James Madison University's Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request

The University 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.

The reason behind your request for public records from the University is irrelevant, and we cannot ask you why you want the records before we respond to your request. FOIA does, however, allow the University to ask you to provide your name and legal address.

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

  1. Provide you with the records that you have requested in their entirety.
  2. Withhold all of the records that you have requested, because all of the records are subject to specific statutory exemptions. 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.
  3. 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 that may be withheld, and must 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.
  4. Notify you that the requested records could not be found or do not exist. The law does not require the university to create a new record if the record does not already exist.
  5. Notify you that it is not practically possible to provide the requested records or to determine whether they are available within the five-work-day period. This will allow us seven additional working days to respond to your request, giving us a total of 12 working days to respond to your request.

If we feel that we cannot provide the records to you within 12 days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we will notify you to determine if we can reach an agreement concerning whether your request can be modified or limited, if you will agree to an extension of time, or if we need to contact a court to petition for additional time to respond to your request. 

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