Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Rights of Requestors and the Responsibilities of the Town of Culpeper
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (located at § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials and public employees. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.
Your FOIA Rights:
- You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
- You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance. As of July 1, 2022, public bodies must notify the requestor in writing that the public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for requested records and inquire of the requestor whether he/she would like to request a cost estimate in advance of the supplying of the requested records.
- If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA. Alternatively, you may contact the FOIA Council for a nonbinding advisory opinion.
Ashley R. Clatterbuck, Town Clerk
400 South Main Street, Suite 105
Culpeper, VA 22701
Your request does not have to be in writing; however, submitting a request in writing creates a record of the request and provides the Town of Culpeper with a clear statement of the records you are requesting. There is no formal required language, however, you should be as specific as possible so we can get the information you are looking for as accurately as possible. Please include a phone number and/or email address where we can contact you if we need to clarify your request.
After the Town receives your request for records, the Town has 5 business days to respond to you, either by asking for more details about the request; filling the request; filling part of the request; denying the request; or letting you know that if all or part of your request is denied, the Town will state what parts of the Freedom of Information Act exempt that information from mandatory public release. (Some common exemptions include personnel records, medical records and information that is part of criminal investigations.)
The Town is permitted to charge only for the actual costs of accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching, and can request a deposit if the cost is estimated to be more than $200.
Note that FOIA does not require governments to create records that do not currently exist.
To view the Town’s FOIA policy, click here. You may contact the Town's FOIA Officer with any questions you have concerning requesting records.
For more information on FOIA, click the link: http://foiacouncil.dls.virginia.gov/