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.

Constructive Denial

Also known as No response within allotted time.

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.

In these cases, no basis is provided. A rejection of this sort occurs when no response is received from the agency in the statutorily-allotted amount of time or if the response received does not include “the agency’s determination of whether or not to comply with the request [and] the reasons for its decision.”

Improper Use

It is never proper for an agency to ignore your request for longer than the statutorily-determined length of time in which they have to respond.

Key Citations

Oglesby v U. S. Dep’t of Army, 920 F.2d 57