Freedom of Information Act

Rights of Requesters & Responsibilities of the City under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees.

Making a Request for Records from the City of Norfolk

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 the Freedom of Information Act. From a practical perspective, it may be helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. For your convenience, the City has two forms:

  1. Public Safety FOIA: A request for public safety records, including 911 and police and fire reports.
  2. General FOIA: A request for all other city records.

Ways to Submit a Request

Online forms: You may fill out a form online. It will automatically be directed to the FOIA office.

Download forms: General FOIA form (PDF) or Public safety FOIA form (PDF)

Fill out and fax, mail, email or deliver the form in person:

Amanda Littlefield or Heather Tierney
810 Union Street
Room 409
Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: 757-664-4266
Fax: 757-664-4006
Email the Freedom of Information Office


You may have to pay for the records that you request from the City. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This would include items like staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. It cannot include general overhead costs.