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Sample FOIA requests and appeals

February 28, 2001

United States Forest Service FOIA Office
Department of Agriculture
12th Street & Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250

Re: Notice Of FOIA Twenty-Day Statutory Deadline Violation/Offer To Assist.

Dear Sir or Madam:

On December 1, 2000, I mailed your office a written request under the Federal Freedom of Information Act for any information available regarding a "Report of History of USFS interaction with the Northern Spotted Owl." This request was placed on behalf of _________.

The FOIA requires your office to respond to a FOIA request within twenty business days from the date of receipt of such a request. It appears that this deadline has now elapsed without any response from your office. I am notifying you that my clients are not at this time exercising their legal option under the FOIA to file suit to compel compliance with the time limits of the FOIA. The "spotted owl controversy" is currently approaching a point where decisions are to be made which will have major impacts on federal policy regarding the owl as well as other owl related environmental, economic, and social concerns. Therefore the public disclosure of the information contained in the Steve Yaffi report my clients have requested, will illuminate the public's perception of this very important issue. For this reason, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE regarding the public disclosure of this report.

My clients do not wish to initiate litigation at this point because they feel a cooperative approach is better suited to resolving this situation. Therefore, I am offering to assist your office in any way possible to facilitate the prompt release of the requested document. If we may redefine or clarify our request, or answer any questions, by all means, please let us know.

Please let us know if we can help you in your efforts to publicly disclose the important information contained in the requested document. While we do not resort to litigation at this time, because of the time sensitive nature of the requested document, a legal action may be required if disclosure is not promptly forthcoming.

Very truly yours

David A. Bahr, Attorney at Law

Sample FOIA Request Letter (generic)
Sample FOIA Request Letter (specific example)
Sample FOIA Appeal Letter (generic)
Sample FOIA Appeal Letter (specific example)
Sample FOIA Overdue Response Reminder Letter
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