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SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR et al and 10 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on November 9th, 2017

We have added 72 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between October 29, 2017 and November 4, 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. SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR et al (filed Nov 2, 2017)
    Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and five other environmental advocacy groups submitted seven FOIA requests to the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Council of Environmental Quality for records concerning the agency’s review of national monuments. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agencies, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the five other environmental advocacy groups filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  2. WILD HORSE FREEDOM FEDERATION v. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (filed Oct 30, 2017)
    The Wild Horse Freedom Federation submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Management for weekly reports in connection with the Wild Horse and Burro Program from January 2016 to the present. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and asked for clarification, which was provided by the Federation. The Federation asked the agency to provide an estimated completion date, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Wild Horse Freedom Federation filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (filed Oct 30, 2017)
    The Center for Food Safety submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Management for records concerning Instruction Memorandum No. 2014-122. The Center submitted a second FOIA request to BLM for records concerning the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation Recovery and Storage Project. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Center for Food Safety filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Oct 31, 2017)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning diplomatic communications with Mexico pertaining to the building of a wall or barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border. The agency acknowledged American Oversight’s request. American Oversight submitted a second FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning efforts to get Mexico to pay for the wall. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but 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
  5. DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (filed Oct 31, 2017)
    Democracy Forward Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Treasury for records concerning listening sessions on tax reform held by officials at the agency. The Democracy Forward Foundation also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Democracy Forward Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  6. WHITE COAT WASTE PROJECT v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (filed Nov 1, 2017)
    The White Coat Waste Project submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Veterans Affairs for records concerning the number of dogs used at the Stokes VAMC and their treatment. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. It withheld protocols under Exemption 5 (privileges). WCW filed an administrative appeal. WCW submitted a second FOIA request to Veterans Affairs for invoices for lab dogs and their use. In response to this request, the agency withheld records about the protocols under Exemption 4 (confidential business information) and Exemption 5 (privileges). WCW filed an administrative appeal of its second request as well. The agency acknowledged receipt of the appeals, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, White Coat Waste Project filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Nov 1, 2017)
    The Electronic Privacy Information Center submitted a FOIA request to the National Security Division of the Department of Justice for records concerning reports required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pertaining to FBI queries of Section 702 acquired data on U.S. persons for non-intelligence purposes. NSD disclosed a single heavily redacted document, claiming the redactions were made under Exemption 1 (national security) and Exemption 3 (other statutes). EPIC filed an administrative appeal with the Office of Information Policy. OIP denied EPIC’s appeal and EPIC filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  8. Rutigliano v. U.S. Department of Justice (filed Nov 1, 2017)
    Joseph Rutiglianio, a former railroad conductor convicted of defrauding the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, submitted several FOIA requests to the Department of Justice for records about his conviction. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Rutiglianio filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. ThermoLife International LLC v. United States Department of Health and Human Services (filed Nov 2, 2017)
    ThermoLife International submitted a FOIA request to the FDA for records concerning the removal of two compounds from a 2014 bill amending the Controlled Substances Act to more effectively regulate anabolic steroids. The bill as introduced listed 27 different compounds, but the enacted bill did not include the two compounds. The FDA provided some information from its Office of Legislative Affairs, but indicated that the rest of the request was assigned to the complex track. After hearing nothing further from the agency, ThermoLife International filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Nov 2, 2017)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records of communications between the agency and former FBI director James Comey regarding Comey’s June 8 testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and referred it to four separate offices with four separate tracking numbers. However, 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

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

From → FOIA, PACER

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