Saturday, September 5, 2009

Freedom of Information Act - FOIA - US Attorney Office

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

All FOIA Requests must be signed & Submitted in Writing to:

FOIA/Privacy Staff
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
600 E Street, N.W. (BICN Room 7300)
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530-0001
(202) 616-6757

Under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Department's FOIA Guide and rules at 28 CFR 16.1 et seq. (Subpart A), one may request access to public, nonexempt records maintained by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and/or individual United States Attorneys' Offices (USAOs). Before submitting a request, please visit our "Electronic Reading Room", as such records may be available, on-line, at no cost.

A FOIA request may be made in any written form that bears the requester's signature, provided that it is sent to the above address and specifies your return address. Requests sent directly to a USAO will be forwarded to EOUSA, and such requests will not be deemed received, for processing purposes, until received by EOUSA. For further guidance, see 28 CFR 16.1 & 16.3 ("General Provisions" & "Requirements for Making Requests").

Please note that the Act does not require agencies to create or explain records, and requests should be formulated to seek records in existence as of the request date that are subject to public release unless covered by a specific exemption (e.g., classified national security matters, personal privacy material, trade secrets and privileged information, etc.). 5 U.S.C. 552(b).

A FOIA request should sufficiently describe the specific records sought, so as to enable our staff to conduct a search for the requested records with a reasonable amount of effort (e.g., specific case files, etc.). Likewise — to minimize processing delays and fees — please specify which particular USAO or EOUSA office you are inquiring about. While certain administrative records are maintained by EOUSA, case files are not centralized in Washington, and local USAOs maintain copies of certain court and case materials. All requests for case records should thus identify a case name, judicial district, filing date/location, and/or specific USAO(s) where responsive records may exist.

If you seek records pertaining to another person, that information is usually not disclosed unless you have obtained the other person's written consent, the other person is deceased, or public disclosure is authorized by law.

Requests for third-party information protected by the Privacy Act should be accompanied by evidence of the record-subject's consent, and requests for information about yourself should be accompanied by a verification-of-identity form.

While no special verification-of-identity or consent forms are required, you may use Department of Justice Form 361 (Certification of Identity) or Form G-639 (FOIA/PA Request). Such forms must be signed and notarized, or submitted under 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law allowing unnotarized statements to be signed under penalty of perjury.

For further guidance in this regard, please see our Privacy Act page, the DOJ Office of Information & Privacy home page, or the Department's rules at 28 CFR Part 16 governing the Production or Disclosure of Material or Information.

Requesters are responsible to pay all applicable fees for search, review, and/or duplication of requested records, in accordance with Department of Justice FOIA fee regulations. 28 CFR 16.11.

Unless otherwise specified, your request for records under FOIA constitutes your agreement to pay all applicable fees up to $25. See 28 CFR 16.3(c). A requester will typically be notified if it appears that fees will exceed $25, pursuant to 28 CFR 16.11(e)-(i).

Administrative review of adverse agency determinations is available by appealing to the Office of Information & Privacy (OIP), Department of Justice, Flag Building, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20530-0001, within 60 days from the date of the agency's adverse determination letter, after which judicial review may also be available. See 28 CFR 16.9.

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