Skip to content
Apr 24 15

Key Agencies Flub Response to Simple Request

by Greg Munno

BTN-Narrow-4.24It took the Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Division just nine business days to provide data in response to a simple Freedom of Information Act request sent to it and 20 other federal agencies.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division came through a day later; two days after that, we received data from Justice’s Management Division. Soon, the records from the Fish & Wildlife Service arrived, then the Army, and then the Bureau of Land Management. Earlier this week, data arrived from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Now 65 business days after the FOIA requests were sent to the 21 agencies, only those seven have furnished complete and usable records in response. Several others have made good-faith efforts to comply and appear to working toward providing data.

Ten agencies have either failed to respond at all, have become unresponsive at some point in the process, or, in the case of the CIA, have outright denied the request.

Among those who have failed to comply: The Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy, the federal entity that, according to its own website, is “responsible for encouraging agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).”

read more…

Apr 23 15

FOIA Activity: 7 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 7 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between April 12, 2015 and April 18, 2015. These are associated with 7 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 1:2014cv00476ELKINS v. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
    • April 16, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION re [41] Order on Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 4/16/15. (lcjeb2)
  2. DC 1:2014cv01326CORREA COSS v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ET AL
    • April 15, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION re [26] Order on Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 4/15/15. (lcjeb2)
  3. FLS 1:2014cv20643Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. Department of Justice et al
    • April 14, 2015: ORDER granting in part [39] Motion for Summary Judgment; denying [41] Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion for Hearing. The determinations of OPR, OTJ, and EOUSA are affirmed. The Clerk is directed to mark this case closed. Signed by Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga on 4/14/2015. (ps1)
  4. ILN 1:2013cv05152Stevens v. United States of Department of State
    • April 14, 2015: MEMORANDUM Opinion and Order; The Court grants in part and denies in part defendant's motion for summary judgment [24] The Court grants in part and denies in part plaintiff's motion for summary judgment [27] Judgment is entered orderi ng defendant State Department to search the ACS+ electronic database, the Consular Sections shared drive, the Non-Immigrant Visa electronic database and the electronic case assessment service database at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the term Lyttle. The State Department is granted 35 days to provide plaintiff either: (a) responsive documents and, if appropriate, a Vaughn index; or (b) a letter stating that no responsive documents were found. Signed by the Honorable George M. Marovich on 4/14/2015:Mailed notice(clw, )
  5. ILS 3:2014cv00908Henson v. Department of Health and Human Services et al
    • April 13, 2015: ORDER granting [38] Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Defendants Frederick J. Sadler and Sarah Kotler are DISMISSED with prejudice. Signed by Judge David R. Herndon on 4/11/15. (lmp)
  6. NV 3:2013cv00625Bergeron v. United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    • April 16, 2015: ORDER on [34] Status Report and Joint Request to Continue Status Conference. Status conference, currently set for 4/27/2015, to be continued to date in late May or early June, 2015. Signed by Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb on 4/16/15. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF – JC)
  7. NYW 1:2013cv01175Kuzma v. Central Intelligence Agency
    • April 16, 2015: DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING Defendant's [10] Motion for Summary Judgment; DENYING Plaintiff's [12] Motion for Summary Judgment; DIRECTING the Clerk of the Court to close this case. Signed by William M. Skretny, Chief Judge on 4/15/2015. (MEAL) – CLERK TO FOLLOW UP -
Apr 23 15

