I am contimplating a Discharge appeal. What information can I get via a FOIA request other than what is in my military file? Can I get my records from the IG for the three cases I brought before them? Can I get retention board minutes? Can I get email correspondence that references my between HQ departments? Thanks
State/Country relating to question: Wisconsin
I called the State IG and the NGB IG. I did get a formal (written) response form NGB IG, nowever I also got a followup call from the NGB IG commenting that I may have been retaliated against. I have 3 yrs to file from date of discharge. I have not sent any FOIA's yet.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.I spent a year in "purgatory"...my job was to review FOIA requests and release information under the FOIA. I know the FOIA. Let me tell you, its complex...much more so than many other areas of the law.When I say complex, I mean the law that relates to specific examples...what is and what is not releaseable...that is complex. Each year the government puts out a new book with the latest law in this area...the book is several inches think. The concept is not complex...all government information that protected by the privacy act and is not classified is releaseable under the FOIA UNLESS it falls under one of the 9 exemptions. You can see the 9 exemptions herehttp://www.osec.doc.gov/omo/foia/exemptions.htmSO in theory its very easy...and most stuff should be released.In practice? Not so much. Since most documents...at least the documents you want, fall under either the Privacy Act or one of the nine exemptions.Lets address your questions in orderCan I get my records from the IG for the three cases I brought before them? Perhaps...perhaps part of your records. The exemption that may apply to at least part of the records is b5.(b)(5) EXEMPTION - Privileged Interagency or Intra-Agency Memoranda or Letters<This exemption protects "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums of letters which would not be available by law to a party ...in litigation with the agency." As such, it has been construed to "exempt those documents, and only those documents, normally privileged in the civil discovery context."So in the file, I suspect a portion of the file will be protected under this exemption. Can I get retention board minutes? This I would argue that no exemption applies...since the Privacy Act will not apply to you for your request.Can I get email correspondence that references my between HQ departments? No. No way. This is clearly a b5 exemption.
So you can get at least part of what you want...but I suspect not everything
"Can I get retention board minutes? This I would argue that no exemption applies...since the Privacy Act will not apply to you for your request."
So you think it is possible to get retention board minutes? Just so you understand, I was non-selected for retention by a retention board. And the board findings are supposed to be confidential. Do you think I could get the results/minutes with a FOIA request?
I agree with you on the inter department correspondence. And I would think I could get anything related to me form the IG.
Let me know what you meant on the retention board minites, etc.
I'm sorry, I misread that to be your Board of records Corrections Appeal...I do think that retention board minutes will be claimed a b5 exemption. Sorry for the confusion
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
Thank you for you answers, I figured that same, but have no personnal reference to go by. I will accept your answer and pay accordingly.
I do not know if you are currently fully engaged in your life at this time, being retired military and all, however, I have until Aug 11 to submit either a BCMR or a DRB challenge. There are lawyers that charge $5000 to do these, and want $2500 just to look at what I got. I have about 8 to 10 points of contention that concern my situation.
Would you be willing to read a one page summary of my situation and suggest whether or not you would proceed, and on which points. You can contact me at XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX.
I would then put it all together and send it in myself. This will be a lot of work for me and need a nudge either way. I have much documentation as evidence, etc.
I am not in dier straights, however do not have $5000 to try to come to resolution or just let it die and go on with the rest of my life.
Thanks for you time, Carl
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