A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records and shall make all reasonable efforts to supply the requested records at the lowest possible cost. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. Prior to conducting a search for records, the public body shall notify the requester in writing that the public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for requested records and inquire of the requester whether he would like to request a cost estimate in advance of the supplying of the requested records as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.
Requestors may be required to reimburse the City for the City’s actual costs incurred in fulfilling FOIA requests. This generally includes staff time spent searching for records. In some cases, it also includes the costs of materials. Requestors are not required to pay overhead costs.
The five days that the City has to respond to the request does not include the time between when the City provides a requested cost estimate and when the cost estimate is approved. If no response is received from the requestor in thirty days, the request will be closed.
The City of Chesapeake may require payment of a requestor’s previous FOIA bills over thirty days past due before it will respond to a new FOIA request.