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FOIA Request
Your Rights
  • You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
  • You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
  • If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.

Request for Records
  • You may request records by U.S. mail, fax, email, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA.
    • From a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, we cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect to not put it in writing.
  • Your request must identify the records you are seeking with "reasonable specificity." This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting; instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
  • Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of the city, nor does it require the city to create a record that does not exist.
  • You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by the city in the regular course of business.
    • For example, if you are requesting records maintained in an Excel database, you may elect to receive those records electronically, via email, on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records
  • If we have questions about your request, please cooperate with staff's efforts to clarify the type of records that you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.

Fredericksburg Requests
To request records from the City of Fredericksburg, you may direct your request to the department or agency that keeps those records. If you are not sure which department to contact, if the records are kept by multiple departments, or if you have questions concerning requesting records from the City of Fredericksburg, you may contact our City Manager's Office.

Freedom of Information Advisory Council
In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The council may be contacted by email, or by phone at 804-225-3056 or call toll-free at 1-866-448-4100.