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Doyle et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security and 33 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on April 20th, 2017

We have added 114 documents from 22 FOIA cases filed between April 9, 2017 and April 15, 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. Doyle et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (filed Apr 10, 2017)
    Kate Doyle, the National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and the Knight First Amendment Institute submitted FOIA requests to the Secret Service for records concerning logs of visitors to the White House and Mar-a-Lago. After hearing nothing from the agency, the plaintiffs filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. ACLU of Hawai'i et al v. US Dept of Homeland Security (filed Apr 10, 2017)
    The ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Hawaii, and the ACLU of Utah submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Hawaii, and the ACLU of Utah also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agencies, the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Hawaii, and the ACLU of Utah filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  3. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR (filed Apr 10, 2017)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of the Interior for records concerning an OIG investigation of alleged ethical violations by a supervisory agent of the Bureau of Land Management in Salt Lake City. After the OIG posted a summary of the investigation on its website, PEER requested a copy of the full report. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. Jabar v. U.S. Department of Justice (filed Apr 10, 2017)
    Steve Jabar submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records about himself. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Jabar filed an administrative appeal. The Office of Information Policy denied his appeal, and Jabar filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. Stanski v. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 11, 2017)
    Michael Stanski, a former employee of the Secret Service who served as an agent in Miami, submitted a FOIA request to the agency for emails to and from three employees. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. Stanski also submitted a Privacy Act request to the agency to correct alleged errors in his personnel evaluation. After hearing nothing further from agency pertaining to either his FOIA request or his Privacy Act request, Stanski filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU of Arizona submitted requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU of Arizona also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the ACLU of Arizona filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  7. American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of Nevada submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of Nevada also requested a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the ACLU of Southern California and the ACLU of Nevada filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  8. American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU of San Diego submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU of San Diego also requested a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agencies, the ACLU of San Diego filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  9. AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE v. UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The American Center for Law and Justice submitted FOIA requests to the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for records concerning deliberations on procedures for use of signal intelligence. ACLJ also requested expedited processing. Both agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests and the NSA denied the request for expedited processing. After hearing nothing further from the agencies, ACLJ filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  10. American Civil Liberties Union of Florida v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU of Florida submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU of Florida also requested a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agencies, the ACLU of Florida filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  11. American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, Inc. et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection for records concerning the local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The State ACLUs also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the State ACLUs filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  12. American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The state chapters of the ACLU for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The organizations also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the state organizations filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  13. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF MAINE et al v. US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The state chapters of the ACLU in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The organizations also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the state organizations filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  14. American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU of Michigan submitted two FOIA requests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. One request focused on airports and the other focused on other ports of entry. The requests also asked for expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency as to either request, the ACLU of Michigan filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  15. ACLU Foundation of Texas, Inc. v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    The ACLU Foundation of Texas submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The ACLU Foundation of Texas also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the ACLU Foundation of Texas filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  16. American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    State chapters of the ACLU for Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The organizations also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the state chapters filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  17. American Civil Liberties Union of Washington et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 12, 2017)
    State chapters of the ACLU for Washington, Montana, and North Dakota submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the local implementation of President Trump’s travel ban. The organizations also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the state chapters filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  18. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (filed Apr 13, 2017)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted a FOIA request to the EPA for records supporting statements made by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that humans did not contribute to climate change. PEER also requested expedited processing. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied PEER’s request for expedited processing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  19. ALLIANCE FOR WILD ROCKIES v. COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (filed Apr 13, 2017)
    The Alliance for the Wild Rockies submitted a FOIA request to the Council on Environmental Quality for records concerning correspondence between the agency and the Idaho Panhandle National Forest pertaining to the Tower Fire Salvage and Reforestation Project. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated that it would begin to process it. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  20. PETRILLO & POWELL, PLLC v. DEPARTMENT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (filed Apr 14, 2017)
    The law firm of Petrillo & Powell submitted two FOIA requests to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. One request asked for 15 categories of records, while the second request asked for 10 categories of records. The law firm asked the agency to release the records as they became available. An agency information specialist indicated informally that no records had been found. Petrillo & Powell told the agency that it would consider that a denial and filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  21. Stevens v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (filed Apr 14, 2017)
    Jacqueline Stevens, a professor of political science at Northwestern University, submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning correspondence on detention or removal proceedings for people claiming or proving U.S. citizenship since January 2017. Although the agency did not provide an acknowledgement of receipt of Stevens’ request, it did send her an email indicating that it was experiencing a backlog. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Stevens filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  22. ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (filed Apr 15, 2017)
    The Electronic Privacy Information Center submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for Donald Trump’s tax returns, arguing that the agency had authority under 6103(k)(3) to disclose such information where necessary to clear up misstatements of fact. The agency told EPIC it would not exercise its authority under (k)(3) to disclose Trump’s tax returns. EPIC appealed and the agency upheld its original decision. EPIC then filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver

In addition, we have added 57 documents from 12 cases, with earlier filing dates, that have recently appeared on PACER.

  1. Jason Leopold et al v. FBI (filed Apr 7, 2017)
    Reporter Jason Leopold submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records about Andrew Breithart. The agency searched its central records system and told Leopold it had found no records. Leopold appealed to the Office of Information Policy, arguing the FBI was obligated to conduct a cross-reference search. OIP upheld the FBI’s decision. Leopold, joined by Buzzfeed, then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. Wheeler v. Mahar et al (filed Apr 7, 2017)
    Brad Wheeler submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning Barack Obama’s passport. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Wheeler filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  3. Dine Bi' Olta School Board Association v. United States Department of Interior et al (filed Apr 6, 2017)
    The Dine Bi Olta School Board Association submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for records concerning the operations of the Bureau of Indian Education and any plans to reorganize it. The Association also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated that it was processing the request. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Association filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE et al (filed Apr 6, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for records concerning efforts by the agency to contact individuals who either asked for an exemption from the provision in the Affordable Care Act to purchase insurance or paid a penalty. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. Judicial Watch also submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Health and Human Services for records concerning that agency’s efforts to contact individuals under the same circumstances. HHS also acknowledged the request. However, after hearing nothing further from either agency, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. JAMES MADISON PROJECT et al v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 4, 2017)
    The James Madison Project and reporter Brad Heath submitted FOIA requests to the FBI for records concerning applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for warrants to surveil the Trump campaign’s communications with Russian agents. JMP and Heath also requested expedited processing. The FBI acknowledged receipt of the request and granted expedited processing. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, JMP and Heath filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 4, 2017)
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from investigations of the Trump campaign. CREW also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. OIP acknowledged receipt of the request and granted CREW’s request for expedited processing. However, OIP indicated that CREW’s request was being put in the complex track for processing. After the agency failed to respond further, CREW filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 4, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for records concerning the decision to no longer exempt “green tip” ammunition from the definition of armor-piercing ammunition. 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
  8. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (filed Apr 3, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for records concerning plans for retention of emails of former employees after they departed from the agency. 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
  9. HENLEY v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (filed Apr 3, 2017)
    James Henley submitted a FOIA request to the FBI. After hearing nothing further, Henley filed
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  10. COZEN O'CONNOR v. THE OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL (filed Apr 3, 2017)
    The law firm of Cozen O’Connor submitted a FOIA request to the Office of Foreign Assets Control for records concerning granting licenses to persons or companies to trade with Cuba. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told the law firm that it had no records. Cozen O’Connor filed an administrative appeal. The agency’s original decision was upheld on appeal. Cozen O’Connor then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  11. Freedom of the Press Foundation v. United States Department of Justice (filed Jul 30, 2015)
  12. Wu v. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (filed Oct 29, 2014)
    Christine Wu submitted a FOIA request to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for records concerning satellite images of her property. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Wu filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit

From → FOIA, PACER

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