12 CFR 1070.21 - Administrative appeals.
(a) Grounds for administrative appeals. A requester may appeal an initial determination of the CFPB, including for the following reasons:
(1) To deny access to records in whole or in part (as provided in § 1070.18(b) of this subpart);
(2) To assign a particular fee category to the requestor (as provided in § 1070.22(b) of this subpart);
(3) To deny a request for a reduction or waiver of fees (as provided in § 1070.22(e) of this subpart);
(4) That no records exist that are responsive to the request (as provided in § 1070.18(b) of this subpart); or
(5) To deny a request for expedited processing (as provided in § 1070.17(e) of this subpart).
(b) Time limits for filing administrative appeals. An appeal, other than an appeal of a denial of expedited processing, must be postmarked or submitted electronically on a date that is within forty-five (45) calendar days of the date of the initial determination or the date of the letter transmitting the last records released, whichever is later. An appeal of a denial of expedited processing must be made within ten (10) days of the date of the initial determination letter to deny expedited processing (see § 1070.17 of this subpart).
(c) Form and content of administrative appeals. In order to ensure a timely response to an appeal, the appeal shall be made in writing or by electronic means as follows:
(1) If appeal is made in writing, it shall be addressed to and submitted to the officer specified in paragraph (e) of this section at the address set forth in § 1070.14(b) of this subpart. The appeal shall be labeled “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
(2) If an appeal is made by electronic means, it shall be addressed to the officer specified in paragraph (e) of this section and submitted as set forth on the CFPB's Web site, http://www.consumerfinance.gov. The appeal shall be labeled “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
(3) The appeal shall set forth contact information for the requester, including, to the extent available, a mailing address, telephone number, or email address at which the CFPB may contact the requester regarding the appeal; and
(4) The appeal shall specify the applicable request tracking number, the date of the initial request, and the date of the letter of initial determination, and, where possible, enclose a copy of the initial request and the initial determination being appealed.
(d) Processing of administrative appeals. Appeals will be stamped with the date of their receipt by the FOIA response office, and will be processed in the order of their receipt. The receipt of the appeal will be acknowledged by the CFPB and the requester will be advised of the date the appeal was received, the appeal tracking number, and the expected date of response.
(e) Determinations to grant or deny administrative appeals. The General Counsel is authorized to and shall decide whether to affirm the initial determination (in whole or in part) or to reverse the initial determination (in whole or in part) and shall notify the requester of this decision in writing within twenty (20) business days after the date of receipt of the appeal, unless extended pursuant to § 1070.16(d) of this subpart.
(1) If it is decided that the appeal is to be denied (in whole or in part) the requester shall be:
(i) Notified in writing of the denial;
(ii) Notified of the reasons for the denial, including which of the FOIA exemptions were relied upon;
(iii) Notified of the name and title or position of the official responsible for the determination on appeal;
(iv) Provided with a statement that judicial review of the denial is available in the United States District Court for the judicial district in which the requester resides or has a principal place of business, the judicial district in which the requested records are located, or the District of Columbia in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B); and
(v) Provided with notification that mediation services are available to the requester as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation through the Office of Government Information Services in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(h)(3).
(2) If the initial determination is reversed on appeal, the requester shall be so notified and the request shall be processed promptly in accordance with the decision on appeal.
(3) If the initial determination is remanded on appeal to the Chief FOIA Officer for further action, the requester shall be so notified and the request shall be processed in accordance with the decision on appeal. The remanded request shall be treated as a new request received by the CFPB as of the date when the General Counsel transmits the remand notification to the requester. The procedures and deadlines set forth in this subpart for processing, deciding, responding to, and filing administrative appeals of new FOIA requests shall apply to the remanded request.
(f) Adjudication of administrative appeals of requests in litigation. An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.