What is the timeframe for public bodies to respond to FOIA requests?

Any public body that is subject to the Virginia FOIA and that is the custodian of the requested records shall promptly, but in all cases within five working days of receiving a request, provide the requested records to the requester or respond in writing one of the following:

  1. The requested records are being entirely withheld. Such response shall identify with reasonable particularity the volume and subject matter of withheld records, and cite, as to each category of withheld records, the specific Code section that authorizes the withholding of the records.
  2. The requested records are being provided in part and are being withheld in part. Such response shall identify with reasonable particularity the subject matter of withheld portions, and cite, as to each category of withheld records, the specific Code section that authorizes the withholding of the records.
  3. The requested records could not be found or do not exist. However, if the public body that received the request knows that another public body has the requested records, the response shall include contact information for the other public body.
  4. It is not practically possible to provide the requested records or to determine whether they are available within the five-work-day period. Such response shall specify the conditions that make a response impossible. If the response is made within five working days, the public body shall have an additional seven work days or, in the case of a request for criminal investigative files pursuant to § 2.2-3706.1, 60 work days in which to provide one of the four preceding responses.

Additionally, a public body may petition the appropriate court for additional time to respond to a request when the request is for an extraordinary volume of records or requires an extraordinarily lengthy search, and a response by the public body within the normal time required would prevent the public body from meeting its operation responsibilities. (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704).

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1. What is the Virginia Freedom of Information Act?
2. What is the purpose of the Virginia FOIA?
3. Who does the Virginia FOIA apply to?
4. The Virginia FOIA has either limited applicability or does not apply to:
5. What types of records can be requested under the Virginia FOIA?
6. What if I only want a question answered, not records?
7. What if I want a document created?
8. How can I make a request to Louisa County for public records under the Virginia FOIA?
9. Is there a fee for requesting public records under the Virginia FOIA?
10. When does my request expire?
11. What is the timeframe for public bodies to respond to FOIA requests?
12. Can public bodies deny or redact certain information from FOIA requests?
13. How can I appeal a denial of a FOIA request?
14. Can I remain anonymous when making a FOIA request in Virginia?
15. Are there any additional resources available to help me understand and navigate the Virginia FOIA?
16. Who is the FOIA officer for Louisa County?