Sample Appeal Letters and Templates

You are now ready to begin writing your administrative appeal. To get started, use our FOIA appeals letter generator. It is a letter template that contains standardized language and also allows you to customize your appeal to make the specific arguments relevant to your situation. If you are going forward and filling a “pro se” lawsuit, you can use our FOIA complaint template.

We’ve also compiled various sample FOIA appeal letters drafted by top media lawyers. They will give you guidance on how to structure your appeal letter and how to best present arguments.

Sample Appeal Letters:

  • 11/6/2003 Cox newspapers appeal to the Department of Justice discussing Exemptions 2, 6 and 7(C).
  • 1/31/08 Des Moines Register appeal to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System discussing Exemption 4.
  • 2/10/09 USA TODAY appeal to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency discussing Exemptions 4, 5 and 8.
  • 3/23/10 USA TODAY appeal to FEMA discussing excessive delay/constructive denial.
  • 8/13/10 USA TODAY appeal to the Department of Justice discussing Exemptions 2, 7(D) and 7(E).
  • 3/7/11 USA TODAY appeal to the Department of Justice discussing Exemption 5, the duty to disclose releasable information and discretionary releases.
  • 4/1/11 Bloomberg appeal to FEMA discussing excessive delay/constructive denial.
  • 5/6/11 Bloomberg appeal to the Department of Health and Human Services discussing Exemption 4 and the duty to disclose releasable information.
  • 5/20/11 Bloomberg appeal to the Securities and Exchange Commission discussing Exemption 4 and the duty to disclose releasable information.
  • 6/30/11 Bloomberg appeal to the Department of Homeland Security discussing whether records constitute “agency records.”
  • 9/9/11 Bloomberg appeal to the Federal Trade Commission discussing Exemption 5, the duty to disclose releasable information and excessive delay/constructive denial.
  • 4/17/12 Reporters Committee appeal to the Department of Agriculture discussing fee waivers.
  • 5/1/12 USA TODAY appeal to the Department of Justice discussing Exemptions 6 and 7(C).   
  • 5/4/12 Reporters Committee appeal to the Secret Service discussing expedited review.