37 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 33 documents from 7 FOIA cases filed between April 12, 2015 and April 18, 2015. 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. MILES v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Apr 16, 2015)
    Harry Miles submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning Public Law 80-772 sent between any agency component and the Bureau of Prisons. After hearing nothing from the agency, Miles filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  2. WORLDNETDAILY.COM, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 14, 2015)
    WorldNetDaily.com submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning the investigation of the fatal shooting of Miriam Carey by U.S. Secret Service agents and U.S. Capitol Police officers. WorldNetDaily.com also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied the request for a fee waiver. WorldNetDaily.com agreed to pay $84 in estimated fees. But after hearing nothing further from the agency, WorldNetDaily.com filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  3. COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 14, 2015)
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of State. The first request was for records concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s awareness of agency electronic records retention policies. The second request was for separation documents for Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, and any records concerning the participation of Clinton, Abedin, or Mills in agency cybersecurity awareness training. CEI requested a fee waiver for both requests. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and granted the requests for fee waivers. After hearing nothing further from the agency, CEI filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. CONTANT v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ("DHS") et al (filed Apr 14, 2015)
    Isan Constant submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records about himself. The agency responded by producing two documents. Constant, arguing that an administrative appeal would be futile, filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  5. Buckovetz v. U.S. Department of the Navy (filed Apr 16, 2015)
    Dennis Buckovetz submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Navy for records concerning a sexual harassment complaint filed by Natalia Cavalheir. The Navy denied his request citing Exemption 5 (attorney-client privilege). Buckovetz filed an appeal, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs, Litigation – Sanctions
  6. SHEHADEH v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (filed Apr 16, 2015)
    Jamil Shehadeh submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning his case. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Shehadeh filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  7. DeLaittre v. Social Security Administration (filed Apr 16, 2015)
    David DeLaittre, regional chief administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration, submitted a FOIA request to SSA for records concerning his employment with SSA. The agency responded, but denied a large number of records. DeLaittre filed an administrative appeal, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

In addition, we have added 4 documents from 1 case, with an earlier filing date, that has recently appeared on PACER.

  • Edward Dean Hohner v. U.S. Department of Justice et al (filed Apr 10, 2015)
    Edward Hohner submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning his conviction, including information about confidential informants who testified at his trial. The FBI told Hohner it would neither confirm nor deny the existence of such records. Hohner appealed to OIP. OIP upheld the FBI’s decision and Hohner then filed suit.
    Issues: Determination – Glomar response, Litigation – Vaughn index
Apr 16 15

FOIA Activity: 8 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 8 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between April 5, 2015 and April 11, 2015. These are associated with 7 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. CAE 1:2015cv00007Turner v. United States Department of the Treasury
    • April 6, 2015: INFORMATIONAL ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 4/3/15. (Martin-Gill, S)
    • April 6, 2015: ORDER Authorizing Service of Complaint on Defendant; ORDER DIRECTING Clerk to Forward Service Documents to Plaintiff for Completion and Return within Thirty Days, signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 04/3/15. (30-Day Deadline) (Attachments: # 1 Civil USM Instructions, # 2 Copy of Complaint, dated 01/05/2015)(Martin-Gill, S)
  2. CAN 3:2003cv04992Snyder v. Department of Defense et al
    • April 8, 2015: Order by Hon. Vince Chhabria denying [157] Motion to Compel.(knm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/8/2015)
  3. CAN 3:2012cv04008American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California et al v. Department of Justice
    • April 9, 2015: ORDER: Case Management Statement due by 7/9/2015. Case Management Conference set for 7/16/2015 10:00 AM. Signed by Judge Maria-Elena James on 4/9/2015. (cdnS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/9/2015)
  4. CAN 4:2013cv01593Asian Law Caucus v. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement et al
    • April 6, 2015: CONDITIONAL DISMISSAL ORDER. Signed by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong on 4/6/2015. (mklS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/6/2015)
  5. DC 1:2010cv00196ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY et al
    • April 8, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION regarding the plaintiff's [44] Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs. Signed by Judge Beryl A. Howell on April 8, 2015. (lcbah1)
  6. NCE 5:2014cv00170Melvin v. The Social Security Administration of the United States of America et al
    • April 8, 2015: ORDER granting in part [40] Motion to Withdraw, granting [66] Motion to Re-issue Summons and granting [68] Motion for Extension of Time to File Response regarding [51] MOTION TO DISMISS. Response due by 4/16/2015. The Clerk of Court is DIRECTED t o terminate Plaintiff's motions at Docket Entries 32, 33 and 34. To the extent Plaintiff seeks an order directing Defendant Social Security Administration to file separate responses, the motion [DE-40] is DENIED as moot. Signed by Senior Judge James C. Fox on 4/8/2015. Copy sent to Pamela Melvin at 4949 Fieldcrest Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28303 via US Mail on 4/8/2015. (Grady, B.)
  7. OR 6:2014cv00149Smith v. US Federal Aviation Administration
    • April 9, 2015: ORDER: Magistrate Judge Coffins Findings and Recommendation [55] ) is adopted in full. Defendants motion for summary judgment [34] is GRANTED. Plaintiffs motion for summary judgment [38] and motion for supplemental disclosure [29] are DENIED. Plaintiffs motion for leave to respond [52] is GRANTED. This action is dismissed. Signed on 4/9/2015 by Judge Michael J. McShane. (cp)
Apr 16 15

