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 Article of Interest - Court Decisions

Court: High School Athletic Group Not a Public Body
Gongwer News Service, March 7, 2003
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The Michigan High School Athletic Association is not a public body and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, a divided Court of Appeals panel ruled Friday.

Judge Pat Donofrio, joined by Judge David Sawyer, held (in Breighner v. Michigan High School Athletic Association, COA docket No. 243618) that by any of several tests the body which oversees high school sports is not required to release information when requested.

The court ruled the association was not a public body because it was not created by the state or local governments and was not required of schools to join, although the vast majority of school districts in the state do join it.

Dissenting Judge Kathleen Jansen said the organization was a de facto public body because schools operate tournaments and league games under its rules and collect funds from the public which make up the bulk of its funding.

The case revolved around parents who sued the association for information of athletic rules after their son was ruled ineligible to compete on his high school ski team.

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