Online Services | Agencies | Governor | Help
Search Virginia.Gov

                 DBHDS on Facebook  
   Click here or Dial 2-1-1 for health and human service referrals for counseling, crisis intervention, volunteering and more.


   Click here for community resources for seniors and adults with disabilities and their providers


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act - Rights & Responsibilities

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located § 2.2-3700 et. seq. of the Code of Virginia, guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials, and public employees.

A public record is any writing or recording -- regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format -- that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.

The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.

Your FOIA Rights

·      You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.

·      You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.

·      If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court.

 [ top of page ]

Making a Request for records from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

[ top of page ]

CONTACT INFORMATION: To request records from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services:

Members of the Public: You may direct your request to Gayle Jones or by phone at 804-786-3921 or fax at 804-371-6638. In addition, the Department has a Voice/TDD, (804) 371-8977.

Members of the Media: Contact Meghan McGuire or by phone at 804-786-9048.

In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by e-mail at, or by phone at 804-225-3056 or [toll free] 1-866-448-4100.

[ top of page ]

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services’ Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request

[ top of page ]


[ top of page ]

Commonly used exemptions

The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure, including:

[ top of page ]

If you have trouble opening a document, you may need to download one of the above free plug-ins (WinZip is a trial version).  For comments or questions about this site, please Email the Webmaster. Thank you for visiting the Commonwealth of Virginia DBHDS Web site. © Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0