72 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 72 documents from 13 FOIA cases filed between April 5, 2015 and April 11, 2015. 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. WRIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (filed Apr 8, 2015)
    Chris Wright, a blogger, submitted a FOIA request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for records concerning the original software specifications, and contracting records concerning the award for developing the Healthcare.gov website. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated it had been processing the request, but after Wright was unable to get any further response from the agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  2. MISSOURI COALITION FOR THE ENVIRONMENT v. CORPS OF ENGINEERS (filed Apr 9, 2015)
    The Missouri Coalition for the Environment submitted a FOIA request to the Army Corps of Engineers-Little Rock District for records concerning a Joint Public Notice issued by the Corps of Engineers and the State of Missouri pursuant to the Clean Water Act. The agency withheld the records under Exemption 5 (privileges). The Coalition appealed the agency’s denial, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Coalition filed suit.
    Issues: Exemption 5 – Privileges – Deliberative process privilege – Deliberative, Exemption 5 – Privileges – Deliberative process privilege – Predecisional, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. BAGWELL v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 8, 2015)
    Ryan Bagwell, who runs the Penn State Sunshine Fund, submitted a request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys at the Justice Department for records concerning the investigation of child abuse allegations at Penn State University. EOUSA denied Bagwell’s request based on Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy) and Exemption 7(C) (invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records). Bagwell appealed EOUSA’s decision to the Office of Information Policy. OIP remanded the request to EOUSA with instructions to process it. Bagwell contacted EOUSA on a number of occasions, but after receiving no further substantive response to his request, Bagwell filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  4. CALIFORNIA INDIAN LAW ASSOCIATION v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Apr 10, 2015)
    The California Indian Law Association submitted a FOIA request to the Office of the Solicitor General for records concerning a speech made by Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal at the 2011 Indian Law Conference of the Federal Bar Association in New Mexico in which Katyal apologized for misrepresentations made by the Solicitor General in several cases involving Indian tribes. The Solicitor General disclosed 78 pages, of which 34 pages were completely redacted. The agency claimed Exemption 5 (privileges) as well as Exemption 2 (internal practices and procedures) and Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). The Solicitor General did not disclose either the text or a video recording of the Kaytal speech. CILA appealed to the Office of Information Policy, which remanded the request to the Solicitor General for further processing. The Solicitor General disclosed parts of two previously redacted emails. CILA appealed once again to OIP, but after hearing nothing further, CILA filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. RAD v. UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE et al (filed Apr 6, 2015)
    Christopher Rad submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey for records concerning a specific district court case involving E-Gold, Bank of America, Skype, and others. Rad sent his request by certified mail twice and received a return receipt from the second certified mailing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Rad filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Recovery of Costs
  6. Gluckman v. United States Department of Homeland Security (filed Apr 6, 2015)
    David Gluckman submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement for records concerning how it classifies paperwork violations for businesses hiring immigrant workers and how fees are calculated. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and invoked a 10-day time extension. The agency finally responded with a single Excel spreadsheet and 36 pages of responsive records, 13 pages of which were redacted under several exemptions. Gluckman appealed the agency’s denial and the agency upheld its decision. Gluckman attempted to get the agency to reconsider its decision, but after hearing nothing further, Gluckman filed suit.
    Issues: Exemption 6 – Invasion of privacy, Exemption 7(C) – Invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records, Exemption 7(E) – Investigative methods or techniques, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  7. Jonathan Carrano v. Internal Revenue Service et al (filed Apr 13, 2015)
    Jonathan Carrano submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for the administrative file for the Estate of Charles Papaz, for which he is the administrator. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Carrano filed suit. His suit includes a second claim for an estate tax refund.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. BELANGAR v. JOHNSON et al (filed Apr 6, 2015)
    Demaris Belanger, an employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, submitted three email FOIA requests to FEMA for records concerning her accretion package. The agency acknowledged receipt of all three requests. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Belanger filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. ARGUS LEGAL, PLLC v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 13, 2015)
    Argus Legal submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for reports required under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act to be filed with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee annually pertaining to outstanding expropriation cases by Colombia. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. When the agency failed to respond to the request within the statutory time limits, Argus Legal appealed the denial. That appeal was denied because the agency had not completed processing the request. Argus Legal then filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. American Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Health and Human Services et al (filed Apr 6, 2015)
    The ACLU submitted a FOIA request to the Administration for Children and Families for records concerning reproductive health care for unaccompanied minors. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the ACLU filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  11. National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild et al v. Homeland Security, Department of et al (filed Apr 13, 2015)
    The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning the use of reinstatement orders as a method of removal of immigrants subject to removal proceedings. The request asked for expedited processing and a fee waiver. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted the fee waiver request, but denied the request for expedited processing. DHS responded with two Internet links and indicated the request had been referred to USCIS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further response. The requesters appealed the decision. The agency upheld the DHS response and indicated that since USCIS and ICE had not yet responded there had been no denial of records. USCIS subsequently responded with 121 pages. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the requesters filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  12. CITIZENS UNITED v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 9, 2015)
    Citizens United submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of State. The first request was for records concerning the Chagoury Group in Nigeria. The second request was for records concerning Rajiv Fernando. The agency acknowledged receipt of both requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Citizens United filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  13. ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (filed Apr 9, 2015)
    The Alliance Defending Freedom submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for records concerning the tax status of churches. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and took a 10-day extension. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the Alliance filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
Apr 9 15

