Molly’s Law

A new law entitled “Molly’s Law” aims to strengthen Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act and also amends the timeframe in which wrongful death lawsuits can be filed. The law is named after Molly Young, a southern Illinois woman who died of a fatal gunshot wound to the head in the apartment of her boyfriend, a Carbondale police dispatcher at the time, in 2012. Since her death, the question of whether the shooting was a suicide or homicide has remained.

The law provides harsher punishments for municipalities and organizations that willfully and intentionally fail to comply with Court orders to release information through the FOIA. The violation fine is increased to $10,000, plus $1,000 for each day the information is withheld.

Proposed in February 2016 and unanimously passed through the House in April, Molly’s Law was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner this month and goes into effect on January 1, 2017.