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JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and 19 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on June 22nd, 2018

We have added 137 documents from 20 FOIA cases filed between June 3, 2018 and June 9, 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. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 5, 2018)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning the investigation of the death of Nadir Soofi, who was killed in Garland, Texas on May 3, 2015. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told Judicial Watch that some records were being withheld under Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). Judicial Watch filed an administrative appeal, 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
  2. Mark Hezinger v. United States Attorneys Office for the Central District of California et al (filed Jun 4, 2018)
    Mark Hezinger submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California for records on himself. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Hezinger filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  3. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Jun 4, 2018)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning all non-classified emails sent or received by the agency pertaining to North Korea from June 25, 2017 to July 10, 2017. 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
  4. PRICE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 6, 2018)
    James Price, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request in May 2017 for records concerning an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigation. Price filed suit in November 2017 in the Southern District of Florida. The case has now been transferred to the D.C. Circuit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  5. ROYCE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 7, 2018)
    Sylvia Royce, an attorney specializing in international prisoner transfers, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning statistics about approvals and denials of international prisoner transfer applications. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Royce filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  6. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT v. U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT et al (filed Jun 8, 2018)
    The Government Accountability Project submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning attempts to resettle immigrants deported from the U.S. since 2015. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. GAP filed administrative appeals of the agency’s constructive denials of its requests. After hearing nothing further pertaining to its requests, GAP filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (filed Jun 8, 2018)
    The Center for Food Safety submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Interior for records concerning the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation Recovery and Storage Project. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, CFS filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  8. TOBIAS v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY (filed Jun 8, 2018)
    Jimmy Tobias submitted FOIA requests to the Department of the Interior for records concerning communications sent or received by a number of agency officials on a variety of topics. The agency acknowledged receipt of his requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Tobias filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  9. Cortes v. Corrections (filed Jun 4, 2018)
    Jose Cortes, a state prisoner, ordered some law books through the Department of Corrections. When he did not receive them, he filed suit against the Department of Corrections. This is not a FOIA suit.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  10. O'Neill v. United States Department of Justice, The (filed Jun 4, 2018)
    John O’Neill, an attorney representing individuals suing for injuries caused by defective air bags, submitted a request to the Department of Justice for records concerning documents compiled by the Criminal Division. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but denied it under Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). O’Neill filed an administrative appeal of that decision, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, O’Neill filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  11. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 5, 2018)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning all communications sent by former Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Carlin pertaining to Michael Flynn and issues involving the Russia investigation. 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
  12. Boutin Jones Inc. v. United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (filed Jun 6, 2018)
    The law firm of Boutin Jones submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for records concerning its client’s cooperation in a sting operation that resulted in the conviction of Duong Chao for violations of California’s cigarette tax laws. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and asked Boutin Jones to provide a third-party authorization. Boutin Jones did so, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Boutin Jones filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  13. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (filed Jun 6, 2018)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the use of the hashtag #Catch of the Day and other similar hashtags. 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
  14. LATHAM & WATKINS LLP v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (filed Jun 6, 2018)
    The law firm of Latham & Watkins submitted a FOIA request on behalf of a client to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for communications sent or received by agency employee Linda Birnbaum containing certain keywords. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Latham & Watkins filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  15. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Jun 6, 2018)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning the use of the hashtag #Catch of the Day and other similar hashtags. 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
  16. Salomone v. United States Congress Office of Compliance (filed Jun 6, 2018)
    William Salomone submitted a request to the U.S. Congress Office of Compliance. After the office failed to respond, Salomone filed suit. This is not a FOIA claim.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  17. Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al., (filed Jun 7, 2018)
    The Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning prosecutorial discretion. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, provided two separate request numbers, but later consolidated the requests. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the organizations filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  18. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 7, 2018)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning text messages sent to or received by DOJ official Andrew Weissmann pertaining to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, as well as calendar entries for Weissmann. 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
  19. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. et al v. The United States Department of Agriculture et al (filed Jun 7, 2018)
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Agriculture for records concerning the decision to remove Animal Welfare Act data from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests but after hearing nothing further from the agency, PETA filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  20. Alford v. Boston Celtics et al (filed Jun 8, 2018)
    Rickey Alford, a state prisoner, submitted a request to the Boston Celtics. When the Celtics did not respond, Alford filed suit. This is not a FOIA claim.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned

From → FOIA, PACER

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