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Oct 19 17

WP COMPANY LLC v. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL OF AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION and 14 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 117 documents from 13 FOIA cases filed between October 8, 2017 and October 14, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. WP COMPANY LLC v. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL OF AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION (filed Oct 12, 2017)
    Washington Post reporters Greg Miller and Craig Whitlock submitted a FOIA request to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction for records concerning interviews the agency conducted with former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. The Post also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency denied the Post’s request in full read more…
Oct 19 17

FOIA Activity: 2 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 2 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between October 8, 2017 and October 14, 2017. These are associated with 2 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

Oct 12 17

Vietnam Veterans of America et al v. Defense and 18 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 109 documents from 19 FOIA cases filed between October 1, 2017 and October 7, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. Vietnam Veterans of America et al v. Defense (filed Oct 3, 2017)
    Vietnam Veterans of America, Connecticut State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, and Anthony Maloni submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Defense for records concerning the 1966 clean-up of a nuclear accident near Palomares, Spain caused by a mid-air collision between a B-52 and KC-135 tanker aircraft, which resulted in the disclosure of clouds of radioactive plutonium dust read more…
Oct 12 17

FOIA Activity: 2 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 2 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between October 1, 2017 and October 7, 2017. These are associated with 2 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

Oct 5 17

CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR and 14 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 130 documents from 15 FOIA cases filed between September 24, 2017 and September 30, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (filed Sep 27, 2017)
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Interior for records concerning Secretary Ryan Zinke’s attendance at a conference hosted by the American Petroleum Institute and held at Trump International Hotel. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, CREW filed suit read more…
Oct 5 17

FOIA Activity: 23 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 23 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between September 24, 2017 and September 30, 2017. These are associated with 23 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  1. CAS 3:2015cv02750Edelman v. Securities and Exchange Commission
    • September 27, 2017: ORDER: Denying Defendant's [22] Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; and (2) Granting in Part and Denying in Part Plaintiff's [23] Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Roger T. Benitez on 9/27/2017. (knb)
  2. read more…

Sep 28 17

SIERRA CLUB v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY and 7 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 59 documents from 8 FOIA cases filed between September 17, 2017 and September 23, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. SIERRA CLUB v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (filed Sep 18, 2017)
    The Sierra Club submitted FOIA requests to the EPA for records concerning administrator Scott Pruitt’s communications with fossil fuel industry representatives. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Sierra Club filed suit. read more…
Sep 28 17

FOIA Activity: 10 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 10 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between September 17, 2017 and September 23, 2017. These are associated with 10 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  1. CAS 3:2017cv01612Reyes v. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs et al
    • September 18, 2017: ORDER Granting [2] Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. US Marshal shall effect service of complaint. The Court directs the Clerk of Court to issue a summons as to complaint. Signed by Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on 09/18/2017. (All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service) (Certified Copy to USM) (ajs)
  2. read more…

Sep 22 17

Speeding up the Processing of FOIA Requests at ICE: Send Blank CDs

by FOIA Project Staff

The FOIA operations at Immigration and Customs Enforcement are clearly troubled, as the following all too common scenario shows:

At long last, the envelope from ICE’s FOIA office arrives, to a request made months ago. Opening the envelope, the letter inside from ICE FOIA Officer Catrina M. Pavlik-Keenan states: “A search .. for records responsive to your request produced 1-Excel Spreadsheet.”

We slip the CD into the computer to examine the records we received. But there is nothing on the disk. While the CD has a label with the correct FOIA tracking number ICE assigned to the request, nothing has been recorded on the CD. It’s totally blank.

Has anyone else had this experience? Despite receiving FOIA responses from dozens of federal agencies, the blank CD problem seems to occur most often with responses TRAC receives from ICE. For example, this week on Wednesday we received an envelope from ICE. Instead of the records we had sought, there was only a blank CD accompanying the response letter. Three additional envelopes also arrived this week from ICE’s FOIA office. Each ostensibly contained the agency’s response to different long pending requests – at least that is what the FOIA Officer’s response letters stated was the case. But in each response letter the accompanying CD was blank.

That is certainly one way to speed up the closure of FOIA requests. Send blank CDs instead of the actual records requested.

This should not be surprising. After all, it is September. As ICE’s own records reveal, each year when September rolls around there is a sudden rush to close out long stalled requests that have been sitting unanswered—timed to beat the deadline for filing the agency’s annual report.

Apparently, one way to close out cases in a hurry is to send requesters blank CD’s instead of the requested records.

Sep 21 17

WITTES v. U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and 16 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 99 documents from 16 FOIA cases filed between September 10, 2017 and September 16, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. WITTES v. U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (filed Sep 13, 2017)
    Benjamin Wittes, editor of the online publication Lawfare, submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning communications from acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other senior officials to the FBI workforce concerning the firing of James Comey. Wittes also requested a fee waiver. Wittes submitted a second FOIA request for records concerning materials sent by senior officials to various component offices of the FBI concerning the firing of Comey read more…