Quick Answer: Can You FOIA Emails?

How long does it take to get FOIA information?

Processing times for Form G-639 and other USCIS FOIA requests can vary significantly based on the nature of the request.

Simple requests for specific documents may only take 4 to 12 weeks.

However, more complex requests and requests for entire immigration files can take approximately 6 months..

Can personal cell phones be FOIA?

UPDATE: Both a circuit court and appellate court upheld the PAC ruling that the cell phone records were releasable under FOIA.

What kinds of records are listed in the FOIA as available via Web access that do not require a FOIA request?

Physical records of any description can be requested under FOIA. Traditional typed documents, as well as maps, diagrams, charts, index cards, printouts and other kinds of paper records can be requested. Moreover, access under FOIA is not restricted to information recorded on paper.

Can emails be requested under FOIA?

Most federal agencies now accept FOIA requests electronically, including by web form, e-mail or fax. See the list of federal agencies for details about how to make a request to each agency and any specific requirements for seeking certain records.

What are the 9 exemptions to a FOIA request?

FOIA ExemptionsExemption 1. Protects information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.Exemption 2. Protects records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.Exemption 3. … Exemption 4. … Exemption 5. … Exemption 6. … Exemption 7. … Exemption 8.More items…•

What is a FOIA record?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

How do I give myself a FOIA?

FOIA Yourself Since this is a request for information about yourself, it is also a Privacy Act request, which means you must provide evidence that you are who you say you are. To do that, download and fill out this Certification of Identity. On the outside of the envelope, write: FOIA/PA Request.

What is a FOIA lawsuit?

The FOIA provides that a requester may file a FOIA lawsuit in the federal district court where the requester lives or works or in the district where the records are located (i.e., the agency office that has the records), or in the district court in Washington, DC.

Does FBI have a file on me?

An FBI file is a record of information pertaining to arrests, investigations, federal employment, naturalization, or military service. The FBI does not keep a file on everyone, but some people may have a file if they have been a victim in a case or an authorized third party has requested information about them.

When can a FOIA be denied?

When information is withheld, whether partially or fully, this constitutes a denial under FOIA. If your request is partially denied, you will receive a document in which the information that is exempted from disclosure has been redacted. A request may be denied for one or more of the aforementioned exemptions.

What is the normal period an agency has to fill a FOIA request?

Technically, government organizations must respond to a FOIA request with a denial or grant of access within 20 business days. Note that the agency must only respond within 20 days; it does not have to deliver the records within the 20-day time period.

Can a FOIA request be anonymous?

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are not confidential. Once a FOIA request is received, it becomes a public record of the USGS. If the request contains personally identifying information or the request is deemed “sensitive,” we may redact information under FOIA Exemption 6 (personal privacy).

What happens if a FOIA request is ignored?

Filing a Lawsuit If your request is denied, and your internal appeal does not reverse this decision, you may sue the agency in the United State District Court in your state of residence, in the state where the records are located, or in the District of Columbia.

What can I request FOIA?

Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school.

Why is FOIA important?

FOIA plays an important role in keeping government transparent and accountable, and has been used to expose a wide range of government misconduct and waste, along with threats to the public’s health and safety. While FOIA is intended to increase transparency, it doesn’t provide access to all government documents.

How do I write a public record request?

ProceduresBegin by drafting a public records request. … Contact the public body from which you seek records. … Find the FOI liaison. … Review your request and submit your request following the FOI liaison’s instructions.Stay in communication with the FOI liaison.More items…

How much does it cost to file a FOIA request?

Search and review fees can range from $8 to $45 per hour, and duplication fees are usually $0.10 to $0.35 per page. Most agencies’ regulations say that by filing a request, the requester is agreeing to pay some threshold for fees, usually $25.

Who can use FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) gives the right to request access to government records to any person for any reason, whether the person is a U.S. citizen or a foreign national. Requests can be made in the name of an individual or an organization (including a corporation, partnership, or public interest group).