203.9 Administrative appeals.§ 203.9 Administrative appeals.
(a) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determination to the Register of Copyrights. Examples of adverse determinations are provided in § 203.8(e). Requesters can submit appeals by mail to the Register of Copyrights, Copyright Office, P.O. Box 70400, Washington, DC 20024. The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it must be postmarked within 90 calendar days after the date of the Office's response. The appeal should clearly identify the agency determination that is being appealed, include the assigned docket number, and include a statement explaining the basis for the appeal. To facilitate handling, the requester should include on both the appeal letter and envelope “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
(b) Adjudication of appeals. (1) The Register of Copyrights or a designee will adjudicate all appeals under this section.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(c) Decisions on appeals. The Office shall provide its decision on an appeal in writing. A decision that upholds the Office's determination in whole or in part will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If the Office's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the Agency will notify the requester of that determination in writing. The Office will then further process the request in accordance with the appeal determination and will respond directly to the requester.
(d) Engaging in dispute resolution. Mediation is a voluntary process. If the Office agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
(e) When an appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of an agency's adverse determination, a requester must first submit a timely administrative appeal.[82 FR 9508, Feb. 7, 2017]