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.
FOIA Officer Contact:
Ashley R. Clatterbuck, Town Clerk
400 South Main Street, Suite 105
Culpeper, VA 22701
Town policy on charges for accessing or searching for requested records as required by Virginia Code 2.2-3704.1. The Town does not have a fixed charge for accessing or searching for requested records. Charges for accessing or searching for requested records are based on the hourly rate of the person searching for the records in question. To keep costs down, the Town attempts to use the lowest paid staff members capable of retrieving the requested records in responding to a request. However, in situations where a staff member is required to search through his or her own email and files, the staff member will search for the requested records and the search charge will be based on that employee's hourly rate.
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/