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How to Obtain Your FTC Investigative Records

How to Obtain Your FTC Investigative Records

If the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has investigated you or your company, you may want to get copies of their records. This can help you understand what the FTC looked into and their findings. Here’s how to request your FTC investigative records using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

What is the FTC?

The FTC is a U.S. government agency. It enforces laws about business competition and consumer protection. The FTC investigates things like false advertising, identity theft, and anticompetitive mergers. When the FTC thinks a law may have been broken, it can start an investigation.

What is FOIA?

FOIA is a law that lets the public request records from federal agencies. It was passed in 1966 and went into effect in 1967. FOIA allows access to government documents even if they haven’t been published. There are some exceptions, like for classified records. But FOIA gives people the right to get many agency records.

Who can request FTC records under FOIA?

Any person can request FTC records under FOIA. You don’t have to be the subject of the records. News organizations, companies, and private citizens use FOIA to get information from government agencies. As long as the records aren’t protected for privacy or security reasons, the FTC must provide them to anyone who asks.

How do I make a FOIA request to the FTC?

You can make a FOIA request to the FTC by email, fax, or postal mail. Be sure to include:

  • Your name, mailing address, and contact information
  • As much detail as possible about the records you want
  • Whether you want to inspect the records in person or get copies mailed to you

It’s helpful to explain why you think the FTC has the records. For example, provide the name and date of any investigation or enforcement action. You can also give the FTC FOIA case number if you have it.

The FTC recommends submitting FOIA requests online through their website. This allows you to track the status of your request. But you can also fax or mail your letter to:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Freedom of Information Act Request
Office of General Counsel
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
Fax: (202) 326-2477

What records can I request under FOIA?

You can request any FTC records, including:

  • Investigation files and reports
  • Internal memos and correspondence
  • Enforcement action case materials
  • Consumer complaint data
  • Economic studies and surveys conducted by the FTC

The FTC won’t release some types of records protected under FOIA exemptions. This includes confidential business information, trade secrets, and private personal information. The FTC will notify you if any part of your request is denied.

How long does the FTC have to respond?

By law, the FTC must respond to your FOIA request within 20 business days. This deadline can be extended by 10 more days in certain circumstances. If extra processing time is needed, the FTC must explain why.

The FTC receives thousands of FOIA requests each year, so delays sometimes happen. Complex requests involving lots of records take more time. The FTC may need to notify third parties and allow them to object to releasing certain records.

How much does it cost?

There is no fee to submit a FOIA request, but the FTC may charge for copying and reviewing the records you request. The FTC will estimate the costs and may require prepayment before processing your request. Here are the current FOIA fees:

  • Search time – $61 per hour after 2 free hours
  • Photocopying – $0.15 per page
  • Computer printouts – actual cost
  • CDs or DVDs – $4.00 each

You may be able to get a fee waiver if the records are in the public interest. Fee waivers are granted case-by-case.

How will I get the records?

You can choose to inspect FTC records in-person at their office in Washington D.C. during normal business hours. Most people have the records mailed or emailed instead. The FTC will provide records in your preferred format if possible. For example, you can get paper copies, digital files on CD/DVD, or documents sent via email.

Can I get my request processed faster?

You can ask for expedited processing if there is an urgent need for the records. For example, if the records relate to an imminent court deadline or a matter of public health or safety. The FTC decides based on the need you demonstrate.

You should explain your reason for expedited processing when you submit your request. The FTC normally responds to expedited requests within 10 calendar days.

What if my request is denied?

If some or all of your FOIA request is denied, the FTC must explain why. Reasons may include:

  • The records are exempt from disclosure
  • The FTC does not have the records you want
  • Your request was not specific enough

You can appeal a denial within 90 days. Send a written appeal letter to the FTC General Counsel explaining why you believe the records should be released. The FTC has 20 business days to respond to your appeal. If denied again, you may be able to file a FOIA lawsuit in federal court.

What are my rights under the Privacy Act?

The Privacy Act is a law that allows people to access federal records about themselves. If you request FTC investigative records about yourself as an individual, cite both FOIA and the Privacy Act. This ensures you get all records the FTC has about you.

The Privacy Act requires verifying your identity before releasing your records. So you may need to provide a notarized signature or other proof of who you are.


Here are some tips when drafting your FOIA request to the FTC:

  • Be as specific as possible about the records you want
  • Give date ranges if applicable
  • List names of key people related to the records
  • Provide FTC case numbers or enforcement action details
  • Ask for a fee waiver if the records benefit the public
  • Keep your request focused – don’t ask for too much at once

FOIA gives you the right to access FTC records, but the agency still has discretion. Well-written, targeted requests are more likely to get fulfilled. Understanding your rights under FOIA and the Privacy Act helps ensure you get the FTC records you need.


Freedom of Information Act Request Office of General Counsel Federal Trade Commission 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 Frequently Asked Questions: FOIA

Freedom of Information Act

Make a FOIA Request

Case Document Search

Legal Library Cases and Proceedings

Office of Inspector General Investigative Files–FTC (FTC-I-7)

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