Freedom of Information Act

Virginia's Freedom of Information act "ensures the people of the Commonwealth ready access to public records in the custody of a public body or its officers and employees, and free entry to meetings of public bodies wherein the business of the people is being conducted."

Any Virginia resident can ask to see or get a copy of public records. (The most commonly requested documents are usually posted on this website for convenience.) You can request the information by phone, email, letter or in person. There is no formal form or required language. However, you should be as specific as possible.

Make a FOIA Request

All FOIA requests directed to or seeking records of the City of Hampton should be addressed to the City’s online GovQA portal or the City’s FOIA officers.

After the city receives your request for records, the city has 5 business days to respond to you, either by asking for more details about the request; filling the request; filling part of the request; denying the request; or letting you know that the city needs more time. If all or part of your request is denied, the city will state what parts of the Freedom of Information Act exempt that information from mandatory public release. (Some common exemptions include personnel records, medical records and information that is part of criminal investigations.) Note that FOIA does not require governments to create records that do not currently exist.

Governments can charge the cost of locating, reviewing and copying records, and can request a deposit if the cost is estimated to be more than $200.