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McMichael v. U.S. Department of Justice and 17 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on July 12th, 2018

We have added 62 documents from 12 FOIA cases filed between July 1, 2018 and July 7, 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. McMichael v. U.S. Department of Justice (filed Jul 3, 2018)
    William McMichael, a researcher and journalist, submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning its investigation of the theft and laundering of the Hesse crown jewels. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told McMichael that it had located 7,250 potentially responsive records and that it would take several months to process his request. McMichael agreed to limit the scope of his request in exchange for processing his request more quickly. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, McMichael filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  2. KENNY v. TOMS RIVER TOWNSHIP BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT et al (filed Jul 6, 2018)
    Frank Kenny filed suit against Tom’s River Township Board of Adjustment to force either the local, state, or federal government to inspect his residence. This is not a FOIA suit.
    Issues: FOIA not mentioned
  3. Garavaglia et al v. United States of America – Internal Revenue Service (filed Jul 2, 2018)
    Charles and Mary Ann Garavaglia submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for records concerning its tax investigation of them. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told the Garavaglias that it would be unable to respond within the statutory time limit. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the Garavaglias filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. Mohammad v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (filed Jul 3, 2018)
    Wasim Mohammed submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning the 2015-2016 agency’s investigation into the death of Mohammed’s son. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Mohammed filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  5. CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY v. UNITED STATES OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (filed Jul 3, 2018)
    The Center for Food Safety submitted a FOIA request to OMB for records concerning the implementation of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, which regulates labeling for bio- or genetically-engineered foods. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Center for Food Safety filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  6. Osen LLC v. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (filed Jul 3, 2018)
    Osen LLC, a law firm representing servicemembers and families of servicemembers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by Iranian-backed terrorists, submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security for records of investigations into entities alleged to have provided material support. Osen paid $2,400 in search fees. The agency told Osen that it had located 240 pages responsive to one request and 21 pages response to the other request. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Osen LLC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. Osen LLC v. United States Central Command (filed Jul 3, 2018)
    Osen LLC, a law firm representing service members and the families of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by Iranian-backed terrorists, submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Central Command for records concerning such attacks. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Osen LLC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. Osen LLC v. United States Department of State (filed Jul 3, 2018)
    Osen, LLC, a law firm representing service members and the families of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by Iranian-backed terrorists, submitted FOIA requests to Department of State for records concerning cables from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Osen LLC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (filed Jul 5, 2018)
    Democracy Forward Foundation submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Education for records concerning Diane Jones and Robert Eitel, senior advisors at the agency who had previously worked in the for-profit educational industry. DFF also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, DFF filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  10. DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (filed Jul 5, 2018)
    Democracy Forward Foundation submitted FOIA requests to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for records concerning after-action reports pertaining to contractor work in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. DFF also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, DFF filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  11. CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (filed Jul 5, 2018)
    The Center for Investigative Reporting submitted FOIA requests to the Department of the Interior for records concerning the Migratory Bird Treaty and the effect on national parks of sea level changes. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, CIR filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  12. NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (filed Jul 6, 2018)
    The National Student Legal Defense Network submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Education for records concerning submissions by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools as a federally recognized accreditor. NSLDN also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told NSLDN that it would be unable to respond within 20 days. After hearing nothing further from the agency, NSLDN filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

In addition, we have added 10 documents from 6 cases, with earlier filing dates, that have recently appeared on PACER.

  1. v. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET et al (filed Jun 26, 2018)
  2. IRVIN v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Jun 26, 2018)
  3. FOOD & WATER WATCH, INC. v. U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (filed Jun 25, 2018)
  4. ROBERSON v. FBI (filed Jun 25, 2018)
  5. JARVIS v. COMMISSIONER, SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (filed Sep 1, 2017)
  6. BEHRENS v. UNITED STATES ATTORNEY (filed May 15, 2014)

From → FOIA, PACER

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