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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request - Frequently Asked Questions

14.

Where can I file an appeal against a Department of Homeland Security component’s initial response?

All appeals must be made in writing and addressed to:

Associate General Counsel (General Law)
Department of Homeland Security
Washigton DC 20258

Note: Both the front of the envelope and the appeal letter should contain the notation ‘Freedom of Information Act Appeal’.

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15.

What happens after I file an appeal against a Department of Justice component’s initial response?

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Associate General Counsel (General Law) is required to make a determination on your administrative appeal within 20 business days. The Associate General Counsel (General Law) may take one of several actions on your appeal.

  • It may affirm the component's action in full, in which case it will identify which exemptions (if any) have been appropriately claimed
  • Or it may affirm part of the component's action (identifying the applicable exemptions), but order the release of other information previously withheld
  • Finally, under some circumstances, it may return or ‘remand’ the request to the component for complete reprocessing

Note: When a case is remanded, you will have an opportunity again to appeal to the Associate General Counsel (General Law) after the component has reprocessed the records if you remain dissatisfied with the component's action in any respect.

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