Freedom of Information (FOIA)


Public records requests: To file FOIAs, research and find related how-tos, turn to INN member MuckRock for help. You also can find public records previously requested and made public by others.

For state and federal FOIA filings: Visit, a service of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP).

The NFOIC's Knight FOI Fund and SPJ Legal Defense Fund offer financial support in open government lawsuits. You can apply for them separately or jointly.

  • The Knight FOI Fund was established to fuel and assist in the pursuit of important FOI cases by helping to defray upfront costs such as filing fees, depositions, court costs and other expenses associated with legal actions. Only in rare circumstances do Knight FOI Fund grant awards also include direct outlays for attorney fees. The program is run by the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC).
  • The primary role of the SPJ Legal Defense Fund is to initiate and support litigation that enforces public access to government records and proceedings, which can be the most expensive way to defend the First Amendment. The fund can also be a source of support for FOI hotlines, coalitions and newsletters, as well as for legislative lobbying activities aimed at enforcing public access to government records and proceedings.

State FOI Hotline Directory from the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and its state affiliates.

RCFP Legal Defense and FOIA Hotline:
1.800.336.4243 or hotline at

The Reporters Committee Legal Defense and FOIA Hotline is available to journalists and media lawyers at any time, but nonemergency requests or questions about services and publications will be answered more promptly during normal office hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time).