25 CFR 517.8 - Appeals.

§ 517.8 Appeals.

(a)Right of appeal. The requester has the right to appeal to the FOIA Appeals Officer any adverse determination.

(b)Notice of Appeal -

(1)Time for appeal. To be considered timely, an appeal must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, no later than ninety (90) calendar days after the date of the response or after the time limit for response by the FOIA Officer has expired. Prior to submitting an appeal any outstanding fees associated with FOIA requests must be paid in full.

(2)Form of appeal. An appeal shall be initiated by filing a written notice of appeal. The notice shall be accompanied by copies of the original request and adverse determination. To expedite the appellate process and give the requester an opportunity to present his/her arguments, the notice should contain a brief statement of the reasons why the requester believes the adverse determination to have been in error. Requesters may submit appeals by mail, facsimile, or electronically. Appeals sent by mail shall be addressed to the National Indian Gaming Commission, Attn: FOIA Appeals Officer, 1849 C Street NW, Mailstop #1621, Washington, DC 20240. Appeals may also be submitted via electronic mail at FOIARequests@nigc.gov or through the NIGC's website. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

(c)Final agency determinations. The FOIA Appeals Officer shall issue a final written determination, stating the basis for its decision, within twenty (20) working days after receipt of a notice of appeal. If the determination is to provide access to the requested records, the FOIA Officer shall make those records immediately available to the requester. If the determination upholds the adverse determination, the FOIA Appeals Officer shall notify the requester of the determination, the ability to obtain mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation, and the right to obtain judicial review in the appropriate Federal district court.

(d)When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of the FOIA Officer's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.

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