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May 18 17

AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE and 22 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 122 documents from 19 FOIA cases filed between May 7, 2017 and May 13, 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. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed May 9, 2017)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning why Acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who appeared before the Ninth Circuit Jan. 27 to defend President Trump’s travel ban, did not sign the government’s brief. Prior to becoming Acting Solicitor General, Francisco had been a partner at the law firm of Jones Day, which submitted an amicus brief before the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a business client whose interests were adverse to those of the government read more…
May 18 17

FOIA Activity: 6 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 6 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between May 7, 2017 and May 13, 2017. These are associated with 6 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  1. AZ 2:2015cv01985Rojas v. Federal Aviation Administration
    • May 8, 2017: ORDER denying [23] Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Judgment. See order for details. Signed by Senior Judge Neil V Wake on 5/5/2017.(LMR)
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May 11 17

JOHNSON v. Central Intelligence Agency and 17 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 97 documents from 15 FOIA cases filed between April 30, 2017 and May 6, 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. JOHNSON v. Central Intelligence Agency (filed May 4, 2017)
    Amanda Johnson, a doctoral student at MIT, submitted a FOIA request to the CIA for records concerning the development and operation of the agency’s Twitter account. The agency acknowledged receipt of her request. Johnson contacted the agency on several occasions and was told her request was being processed read more…
May 11 17

FOIA Activity: 5 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 5 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between April 30, 2017 and May 6, 2017. These are associated with 5 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  1. CAC 2:2016cv02855Mike Ireland v. Internal Revenue Service
    • May 1, 2017: MINUTES OF Defendant Internal Revenue Service's MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment [24] before Judge Christina A. Snyder: The Court GRANTS the IRS's motion for summary judgment with respect to Items 1, 2, 3, and 4 of plaintiff's FOIA request. (Made JS-6. Case Terminated.) Court Reporter: Laura Elias. (jp)
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May 8 17

FOIA Backlog Skyrockets at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

by FOIA Project Staff

The backlog of unprocessed FOIA requests to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to climb. In just a two-year period, the backlog of unanswered FOIA requests has tripled, climbing from 17,998 at the end of December 2014 to 46,550 at the end of December 2016. See Figure 1.

This means that countless requesters – including reporters, scholars, and those subject to immigration actions – are not getting the information they need to check against unlawful actions and to better hold the government accountable to the governed.

requests_changeFigure 1. Backlog of Unanswered USCIS FOIA Requests

Little improvement has occurred in USCIS’s processing of FOIA requests. While the number of FOIA requests the agency receives has been increasing, during the last quarter of FY 2016 the number of closed FOIA cases took a precipitous tumble, falling from a monthly average of 13,913 in June 2016 to only 211 during October 2016. Closures have only recovered slightly to just 1,400 during December 2016.

These figures are based upon an independent analysis of request-by-request data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act in response to the quarterly survey conducted by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University for the FOIA Project.

The latest figures on FOIA backlogs and wait times for federal agencies responding to TRAC’s latest quarterly survey are now posted on FOIAproject.org. Updated figures are available for:

May 4 17

NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE and 16 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 104 documents from 16 FOIA cases filed between April 23, 2017 and April 29, 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. NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 26, 2017)
    The National Security Archive submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records received by agency officials through the “Dissent Channel,” an informal means of communication established during the Vietnam War for agency employees to express their dissent concerning certain policies. The Archive noted that it had requested all records in 1997, but had been denied access under Exemption 5 (privileges) read more…
May 4 17

FOIA Activity: 3 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 3 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between April 23, 2017 and April 29, 2017. These are associated with 3 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  1. DC 1:2011cv01295CANNING v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • April 25, 2017: MEMORANDUM OPINION to the Order denying Plaintiff's Third Motion for Discovery, Plaintiff's Motion to Submit a Supplement to His Reply in Support of Partial Summary Judgment; and Plaintiff's Motion for Limited In Camera Review. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 4/25/17. (CL)
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Apr 27 17

AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al and 16 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 98 documents from 16 FOIA cases filed between April 16, 2017 and April 22, 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. AMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Apr 19, 2017)
    American Oversight submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning communications between White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus or anyone acting on his behalf and the FBI pertaining to its investigation of possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. American Oversight also requested expedited processing read more…
Apr 27 17

FOIA Activity: 3 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 3 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between April 16, 2017 and April 22, 2017. These are associated with 3 FOIA cases pending in federal district court. Note that because there can be delays between the date a decision is made and when it shows up on PACER, this listing includes only decisions that appeared on PACER during this period.

Click on the date to view the full text of the decision. Click on a case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  1. DC 1:2013cv00729SHAPIRO v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • April 20, 2017: MEMORANDUM OPINION entering final judgment in favor of the defendant. An Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion and with prior opinions of this Court will be issued this same day. Signed by Judge Paul L. Friedman on April 20, 2017. (MA)
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Apr 20 17

FOIA Activity: 52 new FOIA court documents

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 52 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between April 2, 2017 and April 8, 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. Dine Bi' Olta School Board Association v. United States Department of Interior et al (filed Apr 6, 2017)
    The Dine Bi Olta School Board Association submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for records concerning the operations of the Bureau of Indian Education and any plans to reorganize it. The Association also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated that it was processing the request read more…