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 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.
You may have to pay for the records that you request from the City of Hampton. The City does not have a fixed charge for accessing or searching for the requested records. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. Charges for requested records are based on the hourly rate of the lowest paid staff member capable of retrieving the requested records and their actual time spent in responding to a request. The rates for staff members who are most commonly called upon to respond to FOIA requests are as follows:
FOIA Paralegal: $29.07/hour
IT staff searches of the City’s email system: $33.65/hour
Police-Related records: $15.83/hour
If we estimate that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your request, we may require you to pay a deposit, not to exceed the amount of the estimate, before proceeding with your request. The five days that we have to respond to your request does not include the time between when we ask for a deposit and when you respond.
You may request that we estimate in advance the charges for supplying the records that you have requested. This will allow you to know about any costs upfront, or give you the opportunity to modify your request in an attempt to lower the estimated costs.
If you owe us money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, Hampton may require payment of the past-due bill before it will respond to your new FOIA request.