Do I need a lawyer to envoke the “the freedom of information act”?

I live in an apartment complex owned by the letter carrier union, based in Wash. D.C. I would like to know how our rent monies are spent and how much it costs to run this place.

Asked on December 14, 2010 under Business Law, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal act that allows a person to obtain government documents that are not otherwise considered confidential by statute or ruling.  Every state has some sort of version of this law and may simply say the law is that of FOIA.  You do not need a lawyer to invoke the Freedom of Information Act or otherwise.  This is a right you have as a citizen but understand you may need to pay for any copies of documents sent to you.  Some state versions of FOIA do not require a reason for obtaining the information but I believe FOIA does require you to indicate why you are seeking this information.  Some of the information you request may be too vague and the entity may not have to provide you a written explanation not already created. It may simply give you documents and you have to decide for yourself.

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