General Guidelines

  • You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, email, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA.
    • Practically speaking, it may be helpful for both you and Henrico County General Government to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request and provide a clear statement of the records you are requesting to ensure there is not a misunderstanding.
  • A request must identify the records needed with “reasonable specificity.”  This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records requested; instead, it requires that a request be specific enough to identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
  • A request must ask for existing records or documents.  FOIA allows for inspection or copying of records; it does not apply to a situations asking general questions about the work of Henrico County General Government, nor does it require Henrico to create a record that does not exist.
  • You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by Henrico County General Government 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 e-mail or on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records.
  • You may be contacted if there are questions about a request, to ensure that the appropriate records are being provided.