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CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, et al. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

by Harry Hammitt on January 26th, 2018

We have added 48 documents from 9 FOIA cases filed between January 14, 2018 and January 20, 2018. 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. CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, et al. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (filed Jan 18, 2018)
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for records concerning the involvement of Secretary Ben Carson’s family in the department. CREW asked for a fee waiver and inclusion in the news media fee category. The agency denied CREW’s request for a fee waiver. CREW filed an administrative appeal of the agency’s denial of its fee waiver request. CREW submitted a second FOIA for records concerning Carson’s travel expenses. CREW asked for a fee waiver, which was denied. CREW filed an administrative appeal of that decision to deny CREW’s fee waiver request. The Freedom from Religion Foundation submitted a FOIA request to HUD for records concerning contacts with Capitol Ministries, an organization whose goal was to evangelize elected officials. FFRF also requested a fee waiver. The agency defined FFRF’s fee waiver request. FFRF filed an administrative appeal of the decision to deny its fee waiver request. That appeal was also denied. FFRF then filed a second FOIA request for records concerning the Revive Us 2 event Carson had attended at the Museum of the Bible. FFRF requested a fee waiver for that request. The agency denied FFRF’s request for a fee waiver. FFRF filed an administrative appeal of the denial of its fee waive request, which was denied. Both CREW and FFRF then filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  2. FREEDOM WATCH, INC. v. MUELLER et al (filed Jan 15, 2018)
    Freedom Watch submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Justice for records concerning contacts between the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI, and the Department of Justice and foreign or domestic media pertaining to the Russian investigation. After hearing nothing further from the agencies, Freedom Watch filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  3. The New York Times Company et al v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (filed Jan 16, 2018)
    New York Times reporter Charlie Savage submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for records concerning the preparation of the President’s Daily Brief since the beginning of the Trump Administration. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the New York Times filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. Curran v. United States Postal Service (filed Jan 17, 2018)
    Kenneth Curran, an employee of the U.S. Postal Service, submitted a FOIA request to agency for concerning the unauthorized use of computers by employees at the Madison, Wisconsin post office. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency denied Curran’s request under Exemption 2 (internal practices and procedures) and Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). Curran filed an administrative appeal of that denial. The agency upheld the denial on the basis of Exemption 6. Curran then filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  5. Ecological Rights Foundation v. United States Environmental Protection Agency (filed Jan 18, 2018)
    The Ecological Rights Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the EPA for records concerning instructions by the Trump administration prohibiting employees from speaking to the media. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency later told the Ecological Rights Foundation that it had uploaded its response to the FOIA Online system and would send the Foundation a link. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Ecological Rights Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. Ecological Rights Foundation v. United States Environmental Protection Agency (filed Jan 18, 2018)
    The Ecological Rights Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the EPA for records concerning instructions by the Trump administration prohibiting employees from speaking to the media. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency later told the Ecological Rights Foundation that it had uploaded its response to the FOIA Online system and would send the Foundation a link. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Ecological Rights Foundation filed suit. This seems to be the same complaint as 3:18-cv-00394.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. Muddy Waters, LLC v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Jan 18, 2018)
    Muddy Waters, LLC submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning Rapiscan or S2 Global in regard to a contract awarded to Rapiscan to scan all cargo entering the Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Muddy Waters indicated it was willing to pay fees up to $500. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests and CBP closed its request as duplicative. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Muddy Water filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  8. PUBLIC CITIZEN FOUNDATION v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR et al (filed Jan 19, 2018)
    Public Citizen Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Labor for records concerning the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration’s workplace injury database. Public Citizen submitted a second FOIA request for updated records. The agency acknowledged receipt of both requests. The agency denied both requests under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). Public Citizen filed an administrative appeal of that denial. Public Citizen submitted a third FOIA request for updated records. The agency acknowledged receipt of that request. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Public Citizen Foundation.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. WILDEARTH GUARDIANS v. U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (filed Jan 19, 2018)
    WildEarth Guardians submitted FOIA requests to the Bureau of Land Management for records concerning Oil/Gas Lease Sales in Wyoming and Montana. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and told WildEarth Guardians that the requests would be put on the complex track for processing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, WildEarth Guardians filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

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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