[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 28, Volume 1]
[Revised as of July 1, 2008]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 28CFR16.3]

[Page 268-269]
  Subpart A_Procedures for Disclosure of Records Under the Freedom of 
                             Information Act
Sec. 16.3  Requirements for making requests.

    (a) How made and addressed. You may make a request for records of 
the Department of Justice by writing directly to the Department 
component that maintains those records. You may find the Department's 
``Freedom of Information Act Reference Guide''--which is available 
electronically at the Department's World Wide Web site, and is available 
in paper form as well--helpful in making your request. For additional 
information about the FOIA, you may refer directly to the statute. If 
you are making a request for records about yourself, see Sec. 16.41(d) 
for additional requirements. If you are making a request for records 
about another individual, either a written authorization signed by that 
individual permitting disclosure of those records to you or proof that 
that individual is deceased (for example, a copy of a death certificate 
or an obituary) will help the processing of your request. Your request 
should be sent to the component's FOIA office at the address listed in 
appendix I to part 16. In most cases, your FOIA request should be sent 
to a component's central FOIA office. For records held by a field office 
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Immigration and 
Naturalization Service (INS), however, you must write directly to that 
FBI or INS field office address, which can be found in most telephone 
books or by calling the component's central FOIA office. (The functions 
of each component are summarized in part 0 of this title and in the 
description of the Department and its components in the ``United States 
Government Manual,'' which is issued annually and is available in most 
libraries, as well as for sale from the Government Printing Office's 
Superintendent of Documents. This manual also can be accessed 
electronically at the Government Printing Office's World Wide Web site 
(which can be found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su--docs).) If you 
cannot determine where within the Department to send your request, you 
may send it to the FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit, Justice Management 
Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20530-0001. That office will forward your request to the 
component(s) it believes most likely to have the records that you want. 
Your request will be considered received as of the date it is received 
by the proper component's FOIA office. For the quickest possible 
handling, you should mark both your request letter and the envelope 
``Freedom of Information Act Request.''
    (b) Description of records sought. You must describe the records 
that you seek in enough detail to enable Department personnel to locate 
them with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, your request 
should include specific information about each record sought, such as 
the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the 
record. In addition, if you want records about a court case, you should 
provide the title of the case, the court in which the case was filed, 
and the nature of the case. If known, you should include any file 
designations or descriptions for the records that you want. As a general 
rule, the more specific you are about the records or type of records 
that you want, the more likely the Department will be able to locate 
those records in response to your request. If a component determines 
that your request does not reasonably describe records, it shall tell 
you either what additional information is needed or why your request is 
otherwise insufficient. The component also shall give you an opportunity 
to discuss your request so that you may modify it to meet the 
requirements of this section. If your request does not

[[Page 269]]

reasonably describe the records you seek, the agency's response to your 
request may be delayed.
    (c) Agreement to pay fees. If you make a FOIA request, it shall be 
considered an agreement by you to pay all applicable fees charged under 
Sec. 16.11, up to $25.00, unless you seek a waiver of fees. The 
component responsible for responding to your request ordinarily will 
confirm this agreement in an acknowledgement letter. When making a 
request, you may specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser 

[Order No. 2156-98, 63 FR 29593, June 1, 1998; 63 FR 51401, Sept. 25,