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PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, INC. et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE et al

by Harry Hammitt on February 23rd, 2017

We have added 66 documents from 13 FOIA cases filed between February 12, 2017 and February 18, 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. PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS, INC. et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE et al (filed Feb 13, 2017)
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and several other organizations filed suit challenging a decision by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the Department of Agriculture to remove records concerning its oversight of the Animal Welfare Act from its website and require FOIA requests to obtain access to such records. PETA and the other organization argued that APHIS already had a substantial backlog of FOIA requests and requiring them to go through FOIA would put severe limitations on their ability to access information related to AWA.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. CHASE v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al (filed Feb 13, 2017)
    Dennis Chase, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Marshals Service for records about himself. He also submitted a FOIA request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for records about his case. The agencies acknowledged receipt of his requests, but after hearing nothing further from either agency, Chase filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  3. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Feb 13, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning investigations of FEMA administrator Craig Fugate for solicitation of prostitution. Judicial Watch also included a Privacy Act waiver for Aubree Allen, the alleged victim of Fugate’s misconduct. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  4. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (filed Feb 13, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Army for records concerning the use of heroin and other opiates by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and veterans of the Afghan war. Judicial Watch also sent its request to the U.S. Army Crime Records Center. The Crime Records Center told Judicial Watch it could not search its records based on a topic because they were filed by personal identifiers. Judicial Watch filed an administrative appeal of the Crime Center’s decision. After hearing nothing further from the agency pertaining to either request, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. Parham v. United States Social Security Administration (filed Feb 13, 2017)
    James Parham filed suit against the Social Security Administration, alleging that he had been unconstitutionally denied benefits because of his exercise of this First Amendment rights. This is not a FOIA claim.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  6. Smith v. United States Agency for International Development (filed Feb 14, 2017)
    Matt Smith, a reporter for the Center for Investigative Reporting, submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Agency for International Development for communications between staff members in Malawi and organizations belonging to the Humana People to People movement. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and placed Smith in the news media fee category. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Smith filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. BONFILIO v. OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (filed Feb 14, 2017)
    Ronald Bonfilio submitted a FOIA request to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for records concerning deaths or injuries at jobs performed by Fort Meyer Construction, Anchor Construction, or Capitol Paving of D.C. OSHA told Bonfilio that there were no records of any deaths. It sent a redacted CD containing information about worker injuries. Bonfilio filed an administrative appeal, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Bonfilio filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. PROJECT ON PREDATORY STUDENT LENDING OF THE LEGAL SERVICES CENTER OF HARVARD LAW SCHOOL v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Feb 14, 2017)
    The Project on Predatory Student Lending submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning the agency’s litigation against Education Management Corporation for its predatory lending practices. The Justice Department denied the request, citing a protective order, personal privacy, confidential business information, and the Family Educational Right and Privacy Act. The Project filed an administrative appeal, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Project filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  9. Singh v. United States Postal Service (filed Feb 14, 2017)
    Keerut Singh, a former employee, submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Postal Service for his personnel and background check file. The Postal Service sent Singh some records from his personnel file, but told Singh that background check records were maintained by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. He sent his request there, but the Postal Inspection Service said it had no background check records on him. Singh appealed the decisions, but then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  10. CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (filed Feb 15, 2017)
    The Center for Public Integrity submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Energy for National Nuclear Security Administration performance and evaluation plans. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after several inquiries concerning the status of the request resulted in no resolution, the Center for Public Integrity filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  11. COZEN O'CONNOR v. U.S DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Feb 15, 2017)
    The law firm of Cozen O’Connor submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning a forfeiture by a bank in Cuba relating to abuses against two Cuban nationals. After hearing nothing more from the agency, the law firm filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  12. Ditech Financial, LLC et al v. Henley (filed Feb 17, 2017)
    Ditech Financial brought suit to settle claims that James Henley might have against the Estate of Barbara Brilbro. This involves bankruptcy and is not a FOIA case
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  13. The New York Times Company et al v. U.S. Department of Defense (filed Feb 17, 2017)
    Reporter Charlie Savage submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Defense for an August 2016 report entitled “NSA Should Take Additional Steps in Its Privileged Access-Related Secure-the-Net Initiatives.” The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the New York Times filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

From → FOIA, PACER

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