Sample FOIA Request Letter

Freedom of Information Act Request
Office of General Counsel
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Sir/Madam:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I request that a copy of the following document(s) be provided to me: [identify the documents as specifically as possible. i.e. all investigative records concerning ABC company, located at 555 Main Street, City, State, in the years 1997-1999. This company is offering franchises to sell widgets.]

In order to help determine fees, you should know that I am a [insert description of requester. i.e. individual, attorney, company, news organization]

[Optional]

I am willing to pay fees up to $____. If you expect the fees will exceed this, please contact me before proceeding.

[Optional]

I request a waiver of all fees for this request. Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. [Include a specific explanation.]

If you need to discuss this request, I can be reached at [daytime phone number]. Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

Name
Address
City, State, Zip
Telephone Number


Expedited Processing of FOIA Requests

We generally process requests in the order in which they are received. However, you may request expedited handling of your request if you believe there is a compelling need for a more rapid response. To qualify for expedited processing, you must show that: (1) failure to obtain the records quickly could pose an imminent threat to the life or safety of a specific individual; or (2) your primary job is to disseminate information and there is an urgency to inform the public about actual or alleged Federal government activity. A FOIA officer will respond to your request for expedited treatment within ten calendar days of receiving it to let you know whether the request has been granted. If expedited treatment is granted, the request will be processed as soon as practicable.

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