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You may request records in any format used by the County, such as paper, email or electronic means. The County can provide the records requested to you by mail or email, or you can arrange to personally retrieve copies of the records.
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Existing records prepared by or in the possession of a public body or its officers or employees in the ordinary transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open and are withheld only if a specific exemption applies. You will be notified if any requested records are being withheld and the reason for the withholding of any records, including the appropriate authority (law or code section) which permits the City to withhold such records. Although the City strives to help you as much as possible, FOIA does not require that the City create records that do not already exist or answer general questions.
You may submit a records request in several ways:
The County asks that the name and address of the requester be provided so that it can be determined to whom to send the information, but also so that the County can determine whether the person requesting the information is entitled to request records under the law. Your request must also be reasonably specific so that the records you are seeking can be identified and located.
The County may charge for any requested records. The County is permitted to charge only for the actual costs of responding to your request. You may request that the County tells you in advance what the anticipated costs will be for supplying the records. If the estimated costs exceed $200, you may be required to pay before processing your request. Additionally, if you owe the County money from a previous request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, the County will require you to pay the past-due bill before processing any subsequent records requests.
A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining public records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.
Effective July 1, 2022 - Per Code of VA 2.2-3704 (F), public bodies are required to inform requesters that the public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed the actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying or searching for requested records, and shall ask the requester whether they wish to receive a cost estimate in advance of supplying the requested records. A cost estimate shall be provided if requested. If, after receiving the cost estimate, the requester would like the County to proceed with the records request, the staff time required to determine the cost estimate will be applied to the final amount due. If the requester does not respond to the County’s question within 30 days, the request will be deemed withdrawn.
Other charges besides those listed may be applicable, including storage retrieval, professional printing, microfilm, printing, etc.
The City’s FOIA Officer is:
The Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council is a state agency that can answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or toll-free by phone at 1-866-448-4100.
The text of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act is available online, or we can provide you with a copy upon request.
The Local Government Officials' Guide to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act is a 36-page printed booklet with more than 100 questions and answers about FOIA. We have purchased a limited supply and can provide you with one free copy for personal use.
James City County’s elected constitutional officers: Commonwealth’s Attorney, Treasurer, Commissioner of the Revenue, Registrar and Sherriff and Circuit Court are the legal custodians of their own respective records, and have separate disclosure exemptions applicable to some of their records. If we receive a request for records that are held by one of those officials, we will refer the requester to that official.
Contact constitutional offices below:
Circuit Court Clerk Mona A. Foley, Elizabeth O’Connor, 757-564-2358 (direct) 757-564-2242 (main office) Williamsburg/James City County Circuit Court 5201 Monticello Avenue, Suite 6 Williamsburg, VA 23188
Commissioner of the Revenue Richard Bradshaw email@example.com 757-253-6695
Commonwealth’s Attorney Jill Kean firstname.lastname@example.org 757-564-2277 (office) 757-564-2288 (fax) 5201 Monticello Avenue, Suite 4 Williamsburg, VA 23188-8213
Office of Elections Dianna S. Moorman email@example.com 757-253-6868
Sherriff David Hardin firstname.lastname@example.org 757 564-2220
Treasurer email@example.com 757-253-6705