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Sep 24 20

FOIA Activity: 109 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 105 documents from 16 FOIA cases filed between September 13, 2020 and September 19, 2020. 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. MOHARAM v. U.S. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION et al (filed Sep 14, 2020)
    Fahmi Ahmed Moharam, who was raised in Yemen but immigrated to the U.S. and received derivative U.S. citizenship, submitted FOIA requests to the FBI and the State Department for records concerning why he had been placed on the no fly list. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. The FBI told Moharam that it found no records read more…
Sep 24 20

FOIA Activity: 20 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 20 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between September 13, 2020 and September 19, 2020. These are associated with 20 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 3:2020cv00495Sandoval v. United States of America

    • September 17, 2020: ORDER dismissing action for failure timely to effect service pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m). Signed by Judge Janis L. Sammartino on 9/17/2020.(All non-registered users served via U.S. Mail Service)(jpp) (dlg).
  2. read more…

Sep 17 20

National Public Radio, Inc. et al v. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, plus case descriptions

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 139 documents from 15 FOIA cases filed between September 6, 2020 and September 12, 2020. 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. National Public Radio, Inc. et al v. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (filed Sep 10, 2020)
    National Public Radio reporter Tom Dreisbach submitted a FOIA request to U.S. International Development Finance Corporation for records concerning a loan to Eastman Kodak to manufacture drug components. Dreisbach also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request read more…
Sep 17 20

FOIA Activity: 9 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 9 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between September 6, 2020 and September 12, 2020. These are associated with 8 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. CAE 2:2018cv00873Stanco et al v. Internal Revenue Service

    • September 10, 2020: STIPULATION and ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 9/10/2020 EXTENDING the deadline to 9/28/2020, in which the Plaintiff has to file their First Amended Complaint. Defendant's responsive pleading is due 21 days from the filing of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. (Tupolo, A)
  2. read more…

Sep 10 20

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC. et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY and 12 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 73 documents from 11 FOIA cases filed between August 30, 2020 and September 5, 2020. 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. NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC. et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Sep 3, 2020)
    National Public Radio reporter Tom Dreisbach submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning inspection and investigative reports prepared by the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties pertaining to the examination of immigration detention facilities operated under the auspices of U read more…
Sep 10 20

FOIA Activity: 9 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 9 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between August 30, 2020 and September 5, 2020. These are associated with 8 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. CAE 1:2019cv01218Mertes v. Internal Revenue Service

    • August 31, 2020: ORDER REGARDING REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION signed by District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 08/31/2020. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED Defendant's unopposed motion for clarification (Doc. No. [29] ) is GRANTED. (Gonzales, V)
  2. read more…

Sep 8 20

July 2020 FOIA Litigation with Five-Year Monthly Trends

by FOIA Project Staff

During the month of July 2020 federal district courts saw a total of 75 new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed under 5 U.S.C. 552. To place this number in perspective, 75 new filings compares with a monthly average of 66 filings during the last 12 months. This month’s total brought overall FOIA filings on an annual basis for these last 12 months to 797.

The figure below provides a more detailed view of monthly trends during the past five years. The height of each bar reflects the number of filings in that month. To see the actual filing count mouse over any bar. The superimposed line over the bars is the moving 12-month average. It is computed by adding up the 12 months ending at a given month, and then dividing that total by 12 to obtain the monthly average over this period. Mousing over any bar also shows the calculated result for this moving average for that given month.
read more…

Sep 3 20

FOIA Activity: 85 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 72 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between August 23, 2020 and August 29, 2020. 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. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Aug 25, 2020)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility for records concerning complaints about the conduct of Attorney General William Barr. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request but after hearing nothing further from the agency, American Oversight filed suit read more…
Sep 3 20

FOIA Activity: 12 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 12 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between August 23, 2020 and August 29, 2020. These are associated with 12 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. DC 1:2018cv00859BRYAN v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF INFORMATION POLICY et al

    • August 28, 2020: MEMORANDUM OPINION accompanying the final order issued separately this day. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 8/28/20.(psu1)
  2. read more…

Sep 2 20

FOIA Project Announces New Brief Bank Initiative and Releases Detailed Court Documents for 15 FOIA Cases

by Austin Kocher

The FOIA Project is announcing a new brief bank initiative to collect documents for federal FOIA cases to make available to the FOIA community. Below are the first 15 FOIA cases with a rich trove of supplemental material.

What is the Brief Bank Initiative? 

Although the FOIA Project keeps diligent track of federal FOIA-related lawsuits by downloading docket sheets, complaints, and opinions from PACER and annotating and classifying each case on legal issues and other characteristics, the project does not download briefs due to the prohibitively high cost of doing so at $0.10 per page. Yet briefs are of inestimable value to FOIA requesters and litigators both in terms of preparing FOIA requests and lawsuits, but also enabling more systematic research on the veracity and consistency of government claims across various court cases. Therefore, we are now seeking organizations, FOIA requesters, and attorneys to contribute their briefs (including government supporting declarations) so that these can be added to our collection.

How does the Brief Bank Initiative Work?

Because TRAC has considerable experience with large-scale data management, we developed document and data management programs specific to the FOIA Project that not only allow us to upload user-contributed documents to the website, but also enables us to link each brief to its proper court case. This means that when users search FOIAProject.org, they will not only receive links to documents and opinions that we download automatically, but users also receive links to any contributed briefs and declarations, as well. Existing search tools automatically include in the response to queries links to not only documents and opinions, but also to any contributed briefs and declarations.

How can you get involved?

To contribute, send documents to Dr. Austin Kocher, TRAC Faculty Fellow, at ackocher@syr.edu.

List of Cases with Court Documents

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