FOIA Activity: 20 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 20 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between March 29, 2015 and April 4, 2015. These are associated with 18 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. CAN 3:2013cv03127American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California v. Department of Justice
    • April 2, 2015: ORDER re: In Camera Review of Documents. Signed by Judge Maria-Elena James on 4/2/2015. (mejlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/2/2015)
  2. CAN 3:2014cv01130Our Children's Earth Foundation et al v. National Marine Fisheries Service et al
    • March 30, 2015: ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti granting in part and denying in part [34] 39 cross-motions for partial summary judgment and holding in abeyance portions of the cross-motions pending supplementation of the record by the Fisheries Service within thirty (30) days. (sclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/30/2015).
  3. DC 1:2011cv01350DORSEY v. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
    • March 30, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 3/28/15. (ms, )
  4. DC 1:2013cv00428WILSON v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al
    • March 31, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Richard W. Roberts on 3/31/15. (ms, )
  5. DC 1:2013cv00603BALL v. BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
    • March 31, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/31/2015. (lctsc2)
  6. DC 1:2013cv01304BOYD v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEY et al
    • March 31, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/31/2015. (lcabj3)
  7. DC 1:2013cv01422SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
    • March 31, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/31/2015. (lcabj3)
  8. DC 1:2014cv00048LEOPOLD v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
    • March 31, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION re [29] Order on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 03/31/15. (lcjeb3)
  9. DC 1:2014cv00080BEVERIDGE & DIAMOND, P.C. v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES et al
    • March 30, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 30, 2015. (lcegs4)
  10. DC 1:2014cv00552BAROUCH v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al
    • March 31, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/31/2015. (lcabj3)
  11. MD 1:2013cv01505Hudson Insurance Company et al v. Kumari et al
    • April 2, 2015: MEMORANDUM. Signed by Chief Judge Catherine C. Blake on 4/2/2015. (dass, Deputy Clerk)
  12. MD 8:2014cv02245Reaves v. Jewell
    • April 3, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION (c/m to Plaintiff 4/3/15 sat). Signed by Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 4/3/2015. (sat, Chambers)
  13. MT 2:2014cv00070Braun v. Department of Justice
    • April 3, 2015: ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS [19] in full; granting [8] Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. Plaintiff's Complaint [1] is DISMISSED without leave to amend. Signed by Judge Donald W. Molloy on 4/3/2015. (TAG, )
  14. NJ 2:2012cv04042QATANANI et al v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND ITS COMPONENT FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION et al
    • March 31, 2015: OPINION. Signed by Judge Katharine S. Hayden on 3/31/15. (rg, )
    • March 31, 2015: ORDER denying [26] Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Katharine S. Hayden on 3/31/15. (rg, )
  15. NJ 2:2012cv05379HASSAN QATANANI et al v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al
    • March 31, 2015: OPINION. Signed by Judge Katharine S. Hayden on 3/31/15. (rg, )
    • March 31, 2015: ORDER granting [26] Motion for Summary Judgment ***CIVIL CASE TERMINATED. Signed by Judge Katharine S. Hayden on 3/31/15. (rg, )
  16. NYS 1:2012cv01374Assadi v. United States Citizenship & Immigration Services
    • March 31, 2015: OPINION AND ORDER #105434 re: [48] MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. For the foregoing reasons, CIS's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and Assadi's request for in camera review is DENIED. This motion having been resolved, the Complaint in this action is DISMISSED and the Clerk of the Court is directed to CLOSE the case. (Signed by Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis on 3/30/2015) (kko) Modified on 4/6/2015 (soh).
  17. NYS 1:2014cv00328The New York Times Company et al v. United States Department of Justice
    • March 31, 2015: OPINION & ORDER #105430: The defendant's June 12 motion for summary judgment is granted. The plaintiffs' July 2 motion for summary judgment is denied. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment for the defendant and close the case. (Signed by Judge Denise L. Cote on 3/31/2015) (gr) Modified on 4/6/2015 (soh).
  18. NYW 1:2013cv00674Pickering et al v. U.S. Department of Justice et al
    • March 30, 2015: ORDER adopting Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio's Amended Report and Recommendation [46] as filed on February 25, 2015. Defendants' motion for summary judgment [19] is granted and plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment [29] is denied. The Clerk of the Court shall close the case. -CLERK TO FOLLOW UP- SO ORDERED. Signed by Hon. Richard J. Arcara on 3/27/15. (LAS)
Apr 9 15

