Freedom of Information Act Request Letters

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Letters to request information pursuant to rights granted by the Freedom of Information Act from any department, agency or bureau of the the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government.

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The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request and obtain documents from any agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government (any document except those that are exempted by statute such as classified documents). This packet is designed to help you successfully request those documents and give you information about your rights.

This packet contains i) a checklist, ii) information and iii) two letters (one is if you are requesting information that is not specific to your or any other person, the second if you are requesting information that is personal to you).

This package contains: (1) Instructions and Checklist for the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) Request Letters; (2) Information about the FOIA Request Letters; and (3) The 2 Request Letters
Number of Pages4
DimensionsDesigned for Letter Size (8.5" x 11")
EditableYes (.doc, .wpd and .rtf)
UsageUnlimited number of prints
Product number#21854
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.












Freedom of Information Act
Request Letter












This Packet Includes:
1. Instructions & Checklist
2. General Information
3. Freedom of Information Act Request Letter






Instructions & Checklist
 Freedom of Information Act Request Letter

   Two Letters have been included in this packet. Use Letter 1 if you are requesting information that is not personally related to you or another.  For example, a committee or agency report.  Use Letter 2 if you are requesting information that is personal to you (e.g. records regarding you).

   Be sure to label the left lower corner of your envelope “FOIA REQUEST.”  This will help ensure that it gets to the right place.

   Insert all requested information in the spaces provided on the form.  Bracketed, italicized instructions have been inserted in the Letters to help guide you.  Erase these instructions before printing your final version.

   These forms are not intended and are not a substitute for legal advice. The purchase and use of these forms is subject to the “Disclaimers and Terms of Use” found at www.findlegalforms.com









General Information
Freedom of Information Act Request Letter


The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request and obtain documents from any agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government (any document except those that are exempted by statute such as classified documents). This packet is designed to help you successfully request those documents and give you information about your rights.  This packet contains two letters:  one is if you are requesting information that is not specific to you or any other person; the second if you are requesting information that is personal to you.  Choose the letter that is appropriate for your situation.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)  Its my right?

Yes.  Under title 5 of the United States Code section 552, you have the right to request and obtain most documents from the executive branch of the federal government.  However, you dont have the right to documents that have been specifically exempted from this provision (e.g. classified documents).

If you would like more information, check out the following website at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/T?&report=hr172&dbname=cp108&

2)  Where do I send it?
   
Your request will be handled quickest if you send it to the right agency or bureau in the Executive Branch (e.g. Department of Interior, HUD, etc.).  Once you have figured out the agency, you need to find that agencys address.  Your public library or the Internet are great resources to find the appropriate address.  You should also address the letter to the agencies “FOIA Officer.”  This will help it get to the right person.

3)  How long do they have to respond?

By statute, the agency has twenty (20) business days to respond to your request.
 








4)  Which letter do I use?

This packet contains two letters.  Use Letter 1 if you are requesting information that is not personally related to you or another.  For example, a committee or agency report.  Use Letter 2 if you are requesting information that is personal to you (e.g. records specifically concerning you).





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[Request Letter 1]
                        Your Name
                        Your mailing address

                        Insert Date

FOIA Officer
Insert Address
of the Agency or Bureau


RE:  FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Dear Sir or Madam:  

Pursuant to the rights granted under the Freedom of Information Act, Title 5 of the United State Code section 552 (“FOIA”), I hereby request the following information:

[Insert a description of the item or items that you are requesting.  Be as specific as possible, providing names, dates, titles, subjects, etc.  The more specific you are, the more likely that you request will be handled promptly and correctly. If you want court case records, you will need to provide the title of the case.]

I agree to pay processing fees for this request up to $____________ [Under the statute, if you make a request, you are considered to have agreed to pay all applicable fees to process your request up to $25.00.  You can agree to pay more or you can seek a waiver of fees.]  

If you need additional information to locate the requested items, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address [Option: you can also include your phone number].  Also, I ask that if for any reason you deny my request or withhold certain information, that you i) provide a list of the denied or withheld materials, ii) justify these deletions and withholdings by referencing specific exemption in the FOIA, and iii) release all parts of the withheld material that are not exempt and can be released under the FOIA.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.


                     Respectfully Yours,


                     Your Name




[Request Letter 2:  Personal Request]

                        Your Name
                        Your mailing address

                        Insert Date

FOIA Officer
Insert Address
of the Agency or Bureau


RE:  FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Dear Sir or Madam:  

Pursuant to the rights granted under the Freedom of Information Act, Title 5 of the United State Code section 552 (“FOIA”), I hereby request the following information:

[Insert a description of the item or items that you are requesting.  Be as specific as possible, providing names, dates, titles, subjects, etc.  The more specific you are, the more likely that you request will be handled promptly and correctly. If you want court case records, you will need to provide the title of the case.]

I agree to pay processing fees for this request up to $____________ [Under the statute, if you make a request, you are considered to have agreed to pay all applicable fees to process your request up to $25.00.  You can agree to pay more or you can seek a waiver of fees.]  

If you need additional information to locate the requested items, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above address [Option: you can also include your phone number].  Also, I ask that if for any reason you deny my request or withhold certain information, that you i) provide a list of the denied or withheld materials, ii) justify these deletions and withholdings by referencing specific exemption in the FOIA, and iii) release all parts of the withheld material that are not exempt and can be released under the FOIA.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.  Executed on [date].  [If you choose, instead of using this statement, you can have your signature notarized.]



                     _________________________
                     Your Name

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