AOH :: FOIA-4.TXT|
Using the Freedom of Information Act - Part 4
FOIA FILES KIT
Fund for Open Information and Accountability, Inc. 339 Lafayette Street, New
York, NY 10012 (212) 477-3188
To: FOIA/PA Appeals Office
RE: Request numer [Add this if the agency has given your request a number]
This is an appeal pursuant to subsection (a)(6) of the Freedom of
Information Act as amended (5U.S.C. 552).
On [date], I received a letter from [name of official] of your agency
denying my request for [describe briefly the information you are after]. This
reply indicated that an appeal letter could be sent to you. I am enclosing a
copy of my exchange of correspondence with your agency so that you can see
exactly what files I have requested and the insubstantial grounds on which my
request has been denied.
[Optional paragraph, to be used if the agency has withheld all or nearly
all the material which has been requested]:
You will note that your agency has withheld the entire (or nearly the
entire) document (or file, or report, or whatever) that I requested. Since the
FOIA provides that "any reasonably secregable portion of a record shall be
provided to any eprson requesting such record after deletion of the portions
which are exempt," I believe that your agency has not complied with the FOIA.
I believe that there must be (additional) segregble portions which do not fall
wihtin FOIA exemptions and which must be released.
[Optional paragraph, to be used in the agency has used the (b)(1)
exemption for national security, to withhold information]
Your agency has used the (b)(1) exemption to withhold information [I
question whether files relating to events that took place over twenty years
ago could realistically harm the national security.] [Because I am familiar
with my own activities during the period in question, and know that none of
these activities in any way posed a significant threat to the national
security, I question the designation of my files or portions of my file as
classified and exempt from disclosure beca8use of national security
[Sample optional argument to be used if the exemption which is claimed
does not seem to make sense; you should cite as many specific instances as you
care to of items withheld from the documents that you ahve received. We
provide two examples which you might want to adampt to your own case.]
"On the memo dated _____________ the second paragraph withheld under the
(b)(1) exemption appears to be describing a conversation at an open meeting.
If this is the case, it is impossible that the substance of this converation
could be properly classified." Or, "The memo dated _____ refers to a meeting
which I attended, but a substantial portion is deleted because of the (b)(6)
and (b)(7)(c) exemptions for unwarranted invasions of personal privacy. Since
I already know who attended this meeting, no privacy interest is served by the
I trust that upon examination of my request, you will conclude that the
records I requested are not properly covered by exemption(s) [here repeat the
exemptions which the agency's denial letter claimed applied to your request]
of the amended FOIA, and that you will overrule the decision to withhold the
[Use if an itemized inventory is not supplied originally]
If you choose instead to continue to withhold some or all of the material
which was denied in my initial request to your agency, I ask that you give me
an index of such matieral, together with the justification for the denial of
each item which is still withheld.
As provided in the Act, I will expect to receive a reply to this
administrative appeal letter within twenty working days.
If you deny this appeal and do not adequately explain why the material
withheld is properly exempt, I intend to initial a lawsuit to compel its
disclosure. [You can say that you intend to sue, if that is your present
inclination; you may still decide ultimately not to file suit.]
[Mark clearly on envelope: Attention: Freedom of Information Appeals]
Another file downloaded from: NIRVANAnet(tm)
&TOTSE 510/935-5845 Walnut Creek, CA Taipan Enigma
Burn This Flag 408/363-9766 San Jose, CA Zardoz
realitycheck 415/666-0339 San Francisco, CA Poindexter Fortran
Governed Anarchy 510/226-6656 Fremont, CA Eightball
New Dork Sublime 805/823-1346 Tehachapi, CA Biffnix
Lies Unlimited 801/278-2699 Salt Lake City, UT Mick Freen
Atomic Books 410/669-4179 Baltimore, MD Baywolf
Sea of Noise 203/886-1441 Norwich, CT Mr. Noise
The Dojo 713/997-6351 Pearland, TX Yojimbo
Frayed Ends of Sanity 503/965-6747 Cloverdale, OR Flatline
The Ether Room 510/228-1146 Martinez, CA Tiny Little Super Guy
Hacker Heaven 860/456-9266 Lebanon, CT The Visionary
The Shaven Yak 510/672-6570 Clayton, CA Magic Man
El Observador 408/372-9054 Salinas, CA El Observador
Cool Beans! 415/648-7865 San Francisco, CA G.A. Ellsworth
DUSK Til Dawn 604/746-5383 Cowichan Bay, BC Cyber Trollis
The Great Abyss 510/482-5813 Oakland, CA Keymaster
"Raw Data for Raw Nerves"
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