FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-15-00


December 12, 2000

Reverend Dianne Dietz
Burlington, NC

The staff of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is authorized to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the information presented in your e-mail of November 14, 2000.

Dear Reverend Dietz:

You have asked a question addressing access to your divorce records. Access to court records falls outside of the scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and one would need to look to other state laws governing the administration of Virginia's courts. We can, however, advise you that you should be able to go to the clerk of court's office where the proceeding took place and obtain a copy of the record. Even if a divorce proceeding is sealed, the records are still available to parties to the action. Additionally, you might want to contact your original attorney in writing to obtain your file. This office is limited to issuing advisory opinions concerning FOIA, and thus is not in a position to give legal advice on this matter. The tone of your letter indicates that you may need a lawyer.

Thank you for contacting this office. I am sorry that we are not able to be of more assistance.


Maria J.K. Everett
Executive Director