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Animal Legal Defense Fund et al v. United States Department of Agriculture et al and 10 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on March 2nd, 2017

We have added 54 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between February 19, 2017 and February 25, 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. Animal Legal Defense Fund et al v. United States Department of Agriculture et al (filed Feb 23, 2017)
    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and several other animal rights groups filed suit against the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for its removal of information about Animal Welfare Act implementation and enforcement from the agency’s website, claiming the removal violated the affirmative disclosure provisions in Section (a)(2) of FOIA.
    Issues: Affirmative disclosure, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. Demoruelle et al v. Veterans Affairs, Department of (filed Feb 21, 2017)
    Louis Demoruelle, a disabled Vietnam veteran, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Veterans Affairs for records concerning the Beneficiary Travel Office because Demoruelle believed his benefit claim had been lost and he wanted to know more about the operations of the office. The agency assessed fees and Demoruelle appealed. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Demoruelle and his wife filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. Whitehead v. Caddo (filed Feb 21, 2017)
    David Whitehead alleged that he was seriously injured when he ran into an over-hanging obstruction at the Shrevesport Public Library. He requested a copy of a video tape of the obstruction from the Public Library, which refused his request. Whitehead indicates in his complaint that he needs the tape to make his claim for injury, but this is not a FOIA claim, although he may have a cause of action under Louisiana’s public records law.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  4. Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty Inc v. Department of Justice (filed Feb 21, 2017)
    The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning DOJ’s investigation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program for allegations of discrimination against students with disabilities. WILL also asked for inclusion in the educational fee category. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The Civil Division contacted WILL indicating that its request was considered complex and that it would take more than a year to process. WILL then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Fee Category – Media or Educational, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. Berry v. US Attorney's Office-State of NH (filed Feb 22, 2017)
    Jason Berry, a former New Hampshire probation and parole officer, submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire for records about himself. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Berry filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  6. THINKGLOBAL, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (filed Feb 23, 2017)
    ThinkGlobal, Inc., publisher of a trade publication on international exports, submitted five FOIA requests to the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration for records about international exports. The agency responded to several requests by indicating that it had no records, while it withheld other records under Exemption 4 (confidential business information). In at least one request, ThinkGlobal believed the International Trade Administration had purposefully said it had no records when it turned out that it did have responsive records. ThinkGlobal also requested a fee waiver, which was denied. ThinkGlobal filed administrative appeals of all its requests, none of which were resolved by the time ThinkGlobal filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Sanctions – Bad faith
  7. Montenegro v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (filed Feb 23, 2017)
    Tristan di Montenegro submitted two FOIA requests to the FBI by certified mail. The Postal Service tracking system indicated the requests had been delivered. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Montenegro filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  8. Montenegro v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (filed Feb 23, 2017)
    Tristan di Montenegro submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security by certified mail. The Postal Service tracking system indicated that the agency had received the requests. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Montenegro filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  9. FIX THE COURT v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Feb 24, 2017)
    Fix the Court submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning complaints and performance reviews of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Fix the Court filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. Montenegro v. National Security Agency (filed Feb 24, 2017)
    Tristan di Montenegro submitted a FOIA request to the National Security Agency by certified mail. The Postal Service tracking system indicated the request had been delivered. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Montenegro filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit

In addition, we have added 3 documents from 1 case, with an earlier filing date, that has recently appeared on PACER.

From → FOIA, PACER

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