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Difference between revisions of "Virginia FOIA procedures"

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Any citizen of Virginia may request public records in the state. All "public records shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizens of the Commonwealth". <ref>[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+2.2-3704 ''Code of Virginia''], 2.2-3704</ref> However, Virginia does limit the right of incarcertaed felons to request any records whatsoever. <ref>[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+2.2-3703 Virginia Statute 2.2-3703]</ref>
 
Any citizen of Virginia may request public records in the state. All "public records shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizens of the Commonwealth". <ref>[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+2.2-3704 ''Code of Virginia''], 2.2-3704</ref> However, Virginia does limit the right of incarcertaed felons to request any records whatsoever. <ref>[http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+2.2-3703 Virginia Statute 2.2-3703]</ref>
  
On [[SC#January|January 19, 2009]], Mark McBurney (a Rhode Island resident) and Roger Hurlbert (a California resident) filed a federal lawsuit, ''[[McBurney and Hurlbert v. McDonnell]]'', with the [[Judgepedia:United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia|District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia]] to overturn [[List of who can make public record requests by state|the residency requirement]] in the Virginia law.  A similar residency restriction in the [[Delaware Freedom of Information Act|Delaware FOIA law]] was struck down by a federal court in ''[[Lee v. Minner]]''.<ref>[http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=9935 ''Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press'', "Requesters challenge Virginia open records law", February 3, 2009]</ref>,<ref>[http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/docs/20090203_172809_va_foia_suit.pdf Text of McBurney and Hurlbert v. Virginia]</ref>
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On January 19, 2009, Mark McBurney (a Rhode Island resident) and Roger Hurlbert (a California resident) filed a federal lawsuit, ''[[McBurney and Hurlbert v. McDonnell]]'', with the [[Judgepedia:United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia|District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia]] to overturn [[List of who can make public record requests by state|the residency requirement]] in the Virginia law.  A similar residency restriction in the [[Delaware Freedom of Information Act|Delaware FOIA law]] was struck down by a federal court in ''[[Lee v. Minner]]''.<ref>[http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=9935 ''Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press'', "Requesters challenge Virginia open records law", February 3, 2009]</ref>,<ref>[http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/docs/20090203_172809_va_foia_suit.pdf Text of McBurney and Hurlbert v. Virginia]</ref>
  
 
==Fees==
 
==Fees==

Revision as of 09:16, 16 January 2014

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Each state varies slightly in the procedures used to gain access to public documents. This article serves to describe specifically the steps used in Virginia. To read the history and details of Virginia’s sunshine laws please see Virginia Freedom of Information Act

How to request public records in Virginia

Records requests should be directed to the agency in custody of the desired records.

Purpose and use

The act does not require a statement of purpose and does not restrict the use of records once they have been dispensed to the public.

Who may request public records?

See also: List of who can make public record requests by state

Any citizen of Virginia may request public records in the state. All "public records shall be open to inspection and copying by any citizens of the Commonwealth". [1] However, Virginia does limit the right of incarcertaed felons to request any records whatsoever. [2]

On January 19, 2009, Mark McBurney (a Rhode Island resident) and Roger Hurlbert (a California resident) filed a federal lawsuit, McBurney and Hurlbert v. McDonnell, with the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to overturn the residency requirement in the Virginia law. A similar residency restriction in the Delaware FOIA law was struck down by a federal court in Lee v. Minner.[3],[4]

Fees

See also: How much do public records cost?

Virginia allows fees to be charged for not only the cost of duplication but also the cost of search and maintenance of equipment and databases. However, advanced payment is only required of requests that will cost $200 or more. [5]

Response time

See also: Request response times by state

Virginia law requires open records request responses to be made within 5 business days. However, agencies may petition courts for additional time for larger requests. [6]

See also

External links

References