47 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 47 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between March 29, 2015 and April 4, 2015. 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. Energy & Environment Legal Institute et al v. United States Department of State (filed Mar 30, 2015)
    The Energy & Environmental Legal Institute submitted a FOIA request to the State Department for records related to the Office of Marine Conservation. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and granted EELI a fee waiver. EELI submitted a second FOIA request for records concerning State Department employee Day Mount. The agency acknowledged receipt of the second request and granted EELI a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, EELI filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. GATORE et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Mar 31, 2015)
    Catholic Charities and a number of individuals seeking asylum filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security to force the agency to disclose segregable portions of assessments prepared by asylum officers.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Segregability analysis
  3. DONNELLY et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (filed Mar 31, 2015)
    Elaine Donnelly, founder of the Center for Military Readiness, submitted FOIA requests for 40 documents to the Department of the Army. The Army acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Donnelly filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  4. DONNELLY et al v. UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (filed Mar 31, 2015)
    This seems to be the same case as 4:15-cv-11232.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  5. DONNELLY et al v. UNITED STATES SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (filed Mar 31, 2015)
    Elaine Donnelly, founder of the Center for Military Readiness, submitted seven FOIA requests to the U.S. Special Operations Command. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Donnelly filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  6. The New York Times Company et al v. National Security Agency (filed Mar 31, 2015)
    New York Times reporter Charlie Savage submitted a FOIA request to the National Security Agency for certain reports by the NSA Inspector General. Savage also asked for a declassification review. Savage also asked for expedited processing. The NSA denied his request for expedited processing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the New York Times filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. VETERANS FOR A STRONG AMERICA et al v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Apr 1, 2015)
    Veterans for a Strong America submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for emails and phone communications pertaining to the attack on the U.S. consular facilities in Benghazi, particularly emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Veterans for a Strong America received confirmation that the request had been successfully faxed to the State Department. But when its attorney contacted State to check on its status, he was told there was no record of the request. He then sent another copy of the request. The agency acknowledged receipt of that request. After some further back and forth resulted in no response from the agency, Veterans for a Strong America filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (filed Apr 1, 2015)
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted a FOIA request to the EPA for records pertaining to communications between the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and three Senators concerning certain key words identified by CEI. CEI made a second request for records pertaining to communications between the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and Rep. Raul Grijalva containing certain CEI-identified key words. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. After hearing nothing further about either request, CEI filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. Dr Orly Taitz v. Sylvia Burwell (filed Apr 2, 2015)
    Orly Taitz submitted a FOIA request to the Centers for Disease Control concerning Ebola. She filed suit in the Southern District of Texas, but the case was transferred to the Central District of
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  10. Parrish v. McDonald et al (filed Apr 2, 2015)
    James Parrish submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Veterans Affairs for his claims file. After the agency failed to respond within the statutory time limit, Parrish filed an appeal with the VA Office of General Counsel. OGC remanded Parrish’s request for processing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Parrish filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
Apr 2 15

