October 13, 2016

FOIA Guide: Sample letter


Here’s a sample FOIA letter to help you get started filing Freedom of Information Act requests.


Freedom of Information Act Officer

Name of Agency

Address of Agency

City, State, Zip Code


Re: Illinois Freedom of Information Act Request


Dear ________: 


This is a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140.


I am requesting:

(The information that you are requesting).


Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities. In addition, this work may appear on the online newsroom website, CU-CitizenAccess.org, and may be shared with the News-Gazette and Illinois Public Media.


Thus, I am requesting a fee waiver for any potential costs, as the release of information will be published for public interest. If a fee waiver cannot be granted, please inform me of all costs before further processing the request.


If the request is denied in whole or part, we ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. We will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. We, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

Please let me know if you have questions, and if I can do anything to expedite this request.
I look forward to hearing from you by (five business days) as required by state law.


Thank you for your assistance,



Phone number

Email address