What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Adam Marshall

What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Adam Marshall

Plus how to stay in the loop for our future chats

Written by
Edited by JPat Brown

Last #FOIAFriday Slack Chat began with Adam Marshall of Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press kicking off the discussion with a recent court win over access to immigration data.

To sue or not to sue?

Marshall said some requesters opt to formally appeal their records denials, while some requesters wait until the 21st day rolls up to file the lawsuit.

A lot of agencies release data as soon as litigation is filed.

Whenever you get slapped with the ever-so-detested exemption b7(C), Marshall recommends looking over this and arguing that the people have a right to know

The FY 2017 numbers show that administrative appeals were more successful than previous years,” Marshall added.

Appeals matter

You have to prove that you have tried an administrative appeal to the denial. It shows that you tried to narrow your search and you can use the agency’s reply as leverage in your case.

For templates on FOIA appeals, look here or at the plethora appeals on MuckRock.


If you’re a reporter who needs to sue

If you’re looking to mediate

If you’re looking to understand

Adam Marshall left us with rallying thought: “If requesters always shrug and walk away at that point, it means we are leaving it to FOIA bureaucrats to decide just how secret our government is going to be. That was never part of democracy’s plan,” [said David McCraw of the Times[(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/insider/foia-freedom-of-information-act-new-york-times.html).

Join us this Friday for our chat with Troy Thibodeaux, a data analyst for the Associated Press, 12 p.m. Eastern Time.

Image via Wikimedia Commons