The Freedom of Information Act or FOIA gives the right to request access to federal agency records or information. This is very important because many times Service members do not have access to all the records but at the same time they have the burden of proof to show that they are entitled to relief. Generally, the U.S. Government enjoys the presumption of regularity and that public officials act in good faith. One way to meet this burden is to show records or documents that public officials did not comply with their own regulations. There are however numerous exemptions. If your Freedom of Information Act request is denied, you may consider appealing it.
Generally, there are 9 exemptions that authorize the U.S. Government to withhold information. They are:
There are also exclusions. Exclusions involve:
1. ongoing investigations
2. informant records
3. foreign intelligence and counter-intelligence, or international terrorism records - when they are classified.
You can learn more about FOIA here.
You can read about general tips for filing a FOIA request here.
CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE;
CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER
Service member filed a Freedom of Information Act request to request records concerning an administrative investigation. The FOIA response was over-redacted and not segregated, and the agency used an improper exemption. After the appeal was filed, the appellate authority granted the appeal in part and it denied it in part. The appellate authority remanded it to the agency to corrected the overredactions and segregate the documents
The agency denied a Freedom of Information Act request stating that the investigation was ongoing. Filed an appeal showing proof that the investigation was closed. The appellate authority reviewed the appeal, coordinated with the agency, and it remanded it to the agency stating that new facts could warrant release of responsive documents.