4-2 How to Make a Freedom of Information Act Request

4-2.1 Format and Content

A FOIA request must be in writing, be a request for records, and bear the caption “Freedom of Information Act Request.” Other requests for information are considered informal requests, and should still be processed in accordance with this handbook.

A requester should include the following information in a FOIA request:

  1. The requester’s name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number.
  2. A reasonable description of the records sufficient to permit the custodian to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort, and a description of any desired formats to receive the records.
  3. If seeking information about a company, the exact name and address of the company (many companies use similar names).
  4. The maximum amount of fees the requester is willing to pay without prior notice. If no amount is stated, the requester is deemed willing to pay fees up to $25.
  5. The requester is not required to provide reasons for the request. However, because some or all of the requested records may be exempt from disclosure, the requester may state any reason(s) he or she believes the record should be disclosed.

If necessary, the custodian may ask the requester for more information.