissioners

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) intends that all persons shall be informed about government affairs and official acts so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.

Under the provisions of FOIA and based on the principle of openness in government, Kent County and its departments will make information and records described as 'public records' available to all persons entitled to full and complete information to the greatest extent possible. Kent County may, however, withhold public records as permitted by certain exemptions and exclusions in the FOIA statute.

Kent County FOIA Coordinators may be able to help you identify the public records that contain the information you are seeking.

Written Request

You may submit a written request for public record(s) in the possession of the various departments of Kent County. Your request must sufficiently describe the requested public record with relevant details such as names, dates, and department retaining the records, so that the FOIA Coordinator is able to find the requested record within a reasonable amount of time and with a reasonable amount of effort.

Submitting a Request

Requests for records may be submitted by mail, fax, or hand delivery. Choose the appropriate department retaining the record, fill in the details of your request, and send it directly to the department as indicated on the form.

Public Records - Online Services

17th Circuit Court
17th Circuit Court Hearing Schedule Hearing schedules for a specific case can be accessed using a Party Last Name and either the Party First name or Date of hearing. Hearing schedules are provided for domestic relations, civil, criminal and family cases.
17th Circuit Court Name Search Court records can be searched; criminal cases go back to 1996 and civil cases date to 1987. Date of Birth is required for criminal cases.
Certified Vital Records
Business Name Search Search for businesses registerd in Kent County by either Business Name or Owner Last Name.
Death Records Searchable Death Records are limited to death certificates issued by Kent County.
Marriage Records Searchable Marriage Records are limited to marriage applications issued by Kent County.
Health Department
Restaurant Inspection Reports View Health Department inspection reports for food service establishments in Kent County.
Property & Deeds
Deeds Search & Document Retrieval Search and purchase documents on file with the Kent County Register of Deeds. Certified copies can also be ordered, and will be mailed.
Property / Parcel Lookup View delinquent tax status, sales history and tax description of a property in Kent County. Information is updated at the end of each annual assessment cycle.
Sheriff's Department
Accident Reports Retrieve accident reports by providing any two of the following: an incident number, last name of driver, or date of accident.
Inmate Lookup View information about currently incarcerated inmates, including visitiation hours.

Response Time

Your public records request will be processed within five (5) business days unless Kent County determines that a statutorily permitted ten (10) day extension is necessary. A written request submitted by facsimile is not received by a public body's FOIA coordinator until 1 business day after the electronic transmission is made.


At your written request, Kent County will allow you a reasonable opportunity to inspect non-exempt public records during normal business hours. A fee may be charged if it is necessary to assemble the public records, supervise the inspection of the records or to make a copy of a public record.

Potential Exemptions

The FOIA statute contains several permitted exemptions. The FOIA is intended to be a pro-disclosure statute; therefore exemptions are narrowly interpreted to permit disclosure if possible. If a requested document contains material that is exempt and other material that is nonexempt, the County may disclose the nonexempt material and delete the exempt material. Please review the FOIA statute to determine if the public records you are seeking may be exempt.


Kent County may require you to reimburse it for the expenses associated with a fulfilling FOIA request for public records. In case the fee exceeds $50, a deposit not exceeding 1/2 of the total fee may be required, and the County may refuse to process the request until the deposit is paid. Labor, photocopying, postage, and other charges related to the shipment of the documents will be charged as permitted by the FOIA.

Kent County may provide public records without any charge or at reduced charge if it is determined disclosure of the public record would primarily benefit the general public and that it is in the public interest to provide it without charge or at a reduced charge.

The first $20.00 of the total fee for requested records shall be waived if the requesting person submits an appropriate Affidavit of Indigence.

Appeal of Denial

If your public records request is denied you have the right of appeal that decision. A full description of your appeal rights will be provided to you if your request is denied. Additional information is provided in the Notice of Appeal.

Contact Us

Board of Commissioners

County Administration Building
300 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids MI 49503

(616) 632-7580

(616) 632-7585

Conni Mutchler
Executive Assistant to the Board

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