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How to submit a Freedom of Information Act Request

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

It’s very simple! Some states may require fees before releasing the requested docs, which could be pricey if the search isn’t narrow enough. ALWAYS REQUEST DOCUMENTS BE SUBMITTED BACK TO YOU VIA PDF/SIMILAR FORMAT in order to save on the costs.

Step 1: Pick a location (example: Smallville, Illinios)

Step 2: Search in a search engine the body of government you wish to FOIA (Example: Smallville, IL Park District FOIA Request)

Step 3: Complete the required form (submit back via email), or use the provided email address (would be listed) to submit your request (some bodies do not require a formal written request and can be done just by sending an email).

Example of request:

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening,

I would like to submit a Freedom of Information Act request for the following:

All Email communication between Smallville Park District employees and the Smallville Police department regarding the event held at xxxxx on xx/xx/xxxx at the Park Disrict building located at 123 Washington street.

This is a personal request and not for commercial purposes. If there is any clarification needed or any questions that are needed to fulfill the request, you can contact me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or by email at Thank you for your assistance with this matter.


(Your Name)

That’s as simple as it is in most cases. As taxpayers, you have the right to see what government employees and elected officials are communicating (while using government provided communication systems).

Happy FOIA’ing!


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