Transparency and the Freedom of Information Act

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We value transparency and open government and comply with public information laws, including requests for public records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located in §2.2-3700 et. seq. of the Code of Virginia, makes sure that citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and media agencies have timely access to records that are covered by the act and that are held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees.

Campbell County's FOIA contact person is Sherry Harding. She can be reached at 434-332-9859 or publicinformation@campbellcountyva.gov.

Exceptions



The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office have their own FOIA contact persons.

To request a public record from the Campbell County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, contact that office's FOIA contact person:

Paul A. McAndrews
Campbell County Commonwealth’s Attorney
P.O. Box 236
Rustburg, VA 24588
Phone: 434-332-9520
Fax: 434-332-9696


To request a public record from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, contact that office’s FOIA contact person:

Rhonda Mason
Campbell County Sheriff’s Office
87 Courthouse Lane
P.O. Box 280
Rustburg, VA 24588
434-332-9580
Email: sheriff@campbellcountyva.gov

What are public records?



A public record is any writing or recording prepared by or held by Campbell County, its officers, employees, agents, or volunteers that deals with the transaction of public business. These records can be:

  • paper records
  • electronic files
  • audio recordings
  • video recordings
  • or any other format

All public records are presumed to be open, but some may be withheld if a specific statutory exemption applies.

Your FOIA Rights



  • You have the right to request, inspect, or receive copies of public records. 
  • You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
  • If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.


Asking Campbell County for Records



You may request records by:

  • Website: Click here to access the online request form for public records
  • U.S. Mail: Campbell County Department of Public and Employee Relations, P.O. Box 100, Rustburg, VA 24588
  • E-mail: publicinformation@campbellcountyva.gov  
  • In person: Campbell County Department of Public and Employee Relations, Haberer Building, 47 Courthouse Lane, Rustburg, VA 24588
  • By phone: 434-332-9525, 592-9525, 283-9525
  • By fax: 434-332-9893
  • If you have a request for the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office or the Sheriff's Office, contact those offices. 


FOIA Request Requirements



FOIA requests, per §2.2-3704.1 (A) (1) of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, must:

  • Clearly identify the records you are seeking.
  • Provide your name, legal address, and contact information. You do not have to give a reason for your request.
  • Provide reasonable specificity. 
  • Be submitted in plain English (written or spoken in nontechnical terms, using common understandable language).
  • Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA does not require Campbell County to create a record that does not exist.
  • FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; however, fees may apply for copies produced.
  • FOIA does not apply to general questions regarding the nature of Campbell County’s daily work, such as, "Where is the Citizen Services Building located?" "When does the Recreation Department’s soccer registration begin?"
  • You may choose to receive electronic records used or held by Campbell County in the regular course of business. Any electronic records requested will be delivered in PDF format via email, compact disc, or on a provided flash drive. 
  • We will contact you if we have questions about your request or if we need further clarification. 


Our Responsibilities

  • By law, we must respond to your request within five working days of receiving it. "Day One" is considered the day after your request is received. The five-day period does not include weekends or holidays.
  • If the request requires a great deal of research or staff time or will disrupt a large amount of work, a seven-day extension may be asked for, in compliance with the code, to provide enough time to gather the information, giving us a total of 12 working days to provide you with the records. 
  • If you make a request for a very large number of records, and we feel that we cannot provide the records to you within 12 working days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we may petition the court for additional time to respond to your request. However, FOIA requires that we make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with you concerning the production or the records before we go to court to ask for more time.
  • You may have to pay for the records you request from Campbell County. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This could include staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the records.



Responses to FOIA Requests



FOIA law requires that we make one of the following responses to your request within the five-day time period:

  • We provide you with the records in their entirety.
  • We withhold all of the records that you have requested because they are subject to a specific statutory exemption. If all of the records are being withheld, we must send you a response in writing. That writing must identify the volume and subject matter of the records being withheld and state the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows us to withhold the records.
  • We provide some of the records that you have requested, but withhold other records. We cannot withhold an entire record if only a portion of it is subject to an exemption. In that instance, we may redact the portion of the record and provide you with the remainder of the record. We must provide you with a written response stating the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows portions of the requested records to be withheld.
  • We inform you in writing that the requested records cannot be found or do not exist. However, if we know that another public agency has the requested records, we must include their contact information in our response to you.


Commonly Used Exemptions



The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. These exemptions may be found in Title 2.2, Chapter 37. The following are a few common exemptions:

  • Personnel records (§ 2.2-3705.1 (1) of the Code of Virginia)
  • Records subject to attorney-client privilege (§ 2.2-3705.1 (2)) or attorney work product (§ 2.2-3705.1 (3))
  • Vendor proprietary information (§ 2.2-3705.1 (6))
  • Records relating to the negotiation and award of a contract, prior to a contract being awarded (§ 2.2-3705.1 (12))
  • Records recorded in or compiled exclusively for use in closed meetings - (§2.2-3705.1(5)).