Any citizen can request records from their government. The federal law that governs these requests is known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Every state has similar laws on the books. For example, here in the Commonwealth of Virginia all citizens of the Commonwealth my request to inspect or receive copies of public records from government officials. The reason for the request for public records is not required.
You do not need a lawyer to file a request for records from the federal government. In most cases, FOIA requests are resolved administratively can be handled without a lawyer. Be sure to read the law and regulations carefully; however, you may have a unique situation that could benefit from the advice of counsel, especially if you want to file a lawsuit against the government for failing to produce the requested records.
Our attorneys and public policy professionals have worked on FOIA-related matters both while serving in the federal government, such as assisting Congressional constituents in making and following through on requests, as well as in the private sector by advising clients on how to use the FOIA process to hold governments to account.
We can assist you in preparing similar requests for information from INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization. Please contact us for additional information about our firm can help you devise a FOIA strategy and file a request for records from the federal or state government.