FOIA Activity: 5 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 5 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between March 22, 2015 and March 28, 2015. 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. CAE 1:2013cv01122(PS) Leonard Brown v. U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration
    • March 27, 2015: ORDER STRIKING [28] Plaintiff's Motion to Supplement Reply Brief in Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Order signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 3/27/2015. (Timken, A)
  2. CAN 3:2010cv03759The American Civil Liberties Union of North California et al v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • March 23, 2015: ORDER REGARDING CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. Signed by Judge Richard Seeborg on 3/23/15. (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/23/2015)
  3. CAN 4:2014cv04667Polk v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • March 26, 2015: NOTICE. Signed by Judge Hamilton on 3/26/2015. (pjhlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/26/2015) (Additional attachment(s) added on 3/26/2015: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (nap, COURT STAFF).
  4. CO 1:2013cv02814Western Energy Alliance v. United States Bureau of Land Management
    • March 23, 2015: ORDER denying [21] Motion for Attorney Fees. By Judge Robert E. Blackburn on 3/23/2015. (alowe)
  5. NCE 5:2014cv00170Melvin v. The Social Security Administration of the United States of America et al
    • March 24, 2015: ORDER denying [69] Motion for Temporary Restraining Order; denying [69] Motion for Protective Order. Signed by Senior Judge James C. Fox on 3/24/2015. Certified copy sent to Pamela Melvin, 4949 Fieldcrest Drive, Fayetteville, NC 28303 via US Mail on 3/19/2015. (Edwards, S.)
Apr 2 15

61 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 61 documents from 9 FOIA cases filed between March 22, 2015 and March 28, 2015. 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. Watson v. U.S. Department of Justice (filed Mar 26, 2015)
    Lawrence Watson submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning his complaint to the agency pertaining to his treatment by the Boston Police. After receiving no response from the agency, Watson filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  2. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Mar 23, 2015)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Secret Service for records concerning Operation Moonlight. 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
  3. THE LAW OFFICE OF JOSEPH D. GLAZER, P.C. v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES et al (filed Mar 23, 2015)
    The Law Office of Joseph Glazer submitted a FOIA request by email to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for documents filed by hospitals in cases in which the Provider Reimbursement Review Board had recently issued decisions. Glazer also sent the request by certified mail and sent the same request to the main FOIA office at the Department of Health and Human Services. After hearing nothing from the agency, Glazer filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. CITIZENS UNITED v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Mar 24, 2015)
    Citizens United submitted three FOIA requests to the Department of State. One request was for all State Department still photos taken during trips abroad by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Another request was for all videotapes taken during trips abroad by Clinton. The third request was for travel-related expense records for certain trips taken by Clinton. The agency acknowledged receipt of all three requests, but after the agency failed to respond, Citizens United filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  5. Medellin Longoria v. Johnson et al (filed Mar 24, 2015)
    Jose Medellin Longoria, who was subject to administrative removal proceedings initiated by the Department of Homeland Security, submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for all records concerning his encounters with the agency. He also submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for his alien file. CIS responded by providing four pages. CBP referred Medellin Longoria’s request to CIS. CIS then reopened Medellin Longoria’s request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit
  6. NEW ORLEANS WORKERS' CENTER FOR RACIAL JUSTICE et al v. UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (filed Mar 25, 2015)
    The New Orleans Workers’ Center for Equal Justice and other individuals submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning the Criminal Alien Removal Initiative and related community raid programs. The Center also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. ICE denied and then granted the Center’s request for expedited processing. The Center filed an administrative appeal of the failure to grant a fee waiver. ICE denied the Center’s fee waiver request on appeal. The Center asked the agency to reconsider its fee waiver decision. The agency upheld its denial of the fee waiver. The Center then filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  7. KELLY v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (filed Mar 25, 2015)
    Matthew Kelly submitted a FOIA request to the Naval Academy for all records concerning his arrest by the Annapolis police which led to his discharge from the Navy. The Naval Academy provided some records but withheld others. Kelly appealed, arguing that the search was insufficient and that names of officers involved should not be redacted. He also submitted two FOIA requests, one to the Legal Counsel at the Naval Academy, and the other to the Naval Personnel Center, for the same records. The Legal Counsel did not respond. The Naval Personnel Center told Kelly the disclosability of the records needed to be decided upon by the Naval Academy. Kelly then filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. CITIZENS UNITED v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Mar 26, 2015)
    Citizens United submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of State. The first request was for records concerning the vacancy at the Inspector General’s Office. The second report was for records concerning a specific Inspector General’s report. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Citizens United filed suit.
    Issues: Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Litigation – Vaughn index
  9. Sparks v. US Army Central Command (ARCENT) (filed Mar 26, 2015)
    Brian Sparks, a researcher, submitted two FOIA requests to the U.S. Army Central Command for records of a 2005 status report concerning unit functioning in Iraq and for flight manifests for flights to Basra during a specified period of time. After hearing nothing from the agency, Sparks filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
Mar 26 15

