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NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY and 20 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on May 3rd, 2018

We have added 124 documents from 18 FOIA cases filed between April 22, 2018 and April 28, 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. NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (filed Apr 27, 2018)
    The National Security Archive submitted a FOIA request to the CIA for 12 cables referenced in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on torture. NSA also requested expedited processing. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied the National Security Archive’s request for expedited processing. The National Security Archive then filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) v. Department of Labor (filed Apr 23, 2018)
    Jennifer Gollan, a staff reporter for “Reveal,” produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting, submitted a FOIA request to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for data submitted under the Injury Tracking Application pursuant to the agency’s final rule to improve such reporting. CIR also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency told Gollan that it had located 237,000 records responsive to her request but was withholding them under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). CIR filed an administrative appeal. The agency acknowledged receipt of the appeal, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, CIR filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. Rifle Remedies, LLC et al v. Internal Revenue Service, The (filed Apr 23, 2018)
    Rifle Remedies, Medicinal Wellness Center, and Standing Akimbo, all of which had been audited by the IRS, submitted FOIA requests to the IRS for records concerning the Examination Division Administrative File for the audits. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and asked the organizations to narrow the scope of their requests. The IRS told the organizations that it could not respond within the 20-day time limit. Rifle Remedies and the other organizations then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  4. AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 23, 2018)
    American Center for Law and Justice submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East. ACLJ also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, denied ACLJ’s request for expedited processing, and deferred a decision on ACLJ’s request for a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, ACLJ filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. TOSH et al v. U.S. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES et al (filed Apr 23, 2018)
    Ernest Tosh and David Marks, attorneys in Texas, submitted FOIA requests to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services following up on their 2017 requests for records concerning minimum data set assessments. In 2018, Tosh and Marks submitted requests for records concerning communications between the agency and third parties pertaining to public disclosure of MDS assessments. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Tosh and Marks filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. The Century Foundation v. United States Department of Education (filed Apr 23, 2018)
    The Century Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Education for records concerning a staff analysis provided to the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, a non-governmental entity. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Century Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  7. Brewer v. United States Department of Justice et al (filed Apr 23, 2018)
    Steven Brewer, a federal prisoner, submitted six FOIA requests to the Department of Justice for oath of office statements for a number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and responded to some of them. Brewer filed administrative appeals for those decisions. Dissatisfied with the agency’s responses, Brewer filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  8. DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 24, 2018)
    Democracy Forward Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Solicitor General and the Office of Information Policy at the Justice Department for records concerning communications between Solicitor General Noel Francisco and a list of individuals concerning the Alliance Defending Freedom. Both offices acknowledged receipt of the request. But after hearing nothing further from the either office, DFF filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  9. DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE et al v. ZINKE et al (filed Apr 24, 2018)
    Defenders of Wildlife and the American Bird Conservancy submitted FOIA requests to the Department of the Interior for records concerning Opinion M-37050, which restricted the circumstances under which killing migratory birds would be considered a violation of the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, reversing previous agency policy. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. ABC also requested a fee waiver, which was granted. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Defenders of Wildlife and the American Bird Conservancy filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. St. Maarten v. George et al (filed Apr 24, 2018)
    Ceiirs St. Maarten submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for several different forms. The agency provided some of the records, but told St. Maarten that she needed third party authorization to obtain other records. St. Maarten eventually filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search
  11. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 25, 2018)
    Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller Foundation submitted FOIA requests to the FBI for memoranda summarizing conversations of former FBI Director James Comey with Barack 0bama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and John McCain between September 2013 and May 2017. The agency acknowledged receipt of both requests. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  12. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 25, 2018)
    Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller Foundation submitted FOIA requests to the Department of State for records concerning communications between the agency and Christopher Steele. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and asked Judicial Watch to modify its request. Judicial Watch agreed to modify its request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller Foundation filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  13. Make the Road New York et al v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al (filed Apr 25, 2018)
    Make the Road New York and Make the Road Connecticut, community organizations working with immigrants, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice for records concerning the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA. The two organizations also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel denied the request for expedited processing. The organizations filed an administrative appeal of that decision, but the agency upheld its original decision to deny expedited processing. The organizations also agreed with OLC to narrow their request to cover only records pertaining to legal advice. After hearing nothing further from the agencies, Make the Road New York and Make the Road Connecticut filed suit.
    Issues: Expedited processing, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  14. Wayne Gall v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (filed Apr 26, 2018)
    Wayne Gall submitted a FOIA request to the FDA for records concerning the agency’s 2011 warning about metal-on-metal hip implants. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told Gall that it would not be able to begin processing the request for another 2-4 months. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Gall filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  15. DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (filed Apr 26, 2018)
    Democracy Forward Foundation submitted three FOIA requests to the Department of Education for records concerning the agency’s changes in sexual harassment policy under Title IX, including appointment schedules for several high officials. DFF also requested a fee waiver for all three requests. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and granted DFF’s request for a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further the agency, DFF filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  16. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. Department of the Interior et al (filed Apr 26, 2018)
    The Natural Resources Defense Council submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Interior and a FOIA request to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for records concerning the agency’s new interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. NRDC also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, NRDC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  17. Carter v. Department of Agriculture (filed Apr 27, 2018)
    Jessie Carter filed suit against the Department of Agriculture because he had been placed on its Permanent Exclusion List of Providers. This is not a FOIA suit.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  18. NATIONAL LAW CENTER ON HOMELESSNESS & POVERTY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (filed Apr 27, 2018)
    The National Law Center of Homelessness & Poverty submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for records concerning applications to the Continuum of Care Program, an HUD grant program that funds certain services for homeless and formerly homeless families and individuals. NLCHP also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied NLCHP’s request for a fee waiver. NLCHP filed an administrative appeal of the agency’s denial of its fee waiver request. The agency upheld its denial of the fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, NLCHP filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver

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

  1. Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. United States Department of Interior (filed Apr 20, 2018)
  2. CASE NUMBER NOT USED (filed Apr 20, 2018)
  3. BERNEGGER v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF U.S. ATTORNEYS (filed Apr 17, 2018)

From → FOIA, PACER

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