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THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and 10 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on September 15th, 2017

We have added 38 documents from 8 FOIA cases filed between September 3, 2017 and September 9, 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. THE DAILY CALLER NEWS FOUNDATION v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Sep 7, 2017)
    The Daily Caller Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning memos by former FBI Director James Comey memorializing his discussions with President Trump. The FBI denied the request, citing Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). The Daily Caller filed an administrative appeal with the Office of Information Policy, but after hearing nothing further from OIP, the Daily Caller Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  2. Gottfried v. U.S. Department of State (filed Sep 5, 2017)
    Bradley Gottfried submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning the agency’s position that it is not required to determine if a foreign country receiving U.S. aid has had a coup d’etat. After waiting more than three years for a response, Gottfied finally filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  3. BACARDI & COMPANY LIMITED et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY et al (filed Sep 6, 2017)
    Bacardi & Company submitted a FOIA request to the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Department of Treasury for records concerning an OFAC license granted to Cubaexport, an entity controlled by the Cuban government. The agency disclosed 32 pages in an initial release. Bacardi & Company filed an administrative appeal, which was rejected as being premature. Bacardi & Company then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Sep 7, 2017)
    The Federation for American Immigration Reform submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for communications to and from former Secretary Jeh Johnson and other officials mentioning Donald Trump and other Republicans as well as groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and asked FAIR to narrow its scope. FAIR declined to do so. After hearing nothing further from the agency, FAIR filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. PRECHTEL v. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (filed Sep 7, 2017)
    Jason Prechtel submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Communications Commission for records concerning public Application Programming Interface keys. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Prechtel 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. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (filed Sep 7, 2017)
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Small Business Administration for records concerning the activities of Senior White House Counsel Mary Anne Bradfield at the agency. CREW also requested a fee waiver. The agency denied CREW’s request for a fee waiver. CREW filed an administrative appeal, but after hearing further from the agency, CREW filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  7. Campbell v. United States Department of Homeland Security (filed Sep 8, 2017)
    Katie Campbell submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records on the status of convicted criminals in Arizona who cannot be deported under the 2001 Supreme Court ruling in Zadvydas v. Davis. The agency found a spreadsheet responsive to Campbell’s request but redacted identifying information under Exemption 7(C) (invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records). Campbell filed an administrative appeal, which was upheld by the agency. Campbell then filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. WILDEARTH GUARDIANS v. UNITED STATES BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (filed Sep 8, 2017)
    Wildlife Guardians submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Management for records concerning the agency’s decision to hold onshore oil and gas leasing sales online. The agency acknowledged Wildlife Guardian’s request and assigned it to its complex track. Wildlife Guardians filed an administrative appeal of that decision. BLM ordered the FOIA staff to provide more details about its plans to process Wildlife Guardian’s request. Wildlife Guardian’s also submitted a second FOIA request for similar records concerning online oil and gas sales. After hearing nothing further from the agency, however, Wildlife Guardians filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

In addition, we have added 5 documents from 3 cases, with earlier filing dates, that have recently appeared on PACER.

  1. BOWSER v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (filed Sep 1, 2017)
  2. PRONIN v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS (filed Sep 1, 2017)
  3. JACKSON v. U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION et al (filed Oct 5, 2016)

From → FOIA, PACER

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