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WP COMPANY LLC v. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL OF AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION and 14 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on October 19th, 2017

We have added 117 documents from 13 FOIA cases filed between October 8, 2017 and October 14, 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. WP COMPANY LLC v. SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL OF AFGHANISTAN RECONSTRUCTION (filed Oct 12, 2017)
    Washington Post reporters Greg Miller and Craig Whitlock submitted a FOIA request to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction for records concerning interviews the agency conducted with former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. The Post also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency denied the Post’s request in full. The Post filed an administrative appeal. In response to the Post’s administrative appeal, the agency indicated that it was remanding the request for further processing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the Post filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. JUDGE ROTENBERG EDUCATIONAL CENTER, INC. et al v. U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION et al (filed Oct 10, 2017)
    The Judge Rothenberg Educational Center, a non-profit providing services for people with aggressive behavior, submitted a series of FOIA requests to the FDA for records concerning its 2016 proposed ban of an electrical stimulation device used by JRC. The agency released some redacted emails, but other than those releases, it did not respond. After hearing nothing further from the agency, JRC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (filed Oct 10, 2017)
    American Oversight submitted four FOIA requests to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for records concerning Secretary Ben Carson and his activities, records referencing Fred Trump III, and records concerning the agency’s FOIA policies. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. The agency told American Oversight that because its outside contractor did not have access to certain categories of records it could not search for records on Fred Trump until at least February 2018. After hearing nothing further from the agency, American Oversight filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE, INC. et al v. OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL (filed Oct 10, 2017)
    Property of the People and researcher Ryan Shapiro submitted a FOIA request to the Office of Special Counsel for records filed since January 2017 alleging violations of the Hatch Act. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Property of the People filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  5. AQUALLIANCE v. NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (filed Oct 11, 2017)
    Aqualliance, a non-profit dedicated to defending northern California waters, submitted a FOIA request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for records concerning water quality downstream from the Orville Dam since January 2017. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Aqualliance filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  6. Migrant Justice et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Oct 11, 2017)
    Migrant Justice and Matt Cameron, a non-profit organization of Vermont dairy farm workers, and Matt Cameron, an attorney representing Migrant Justice members, submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security concerning records of seemingly retaliatory targeting, surveillance, and immigration enforcement against Migrant Justice members for exercising their First Amendment rights. Migrant Justice also requested a fee waiver. After the agency failed to respond, Migrant Justice and Cameron filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (filed Oct 12, 2017)
    The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Interior for records concerning settlement discussions between the plaintiffs and the agency in the statewide R.S. 2477 litigation. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Oct 12, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning adoption of Policy Directive 17-1 in response to potential abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture by federal, state, and local law enforcement. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told Judicial Watch that it had been referred to the appropriate components for response. 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. Advocates for the West, Inc. v. United States Department of Justice (filed Oct 12, 2017)
    Advocates for the West submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning legal advice provided by the Office of Legal Counsel pertaining to the president’s authority to designate, withdraw, expand, or modify national monuments under the Antiquities Act. The agency responded by disclosing 65 pages, but withheld 12 documents under Exemption 5 (privileges). Advocates for the West filed an administrative appeal of the denial. The agency upheld its denial on appeal. Advocates for the West then filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al (filed Oct 13, 2017)
    The Protect Democracy Project submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Personnel Management for records concerning the implementation of President Trump’s executive order calling for hiring more border protection agents. The Protect Democracy Project also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the request. Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection granted PDP’s requests for expedited processing and a fee waiver, but OMB and OPM did not respond to the requests for expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agencies asked PDP to clarify its request, which it did. But after hearing nothing further from any of the agencies, the Protect Democracy Project filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  11. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Oct 13, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Justice and the FBI for records concerning communications between former FBI director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch concerning the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, 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
  12. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Oct 13, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning communications between the Office of the Attorney General and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. 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
  13. DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (filed Oct 13, 2017)
    The Democracy Forward Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the Office of Management and Budget for records concerning potential conflicts of interest pertaining to Joseph Grogan, Associate Director of Health Programs at OMB, particularly whether Grogan had received a waiver of the two-year lobbying restriction. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Democracy Forward Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index

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

From → FOIA, PACER

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