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Georgia Sample Annotated Request

Last Updated: March 2024



Sample Annotated Request



Brief Description of this Request

The Center for Constitutional Rights made this request in support of our work to stop the “cop city” being built outside of Atlanta, GA. We sought more information about how federal and state law enforcement were framing activists and organizers as “extremists” and “terrorists.” For more information on this work, you can visit our case page here.

February 24, 2023[IH1] 


George Bureau of Investigation
Open Records Unit
3121 Panthersville Road
Decatur, GA 30034

RE: Open Records Request

To Whom it May Concern:

We are making this request under the Georgia Open Records Act, O.C.G.A. 50-18-70. [IH2] Please direct this request to the GA Information Sharing Analysis Center[1] and any other applicable components and offices with the GA Bureau of Investigation (“GBI”). [IH3] 


1. Request[IH4] 

We request information regarding any and all records[2] [EE5] which related to the identification of the people surveilled, stopped, encountered and/or arrested[3] in DeKalb County between the dates of December 1, 2022 – February 9, 2023 during the “Defend the Atlanta Forest” demonstration as “Domestic Violent Extremists.”[4] This includes:

  1. Any policy, guidance or related record in the GBI’s possession identifying any group and/or individual as “Domestic Violent Extremists.”
    1. This includes any specific reference related to the ‘Defend the Atlanta Forest’ protest.
  2. Any policy, guidance or related record received by GBI from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or other federal agency identifying any group and/or individual as “Domestic Violent Extremists.”
    1. This includes any specific reference related to the ‘Defend the Atlanta Forest’ protest.
  3. Any communications sent or received by GBI between September 1, 2022 and the date this request is received in which a federal, state or local government official designates, lists and/or identifies any group and/or individual as “Domestic Violent Extremists.”
    1. This includes any specific reference related to the ‘Defend the Atlanta Forest’ protest.

Please justify and label with the proper exemption(s) any records the agency chooses not to produce, or redacts, as required by law. In the case parts of a record may fall under an exemption, please release all segregable portions of those responsive records to us.


2. Fee Waiver[IH6] 

Although Georgia open records law does not specifically address whether requesters can receive a waiver of fees in relation to a public records request, it does not bar such a request either. As a non-profit public interest organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights has no commercial interest in the records requested above. Our interest is providing transparency around government actions, such as the arrests which took place recently in DeKalb County. We therefore ask that the GBI and other agencies waive any fees associated with this public records request. In the alternative, please provide us notice in regards to any fees greater than $25.00, as required by O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(d).[IH7] 


3. Conclusion

We anticipate a response to our request within three business days, as required under O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(b)(1)(A). Please provide records electronically if possible. Records and any responses can be sent via email to Ian Head at [email protected]. If it is necessary to send records or correspondence by regular mail, you can send to: Ian Head, Center for Constitutional Rights, 666 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY. Email is preferred, however. [IH8] If you have questions, please reach out at the email or phone number below.



Ian Head, Senior Legal Worker
Center for Constitutional Rights

[email protected]
(212) 614-6470

[1] See

[2] In this request the term “record(s)” includes, but is not limited to, all Records or communications preserved in electronic (including metadata) or written form, such as correspondences, emails, documents, data, videotapes, audio tapes, faxes, files, guidance, guidelines, evaluations, instructions, analyses, memoranda, agreements, notes, orders, policies, procedures, legal opinions, protocols, reports, rules, talking points, technical manuals, technical specifications, training manuals, studies, or any other Record of any kind.

[3] Note that we are not requesting personally identifying information of anyone arrested nor the arresting officers.

[4] See Attachments. On each of the warrants, the arrestee has been identified by the arresting officer as part of “a group classified by the United States Department of Homeland Security as Domestic Violent Extremists.”

[5] In this request the term “communication” means the transmittal of information (in the forms of facts, ideas, inquiries or otherwise).

 [IH1]Date your request

 [IH2]It’s always recommended to cite the open records law. See Georgia Explainer Part 1.

 [IH3]Identify which agencies you are requesting records from. See Georgia Explainer Part 4.

 [IH4]Make your specific requests for the different types of records you’re seeking. See Georgia Explainer Part 5. If the records you are seeking were mentioned in a news article, a government meeting or hearing, or some other source, consider including a footnote with a reference to that source in order to show that the record exists and help the agency identify the record. 

We also recommend you number or letter your requests (1, 2, 3, etc) so that you can easily refer back to them later on if you need to when corresponding with the agency.

 [EE5]Defining what a “record” and other terms in your request are can be useful. See Georgia Explainer Part 5.

Feel free to copy this language from the explainer for your own request!

 [IH6]Ask for a waiver and/or discount of fees, and be clear that your request is in the public interest. See Georgia Explainer Part 7.


 [IH7]If you are not willing to pay fees, you should include a line like this.

If you are unwilling to pay the fees quoted by an agency, you can try to negotiate a reduction in fees, or offer to narrow your request. See Georgia Explainer Parts 7 and 9.


 [IH8]Give a clear address or email for the agency to send a response and records to you.