R. M. Seibert

While reviewing FOIA requests here on MuckRock for the FBI file on a deceased person of interest, I noticed that while the vast majority are filed with the FBI directly sometimes they are also filed with the National Archives and/or the FBI forwards some requests to the National Archives.

Is there any sort of time frame rule or common sense standard for determining whether a request for somebody who has been dead for more than a decade should go to the FBI directly vs. National Archives? TIA!

Michael Morisy

I am not aware of any rule of thumb, unfortunately. Usually what I’ve seen is folks file first with the FBI, and then if the FBI indicates that files are with NARA, file a second request there with whatever information the FBI gave them.

Just a word of warning: With NARA, for files the agency is holding on behalf of other agencies such as in this case, the normal FOIA fee rules do not apply, and are typically much higher for research and particularly duplication. If you’re in the area, however, I believe NARA can provide access for free if you set it up in advance.

R. M. Seibert

Thank you, that answer was extremely helpful! Is NARA in the DC area?


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