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Wessler v. United States Department of Justice et al and 4 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on February 16th, 2017

We have added 19 documents from 5 FOIA cases filed between February 5, 2017 and February 11, 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. Wessler v. United States Department of Justice et al (filed Feb 10, 2017)
    Seth Wessler, an investigative journalist, submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Marshals Service for records concerning the number of prisoners being detained by the agency. Wessler also requested a fee waiver and expedited processing. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. After hearing nothing from the agency, Wessler told the agency that he would file suit if it did not respond to his request. After hearing nothing further, Wessler filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  2. Romero v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services et al (filed Feb 6, 2017)
    Cristain Romero is a Salvadoran national who had been in the U.S. since 2005 and is currently facing deportation. Romero claimed he had been an informant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement concerning gang members. He submitted FOIA requests to ICE, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review for records about his case. ICE provided seven pages, none of which included information about his role as an informant. Neither USCIS nor EOIR had not responded, by the time Romero filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. Isreal v. Holbrook et al (filed Feb 7, 2017)
    Michael Isreal requested records filed with the court of common pleas. Judge Michael Holbrook rejected Isreal’s request and instead sent the case to the court of appeals. Isreal then filed suit. Isreal may have a claim on Ohio’s public records act, but has no claim under the federal FOIA.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  4. CHAPMAN v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (filed Feb 8, 2017)
    Robert Chapman submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for records concerning the correction of legal and mathematical errors in tax forms and instructions. The agency asked him to narrow his request, which he did. The agency then estimated that the cost of processing the request would be $2,378. The fee issue had not been resolved by the time Chapman filed suit. Chapman also submitted a second FOIA request concerning his time when he was an employee at the agency. The agency indicated that it would need more time to respond, but after hearing nothing further from the agency on either request, Chapman filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  5. MCKINLEY v. BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (filed Feb 8, 2017)
    Vern McKinley submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Reserve for records concerning the borrowing rates of individual institutions through the Federal Reserve from 1918-1921. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told McKinley several times that it would need more time to respond. After hearing nothing further from the agency, McKinley filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index

From → FOIA, PACER

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