FOIA Activity: 13 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 13 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between March 15, 2015 and March 21, 2015. These are associated with 13 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. ALN 2:2014cv00028Balch & Bingham LLP v. The United States Department of Health and Human Services
    • March 19, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 3/19/15. (SAC )
  2. CAE 1:2013cv01122(PS) Leonard Brown v. U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration
    • March 17, 2015: FINDINGS and RECOMMENDATIONS recommending that Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment be GRANTED and Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment be DENIED (Docs. 19, 20). Matter referred to Judge O'Neill; Objections to F&R due within t wenty-eight (28) days of service of this recommendation. ORDER DENYING Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery and Motion to Compel Production of a Vaughn Index. (Docs. 15, 18). Findings and Recommendations and Order signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 3/17/2015. (Timken, A)
  3. CAE 1:2015cv00007Turner v. United States Department of the Treasury
    • March 16, 2015: ORDER GRANTING Plaintiff's [2] Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 3/16/2015. (Attachments: # 1 IFP Application) (Marrujo, C)
  4. CO 1:2014cv02784San Juan Citizens Alliance, Inc. v. Bureau of Land Management
    • March 19, 2015: ORDER granting [29] joint motion to vacate the March 23, 2015 conference, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 3/19/15. (ktera)
  5. DC 1:2011cv01106CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • March 18, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 03/17/15. (tb, )
  6. DC 1:2012cv00534DORSEY v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS
    • March 20, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 3/19/15. (ms, )
  7. DC 1:2012cv01872PINSON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • March 19, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION granting in part and denying in part [62] Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. See document for details. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 03/19/2015. (lcrc2)
  8. DC 1:2013cv00123JONES v. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
    • March 20, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/20/15. (ms, )
  9. DC 1:2013cv00239TIPOGRAPH v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • March 18, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION re: Defendant's [22] MOTION for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's [31] Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 3/18/2015. (tcr)
  10. DC 1:2013cv00823HALL & ASSOCIATES v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
    • March 16, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/16/2015. (lctsc2)
  11. DC 1:2013cv01088SMITH v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEY et al
    • March 18, 2015: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 03/17/15. (tb, )
  12. DC 1:2014cv00558WRIGHT v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • March 16, 2015: MEMORANDUM OPINION re [10] defendant's motion for summary judgment and [12] plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on March 16, 2015. (lcesh2)
  13. UT 1:2014cv00020Eames v. USA
    • March 19, 2015: ORDER ADOPTING [16] REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS: granting [3] Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction and [11] Motion to Strike; denying [10] Motion for Default Judgment. Signed by Judge David Nuffer on 3/19/15 (alt)