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KNIGHT FIRST AMENDMENT INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al

by Harry Hammitt on April 6th, 2017

We have added 73 documents from 13 FOIA cases filed between March 26, 2017 and April 1, 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. KNIGHT FIRST AMENDMENT INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al (filed Mar 27, 2017)
    The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning the search of individuals’ cell phones at the border. The request also asked for expedited processing. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not acknowledge receipt of the request, although DHS and Customs and Border Protection did acknowledge receipt of the request. After hearing nothing further from the agency or its two components, the Knight First Amendment Institute filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. BURWELL v. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES (filed Mar 29, 2017)
    Gregory Burwell, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for records concerning himself. The agency acknowledged the request and told Burwell that his request was considered complex and would take some time to process. Burwell then filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. PETROFF v. RACHELS et al (filed Mar 27, 2017)
    Sean Petroff, a federal prisoner, requested information from Reggie Rachals, Sheriff of Lee County, Georgia. Rachals did not respond and Petroff filed suit. He may have a claim under Georgia’s access law, but this is not a federal FOIA claim.
    Issues: FOIA mentioned only tangentially
  4. PETROFF v. SESSIONS et al (filed Mar 27, 2017)
    Sean Petroff, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Petroff filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  5. CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF WASHINGTON v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Mar 28, 2017)
    Catholic Charities of Washington submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning why the agency had not updated its website to provide newer policy information about dealing with asylum requests for individuals who had suffered genital mutilation. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Catholic Charities of Washington filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. Kelly v. Hayes (filed Mar 28, 2017)
    Michael Kelly filed suit against Debra Hayes, director of My Brother’s Keeper, after Hayes refused to tell Kelly where the office for veterans’ services was located. This is not a FOIA claim.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  7. FRIENDS OF ANIMALS et al v. ROSS et al (filed Mar 29, 2017)
    Friends of Animals and Wildearth Guardians submitted a FOIA request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for records concerning the agency’s decision that the Queen conch should not be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and made several interim responses. However, after the agency failed to respond further, Friends of Animals and Wildearth Guardians filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. BERNEGGER v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS (filed Mar 29, 2017)
    Peter Bernegger submitted a FOIA request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for records concerning alleged fraud allegations against a U.S. Attorney in Oxford, MS. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Bernegger filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  9. Robert Beard, et al v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (filed Mar 29, 2017)
    Robert Beard and several neighbors submitted FOIA requests to the Army Corps of Engineers concerning access to water. The agency did not respond and Beard filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. Jabar v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration (filed Mar 29, 2017)
    Steve Jabar submitted a FOIA request to the Transportation Security Administration for records about himself. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Jabar filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  11. Currier v. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Mar 31, 2017)
    Cora Currier, a reporter, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the Department of Justice for records concerning the two travel ban executive orders issued by President Donald Trump. Currier also requested expedited processing. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agencies, Currier filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  12. TALBOT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE et al (filed Mar 31, 2017)
    David Talbot, a reporter and author, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning passport and visa records for former CIA officer William King Harvey and Mark Wyatt, who was deceased, during 1948-1976. The agency eventually responded, indicating that it found no records concerning Harvey, but found some records concerning Wyatt. The agency disclosed five records in full and five in part. Talbot also submitted FOIA requests to the CIA for travel records concerning the two officers. He asked for a fee waiver as well. The agency granted him a fee waiver, but also indicated the search probably would not result in any fees. The CIA located 419 pages on Harvey and released them with redactions. However, it did not indicate whether there were any records on Wyatt. Talbot then filed suit against both agencies.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  13. Stevens v. United States Department of State (filed Mar 31, 2017)
    Jacqueline Stevens, a political science professor at Northwestern University, submitted three FOIA requests to the Department of State concerning the agency’s help in setting up a Northwestern campus in Qatar as well as other U.S.-affiliated universities. She also requested records concerning USAID aid to the Center for Independent Journalists. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Stevens filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

In addition, we have added 12 documents from 2 cases, with earlier filing dates, that have recently appeared on PACER.

From → FOIA, PACER

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