What can I do if my appeal is denied?

If HHS denies your appeal, or does not respond within 20 working days, you may file a lawsuit. You may file a FOIA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court where you live, where you have your principal place of business, where the documents are kept, or in the District of Columbia. In court, HHS will have to prove that any withheld information is covered by one of the exemptions or exclusions listed in the FOIA or is prohibited from release by some other law. If you win a substantial portion of your case, the court may require the government to pay your court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

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