Making a Request
Making a Request for Records from the County of Roanoke
- You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, email, in person, or over the phone.
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA. From a practical perspective, it is often helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives the County a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, the County cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect to not put it in writing.
- Your request must identify the records you are seeking with "reasonable specificity." This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting; instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
- Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of the County, nor does it require the County to create a record that does not exist.
- You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by the County in the regular course of business.
- For example, if you are requesting records maintained in an Excel database, you may elect to receive those records electronically, via email or on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records.
- If the County has questions about your request, please cooperate with staffs' efforts to clarify the type of records that you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making an FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but staff may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.
Where to Send an FOIA Request
To request records from the County of Roanoke, you may direct your request to the following address or email:
Amy Whittaker, Public Information Officer/FOIA Officer
Public Information Office
County of Roanoke
5204 Bernard Drive
Roanoke, VA 24018-0798
Email Amy Whittaker
In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by email, or by phone at 804-225-3056 or toll free at 1-866-448-4100.