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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

How to Make a FOIA Request

Do research before you make a request

Before making a request, first see if the information is already publicly available on the Office of the Pardon Attorney website.

If the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a FOIA request.

Submit your request

  • Online: Go to, select “Office of the Pardon Attorney (Department of Justice)” as the agency, and fill out the required fields.
  • Mail: Send a letter to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Write “FOIA Request” at the top of your letter and provide a detailed description of your request.

What happens next

We will search for the records and then review them to determine what can be disclosed. While FOIA allows for many records to be released, there are also nine exemptions that protect certain types of information, such as personal privacy. The length of time to respond to your request will vary depending on the specificity of your initial request, its complexity, and any backlog of requests.

FOIA Resources

How to Request a Copy of a Clemency Applicant's Petition

You may request a copy of a clemency applicant’s petition under the Privacy Act. Submit your request to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. Include the required verification of identity:

  • Clemency applicant: You will need to either (1) submit a completed Certification of Identity form, or (2) provide a statement notarized or under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, indicating your full name, place of birth, date of birth, and current address.
  • Third party (including legal counsel and media): Submit a Certification of Identity form that has been completed and signed by the clemency applicant. The clemency applicant must include your name in the optional section: “Authorization to Release Information to Another Person.”

FOIA Contact

FOIA Public Liaison: Rosalind Sargent-Burns
Phone: (202) 616-6070
Mailing Address:
U.S. Department of Justice         
Office of the Pardon Attorney
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20530

Updated April 19, 2024