Welcome to MuckRock's Freedom of Information Act appeal guide!

Each entry provides background and context about an exemption to the public records laws in all fifty states, as well as federal FOIA. Read more about United States of America's public records law or explore all our expert FOIA guides. Have a public records appeal or information on an exemption we should include? Consider sharing your knowledge with everyone by donating your FOIA appeal language.

Agency Requires Portal

This guide is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not legal opinion nor legal advice regarding any specific issue or factual circumstance.

A federal agency states that it requires the user to submit a request via its online portal.

Example Appeals

Thank you very much for your note and your suggestion that we use the agency's online portal for our request and future requests.

However, we decline to make use of FOIAonline because it is less convenient for us.

Rather, we will ask that you process our request, and follow the rules and procedures of this agency's regulations, which do not specify that the agency will accept not accept requests by email.

Improper Use

Most agencies regulations do not state that they can require users to use a portal. FOIA offices must comply with their current regulations as well as federal law around accepting and processing requests.