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Apr 2 20

HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES v. AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE and 11 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 46 documents from 8 FOIA cases filed between March 22, 2020 and March 28, 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. HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES v. AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (filed Mar 27, 2020)
    The Humane Society of the United States submitted a FOIA request to the Agricultural Marketing Service for records concerning revenues received by the National Pork Producers Council for use of the slogan promoting eating pork. The Humane Society also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request read more…
Apr 2 20

FOIA Activity: 19 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 19 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between March 22, 2020 and March 28, 2020. These are associated with 19 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. AZ 2:2017cv01083American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al

    • March 27, 2020: ORDER granting Plaintiff's Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(E) (Doc. [71] ) and awarding Plaintiff attorneys' fees in the amount of $76,928.80 and costs in the amount of $400.00. Signed by Judge Diane J Humetewa on 3/27/2020. (See Order for details.) (LFIG)
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Mar 26 20

PUBLIC ADVOCATE OF THE UNITED STATES v. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION and 6 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 44 documents from 5 FOIA cases filed between March 15, 2020 and March 21, 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. PUBLIC ADVOCATE OF THE UNITED STATES v. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (filed Mar 20, 2020)
    Public Advocates of the United States submitted a FOIA request to the Centers for Disease Control for records concerning the production of the 2014 video series Start Talking. Stop HIV. PAUS also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. CDC acknowledged receipt of the request. CDC subsequently denied PAUS’s requests for expedited processing and a fee waiver read more…
Mar 26 20

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 March 15, 2020 and March 21, 2020. These are associated with 21 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 2:2019cv00415KXTV, LLC v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

    • March 18, 2020: STIPULATION and ORDER signed by District Judge John A. Mendez on 3/18/2020 EXTENDING Time to 4/30/2020, for Plaintiff to file a motion for attorney fees. (York, M)
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Mar 24 20

February 2020 FOIA Litigation with Five-Year Monthly Trends

by FOIA Project Staff

During the month of February 2020 federal district courts saw a total of 63 new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed under 5 U.S.C. 552. To place this number in perspective, 63 new filings compares with a monthly average of 74 filings during the last 12 months. This month’s total brought overall FOIA filings on an annual basis for these last 12 months to 886.

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.
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Mar 19 20

LONG et al v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al and 22 other new FOIA lawsuits, plus case descriptions

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 145 documents from 19 FOIA cases filed between March 8, 2020 and March 14, 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. LONG et al v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Mar 11, 2020)
    Susan Long and David Burnham, co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), submitted requests to the Department of Justice and the EPA for records concerning FOIA requests submitted through FOIA Online from October 2012 through September 2019. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests read more…
Mar 19 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 March 8, 2020 and March 14, 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. DC 1:2017cv01155WHITE COAT WASTE PROJECT v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

    • March 10, 2020: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 3/10/2020. (lcegs3)
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Mar 17 20

Department of Justice Official Uses Sunshine Week Event to Spread Misinformation about FOIA Processing

by FOIA Project Staff

At a recent Sunshine Week1 event, a Department of Justice spokesperson claimed that FOIA applicants are now quicker to litigate, then blamed overly-litigious requesters for straining the workloads of FOIA professionals and bogging down ordinary citizens’ FOIA requests. Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire Murray stated:

“[T]he work of government FOIA professionals has become even more challenging in the past few years. … [A]n increase in nearly immediate litigation brought by some savvy frequent requesters strains our FOIA officials in their efforts to respond to every request in a timely way. Our FOIA professionals must be commended for redoubling their efforts to serve ordinary citizens while litigation on the part of the well-funded pushes ordinary citizens to the end of the queue.”

TRAC finds the underlying claim to be unsubstantiated and counterfactual. In TRAC’s recent empirical study comparing FOIA lawsuits in 2015 and 2019, TRAC found that not only were requesters not jumping into court immediately, requesters were actually waiting on average six months—a full month longer than they had five years ago—before filing a FOIA lawsuit. The statute provides that agencies need to respond within 20 business days. Additionally, the study documented that the increase in FOIA lawsuits over the five-year period was due to FOIA officials’ failure to respond to requests in a timely manner as required by law.

read more…
Mar 12 20

FOIA Activity: 275 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 143 documents from 16 FOIA cases filed between March 1, 2020 and March 7, 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. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (filed Mar 2, 2020)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Interior for records concerning a secretarial order on the use of electric bicycles. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests but after hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit. read more…
Mar 12 20

FOIA Activity: 28 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 28 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between March 1, 2020 and March 7, 2020. These are associated with 25 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. AZ 4:2018cv00454Karam v. United States Department of Health and Human Services

    • March 2, 2020: ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Ferraro's Report and Recommendation [41] is ADOPTED. Plaintiff's Objection to the Report and Recommendation (Doc. 43) is OVERRULED. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [39] is GRANTED. The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment and close the file in this matter. Signed by Judge Jennifer G Zipps on 03/02/20. (MYE)
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