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ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and 10 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on January 26th, 2017

We have added 101 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between January 15, 2017 and January 21, 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. ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (filed Jan 18, 2017)
    The Electronic Privacy Information Center submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning the agency’s response to Russian interference in the 2016 election. EPIC also requested news media fee status and expedited processing. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, EPIC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Fee Category – Media or Educational, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. SIERRA CLUB v. JEWELL et al (filed Jan 17, 2017)
    The Sierra Club submitted a FOIA request to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement at the Department of the Interior for records concerning fugitive dust generated by coal operations. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and subsequently told the Sierra Club that it could not respond within the 20-day time limit. The Sierra Club inquired about the status of the request, but after the agency was unable to provide an estimated completion date, the Sierra Club filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Jan 18, 2017)
    The Federation for American Immigration Reform submitted five FOIA requests to the Department of State asking for records on a variety on unrelated topics. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, FAIR filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  4. PRO PUBLICA, INC. et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (filed Jan 19, 2017)
    The Virginian-Pilot submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Veterans Affairs for records concerning correspondence with Hans Kang and Michael Peterson, both former employees of the VA and experts on the effects of Agent Orange and other toxins. The reporter from the Virginian-Pilot was working with a reporter from Pro Publica. Both the Virginian-Pilot and Pro Publica contacted the VA numerous times to inquire about the status of the request, including seeking help from the Office of Government Information Services. The Virginian-Pilot submitted a second FOIA request to VA for further correspondence involving Agent Orange. After the agency had failed to respond, the Virginian-Pilot once again asked for help from OGIS. After the agency failed to respond to either request, Pro Publica and the Virginian-Pilot filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  5. EDDINGTON v. OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (filed Jan 19, 2017)
    Patrick Eddington, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Defense for records concerning the ThinThread Project, a data collection operation conducted by the National Security Agency in the 1990s, and the Trailblazer Project, a similar operation run by a NSA contractor. He also requested expedited processing. The agency denied his request for expedited processing, but after Eddington appealed the denial, the agency granted his request for expedited processing. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Eddington filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. UNITED STATES PARK POLICE (filed Jan 19, 2017)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Park Police for records concerning the number of employees at the Park Police offices in Washington, San Francisco, and New York, and a breakdown of the annual workload in each location. After hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION v. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (filed Jan 19, 2017)
    The Allied Pilots Association submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Aviation Administration for records of communications between Robert Neumeier, Assistant Principal Operations Inspector at the agency, and three American Airlines officials. The agency disclosed some records, with redactions made under Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy), and charged the Association $142.85. The Association believed there should be more records, but the agency told the Association it had disclosed all the records located. The Association filed an administrative appeal, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Association filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. LOPEZ v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY et al (filed Jan 19, 2017)
    Edwin Lopez, who had worked as a researcher for the House Select Committee on Assassinations from July 1977 to December 1978, submitted a FOIA request to the National Archives and Records Administration for a 40-page file known as the “Ed Lopez file.” After consulting with the CIA, NARA told Lopez the file was being withheld under Exemption 1 (national security) and Exemption 3 (other statutes). However, the CIA also sent him a one-page document, while refusing to confirm or deny any affiliation with the CIA. Lopez filed an administrative appeal, but after hearing nothing further from either agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. COCA COLA COMPANY & SUBSIDIARIES v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (filed Jan 19, 2017)
    Coca Cola Company submitted three FOIA requests to the IRS. The first request was for the 2005-2006 administrative file. The second request was for the 2007-2009 administrative file. The third request was for records generated by Innovation & Information Consultants or Premier Qualitative Consulting, contractors hired to examine Coca Cola’s taxes. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after it failed to respond to any of the requests, Coca Cola filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (filed Jan 20, 2017)
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a FOIA request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for records concerning any questionnaires submitted by the Trump transition team. CREW also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and granted CREW a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, CREW filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

In addition, we have added 1 document from 1 case, with an earlier filing date, that has recently appeared on PACER.

From → FOIA, PACER

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