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The FOIA Appeal Process

You may file an appeal of an adverse agency determination in writing. You may submit your appeal via mail or electronically. If you send your appeal by mail, it must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted within 90 calendar days from the date of such determination. Electronic transmission made after normal business hours will be considered to have been transmitted on the next calendar day. If a postmark is not legible, the timeliness of a submission will be based on the date the appeal is received.

Adverse determinations include:

  1. Refusal to release a record, either in whole or in part;
  2. Determination that a record does not exist or cannot be found;
  3. Determination that a request does not reasonably describe the records sought;
  4. Determination that the record you sought was not subject to the FOIA;
  5. Denial of a request for expedited processing;
  6. Denial of a fee waiver request; or
  7. Fee category determination.

Please send your appeal to the review official at the address provided in your denial letter.

When submitting an appeal, you should mark both your letter and envelope with the words "FOIA Appeal" or include the words "FOIA Appeal" in the subject line of your email. You should also include your FOIA request tracking number, a copy of your initial request, and a copy of our final determination letter.

Your appeal should clearly identify the agency determination that is being appealed. It would be helpful if you provide specific reasons explaining why you believe the agency's adverse determination should be reconsidered.

The complete text of the Department of Health and Human Services Appeals process Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving