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Jul 31 14

FOIA Activity: 3 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 3 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between July 20, 2014 and July 26, 2014. 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. CAN 4:2011cv05221Electronic Frontier Foundation v. Department of Justice
    • July 24, 2014: SECOND ORDER RE: PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS FOR IN CAMERA REVIEW. Signed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on 7/24/14. (fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/24/2014)
  2. DC 1:2003cv02545MORLEY v. UNITED STATES CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
    • July 23, 2014: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 07/23/14. (tb, )
  3. MD 1:2013cv01878Orly Taitz v. Colvin
    • July 25, 2014: MEMORANDUM re: [43] Motion to Reopen Case; Motion for recusal; Motion to transfer case; Second Motion for reconsideration filed by Orly Taitz. Signed by Judge Ellen L. Hollander on 7/25/2014. (jf2, Deputy Clerk)
Jul 31 14

114 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 114 documents from 19 FOIA cases filed between July 13, 2014 and July 26, 2014. 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. BOYLE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jul 14, 2014)
    James Boyle, a federal prisoner, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Justice and several FBI field offices concerning the FBI’s investigation of Boyle. Although the FBI provided a CD with several documents, Boyle believed the documents were not responsive to his request and that the agency had failed to justify various exemption claims. After appealing to the Office of Information Policy, Boyle eventually filed suit.
    Issues: in camera review of exemption claims, disclosure of all non-exempt records, production of Vaughn index
  2. Reaves v. Jewell (filed Jul 14, 2014)
    Osborne Mark Reaves, a police officer with the U.S. Park Police, submitted two FOIA requests to the National Park Service for two administrative complaint files. The Park Police provided Reaves with one file, apparently because it involved him, but told him that he was entitled to the file as an employee, but not under the FOIA. After the agency failed to respond further to his FOIA requests, Reaves filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, expedited proceedings, attorney’s fees
  3. AHN v. UNITED STATES NAVY (filed Jul 15, 2014)
    On behalf of Soo-Myung (Sam) Ahn, the law firm of Reed Smith submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Navy concerning the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in 2011. The agency told Ahn that there were 3,000 pages of relevant documents, but disclosed only 27 pages that were in the public domain. Ahn eventually filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all remaining documents, expeditious release of records, attorney’s fees
  4. Meader v. United States Bureau of Land Management et al (filed Jul 16, 2014)
    Norman Meader submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Management for records regarding agency recommendations for routing of the SunZia transmission line. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but told Meader that the subject matter was too broad. He narrowed the scope of the request to what recommendations each field office gave to the director. The agency indicated that because of the large number of responsive records, it would require Meader to pay $250 to cover expected costs. Meader agreed to pay the $250. However, the agency released only 20 pages, claiming those were the pages that most closely matched his criteria, and assessed $210 in search fees. Meader requested a fee waiver, which was denied by the Arizona office. His subsequent appeal to the Interior Department remained unanswered at the time of his suit. Meader then filed a FOIA request for all records the agency had reviewed as potentially responsive to his original request but had not disclosed. The agency responded that 1,321 pages would be made available if Meader paid $183 in duplication fees. Meader paid the fee under protest, but the agency still had not provided the records by the time Meader filed suit.
    Issues: declare search and duplication fees improper, order agency to reimburse fees, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  5. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE (filed Jul 16, 2014)
    PEER submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Forest Service for records concerning the agency’s Law Enforcement & Investigations’ purchase and use of new computer devices, including Toughbook laptops and tablets. The agency told PEER that it found no documents responsive to several subparts of PEER’s request and withheld the responses in an 11-page survey under Exemption 5 (privileges). PEER appealed the denial under Exemption 5 and questioned the agency’s inability to find records responsive to most subparts of its request. After hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  6. PAVEMENT COATINGS TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL v. UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (filed Jul 16, 2014)
    Leonard Kurfirst, an attorney working on behalf of the Pavements Coating Technology Council, made a FOIA request to the U.S. Geological Survey in 2011 for records concerning tar sealants. In June 2014, Kurfirst assigned all rights in his FOIA request to PCTC. Before processing Kurfirst’s request, the agency required $28,000 in fees to cover costs. Kurfirst’s law firm initially paid the fees but was subsequently reimbursed by PCTC. Over a period of three years, USGS released various batches of documents, some of which contained records it withheld under Exemption 5 (privileges). Other records were withheld under Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). Although PCTC filed four separate appeals, the agency failed to respond to any of them. PCTC also alleged the agency had not provided other documents responsive to its request. After Kurfirst assigned his rights in the FOIA request to PCTC, the organization filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records without fees, order reimbursement for costs of four answered appeals, attorney’s fees
  7. Lodge v. Gibson (filed Jul 16, 2014)
    Louis Lodge, a veteran, submitted a request to the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center for a 2011 report by an orthopedic specialist at the medical center that resulted in a 70 percent rating for Lodge’s disability. When Lodge applied for disability benefits, he alleged the VA falsified his medical condition to classify him at a lower disability rating of 40 percent. Lodge also alleged the report was destroyed by the VA. After the agency failed to respond to his request, Lodge filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, expeditious proceedings, costs, restore disability rating, refer VA behavior to FBI for investigation, order agency to stop improperly destroying veterans’ records
  8. B & P Company, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (filed Jul 16, 2014)
    B&P Company submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for all Revenue Agent Reports related to B&P from 1990 through 2013. The agency told B&P that it had located 41 responsive pages but was withholding them entirely under Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). B&P appealed the denial, which was upheld on appeal. James Wright submitted a FOIA request to the IRS for records related to the agency’s claim that Wright owed $505,000 in restitution. The agency denied Wright’s request based on Exemption 5 (privileges), Exemption 3 (other statutes), and Exemption 7(A). Wright appealed the agency’s denial, which was upheld on appeal. B&P Company and Wright then filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive documents, attorney’s fees
  9. ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (filed Jul 18, 2014)
    EPIC submitted a FOIA request to Customs and Border Protection for records concerning the agency’s Analytical Framework for Intelligence. EPIC also requested a fee waiver and inclusion in the media fee category. After hearing nothing further from the agency, EPIC filed suit.
    Issues: prompt disclosure of responsive records, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  10. ARROWGARP v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Jul 18, 2014)
    Tommy Arrowgarp, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to the FBI, EOUSA, and the Department of Justice for all records concerning himself. After the agency and its components failed to respond to his request, Arrowgarp filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, costs
  11. St-Hilaire v. United States Department of State (filed Jul 18, 2014)
    Mareus St. Hilaire, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning his application for a tourist visa from the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. The agency told St. Hilaire that his visa application was maintained by the Department of State. St. Hilaire then sent a request to State for his visa application records. St. Hilaire was told to provide personal authentication, which he did, but after hearing nothing further concerning the processing of his request, he filed suit.
    Issues: immediate processing of request, disclosure of responsive records, attorney’s fees
  12. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Jul 21, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for communications between the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement between May 1-May 15 regarding a report published by the Center for Immigration Studies pertaining to the release of 36,000 criminal aliens. The agency acknowledged the request and invoked a 10-day extension. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  13. JORDAN v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jul 21, 2014)
    Gigi Jordan, currently awaiting trial for second-degree murder in New York for the death of her son, submitted a request to the FBI for all records concerning an alleged investigation of the extent to which her son may have been abused. Jordan asked for expedited processing of her request. After the agency failed to make a determination on her expedited processing request, Jordan filed suit.
    Issues: declare plaintiff is entitled to expedited processing, order agency to process request expeditiously, attorney’s fees
  14. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jul 21, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records of communications between the Public Integrity Section and either White House staff or the IRS concerning 501(c)(4) or other tax exempt organizations. After the agency failed to respond to the request before the statutory time limit, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  15. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Jul 21, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State concerning records related to the talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to discuss the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further before the statutory time limit, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  16. Wessler v. United States Department of Justice et al (filed Jul 23, 2014)
    Seth Wessler, a journalist currently serving as a visiting scholar at New York University, submitted several FOIA requests to the Bureau of Prisons for records concerning the number of criminal aliens held at privately-managed secure prison facilities. He also requested expedited processing, a fee waiver, and inclusion in the media fee category. The agency denied his requests for expedited processing and a fee waiver, telling Wessler he had failed to show a compelling need for the information or that the information would significantly contribute to public understanding of the incarceration of criminal aliens. Wessler appealed the denial to the Office of Information Policy, which told Wessler that his fee waiver request had been remanded to BOP and he would hear directly from BOP. After hearing nothing further, Wessler filed suit.
    Issues: grant expedited processing, disclosure of all responsive records without processing fees, attorney’s fees
  17. 100REPORTERS LLC v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jul 24, 2014)
    100Reporters, LLC, a non-profit media organization focusing on investigating foreign and domestic corruption, submitted a FOIA request to the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice for records concerning the prosecution of Siemens under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Criminal Division denied the request entirely, citing Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). 100Reporters appealed the denial, which was upheld by the agency. 100Reporters then filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, expeditious proceedings, set schedule for release of records, attorney’s fees
  18. Harper v. Department of the Army Huntington District, Corps of Engineers (filed Jul 25, 2014)
    Leatra Harper, a citizen advocate working with the Fresh Water Accountability Project, submitted a FOIA request to the Huntington District Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for records concerning the agency’s involvement in leasing mineral rights to the Muskingham Watershed Conservancy District for use in fracking operations. The agency told Harper that it was withholding the majority of the 200 responsive pages under Exemption 5 (privileges). Harper appealed the agency’s decision, which was upheld. She then filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of responsive records, expedited proceedings, attorney’s fees
  19. Logan & Lowry, LLP v. United States Department of Interior et al (filed Jul 25, 2014)
    The law firm of Logan & Lowry submitted three FOIA requests to the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of the Interior for a final inspection report, and records pertaining to the investigation of two employees of the Oklahoma Department of Mines and one employee of the Office of Surface Mining. After hearing nothing from the agency, the law firm filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of responsive records, attorney’s fees
Jul 24 14

68 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 68 documents from 16 FOIA cases filed between June 29, 2014 and July 12, 2014. 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. Electronic Frontier Foundation v. National Security Agency et al (filed Jul 1, 2014)
    After computer researchers announced the discovery of a flaw in the open-source cryptographic library OpenSSL known as “Heartbleed,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted FOIA requests to the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for records concerning the development or implementation of the vulnerabilities and equity process and principles for guiding decision making as described in a White House blog post referring to the problem. EFF asked for expedited processing, ONDI granted expedited processing, but NSA denied expedition. EFF appealed the denial to NSA. After hearing nothing further from either agency, EFF filed suit.
    Issues: immediate disclosure of all records, grant expedited processing, expeditious proceedings, attorney’s fees
  2. Spink v. United States Probation & Pretrial Services et al (filed Jul 1, 2014)
    Douglas Spink, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to Connie Smith, Chief of the U.S. Probation & Pretrial Services Office for the Western District of Washington for records related to his conviction. After the agency failed to respond within the statutory time limit, Spink filed an appeal. After no further response from the agency, Spink filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of records, attorney’s fees
  3. Dwayne D. Daniels v. Internal Revenue Service (filed Jul 2, 2014)
    Dwayne Daniels submitted a FOIA request to the IRS in July 2010 for any Form 5344, an examination closing record, issued to him for tax years 2004-2006. The agency provided only a sample Form 5344. Daniels appealed the agency’s failure to find any Form 5344 related to him. The agency concluded that it had conducted an adequate search. Daniels submitted a second FOIA request in February 2014 for a number of forms he alleged the agency should have pertaining to his taxes. The agency responded with a single form and when Daniels appealed the agency indicated the form was the only responsive record. Daniels then filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search by date certain, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  4. EDELMAN v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (filed Jul 3, 2014)
    Richard Edelman, who operates a website providing information to investors in the Empire State Building, submitted six FOIA requests to the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning investments related to the Empire State Building. After the agency failed to respond to any of his requests within the statutory time limit, Edelman appealed the denial of his requests. In response to two of his appeals, the agency issued a Glomar response, neither confirming nor denying the existence of records, under Exemption 7(A) (ongoing investigation). Edelman finally filed suit.
    Issues: prompt disclosure of all responsive records, disclosure of all segregable portions of records, attorney’s fees
  5. Lucaj v. United States Department of Justice, et al (filed Jul 3, 2014)
    Doda Lucaj, an Albanian-American residing in Michigan, was arrested in Vienna in 2006 and allegedly illegally extradited to Montenegro, where he underwent a ten-month trial. He was apparently questioned by FBI agents in Vienna. To find out more about his arrest and U.S. involvement, Lucaj submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning his questioning by the FBI in Vienna. The agency acknowledged receipt of his request but after the agency failed to respond further, Lucaj filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of records in electronic format to Lucaj and his attorney, attorney’s fees
  6. Ehret v. United States Department of Defense et al (filed Jul 7, 2014)
    John Ehret submitted a FOIA request to the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for an unpublished report concerning the erosion effect in Lake Michigan because of a nuclear power plant located near the St. Joseph Harbor jetties, near Ehret’s residence. The Detroit District responded by telling Ehret it could not find the report he described. Ehret appealed the no records response and was able to provide sufficient identifying information for the agency to locate the record, which it released to Ehret. However, Ehret was dissatisfied because certain parts were missing or damaged. He then filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, require agency to explain why disclosure was not considered in the public interest, attorney’s fees
  7. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (filed Jul 8, 2014)
    PEER submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for records from the Office of the Science Advisor concerning scientific misconduct. The agency responded to PEER’s request by disclosing 91 pages and withholding 57 pages under Exemption 5 (privileges) and Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). PEER appealed the Exemption 5 denials and the agency agreed to disclose more information. The agency then disclosed several redacted reports. Still unsatisfied with the agency’s response, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  8. WP COMPANY LLC v. WMATA (filed Jul 8, 2014)
    The Washington Post made two requests to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority under its Public Access to Records Policy, WMATA’s administrative equivalent to FOIA, for records concerning settlement agreements resolving litigation filed as a result of the fatal 2009 Metrorail collision near the Fort Totten station. A year later, WMATA denied both requests in full, claiming they were protected by the PARP exemptions for confidential business information, privileged documents, and invasion of personal privacy. The Washington Post appealed the denials of its PARP requests and also moved to intervene in federal litigation concerning liability for the collision to unseal documents related to the settlement agreements with minors that had been filed with the court. Meanwhile, WMATA told the Washington Post that it would hold its PARP request in abeyance until the decision pertaining to unsealing the documents filed with the court. The court disclosed the settlement agreements with redactions of personally identifying information. WMATA then responded to the Washington Post’s PARP requests by denying information about the settlement agreements under the exemptions for confidential business information and privileged information. The Washington Post then filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of responsive records, attorney’s fees
  9. Kurshid Jehan Shaikh v. United States Department of State (filed Jul 9, 2014)
    Kurshid Jehan Shaikh, a native of Pakistan, obtained lawful permanent resident status in 2009. In February 2014, she was placed into removal proceedings because she had failed to comply with a 1998 voluntary departure order. Shaikh asserted that she left the U.S. as required in July 1998 and was issued a nonimmigrant visa by the U.S. Consulate in Islamabad, Pakistan in September 1998. Through her attorney, Shaikh submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records related to her nonimmigrant visa applications. The agency acknowledged receipt of her request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Shaikh filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  10. Milner v. United States Department of Defense et al (filed Jul 9, 2014)
    Glen Milner submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Defense for records related to review or approval by DOD’s Explosive Safety Board for the Navy’s planned second Explosives Handling Wharf at Naval Base Kitnap-Bangor. Milner requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. DOD denied Milner’s request for expedited processing and a fee waiver and said it would not be able to respond within the statutory 20 days. The agency provided Milner with a fee estimate of $13,000 for search time. After finally denying Milner’s appeal of its original denial of his request for expedited processing, the agency disclosed three heavily redacted records containing 23 pages, with redactions made primarily under Exemption 5 (privileges). The agency agreed to conduct a new search, but after being granted some further information on appeal, Milner was still unsatisfied and filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, waiver of fees, attorney’s fees
  11. Brennan v. Federal Emergency Management Agency (filed Jul 11, 2014)
    David Brennan submitted a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for records concerning the agency’s policies for eligibility for individual disaster assistance and the handling of such applications. The agency asked Brennan to clarify his request, which he did. The agency then notified Brennan that it was taking a 10-day extension. After hearing nothing further, Brennan filed suit and filed a separate Privacy Act claim as well.
    Issues: prompt disclosure of records, expeditious proceedings
  12. Brennan v. Federal Emergency Management Agency (filed Jul 11, 2014)
    David Brennan filed a claim for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He subsequently made a Privacy Act request for his file. After the agency failed to respond to his Privacy Act request, Brennan filed suit. This is a companion case to Brennan v. FEMA, 4:14-cv-00407-JLH (E.D. Ark.) filed 7/11/14.
    Issues: prompt disclosure of records, expeditious proceedings
  13. LOOKS FILMPRODUKTIONEN GMBH v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (filed Jul 11, 2014)
    LOOKS Filmproducktionen, a German documentary film production company making a film on the Stasi, the East German secret police, made a request to the CIA for all records on Erich Mielke, head of the Stasi from 1957-1989. The CIA issued a Glomar response, neither confirming nor denying the existence of records. LOOKS appealed and the agency affirmed its initial denial. LOOKS then asked the CIA to reconsider its appeal decision, which was also denied by the agency. LOOKS then appealed to the Office of Government Information Services concerning the CIA’s refusal to reconsider its denial of LOOKS’ appeal. The CIA initially told OGIS it would not reconsider the appeal, but after LOOKS’ counsel discovered as the result of a database search at the National Archives and Records Administration a number of records on Mielke previously disclosed by the CIA, the agency agreed to reconsider the request. LOOKS then submitted two new FOIA requests pertaining to Mielke

Jul 22 14

FOIA Activity: 18 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 18 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between June 29, 2014 and July 19, 2014. These are associated with 14 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 2:2011cv02799(PS) Jones v. Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
    • July 1, 2014: MEMORANDUM and ORDER signed by Chief Judge Morrison C. England, Jr on 6/30/14 ORDERING for the reasons set forth above, Plaintiff's August 15, 2013 filing, ECF No. [75] , is not a motion listed in Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4 (a)(4). The Clerk of the Court is ORDERED to transmit a copy of this Order to the Clerk of the Court of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for filing on the docket of Case No. 13-17088. (cc USCA) (Becknal, R)
    • July 14, 2014: ORDER re [84] USCA Referral Notice signed by Chief Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. on 7/11/2014 REVOKING the plaintiff's IFP Status; DIRECTING the Clerk of Court to transmit a copy of this Order to the Clerk of the Court of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for filing on the docket of Case No. 13-17088. (cc: Ninth Circuit) (Michel, G)
  2. CAN 3:2010cv03759The American Civil Liberties Union of North California et al v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • July 17, 2014: STIPULATION AND ORDER AMENDING BRIEFING SCHEDULE. Signed by Judge Richard Seeborg on 7/17/14. (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/17/2014)
  3. CAN 3:2014cv02166American Small Business League v. Department of Defense
    • July 1, 2014: ORDER, Case reassigned to Hon. William Alsup. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler no longer assigned to the case.. Signed by Executive Committee on 7/1/14. (ha, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/1/2014)
    • July 14, 2014: SUPPLEMENTAL ORDER TO ORDER SETTING INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE re [9] Clerks Notice. Signed by Judge William Alsup on 10/16/12. (dt, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/14/2014)
  4. CAN 3:2014cv02168American Small Business League v. United States Department of the Army
    • July 1, 2014: ORDER, Case reassigned to Hon. Vince Chhabria. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler no longer assigned to the case.. Signed by Executive Committee on 7/1/14. (ha, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/1/2014)
  5. CAN 4:2009cv03351Electronic Frontier Foundation v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    • July 10, 2014: ORDER ( 94 STIPULATION Staying Proceedings terminated). ***Civil Case Terminated.*** Signed by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong on 7/10/2014. (ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/10/2014)
  6. CAN 4:2013cv05924Henry et al v. Department of Justice
    • June 30, 2014: ORDER Vacating 7/2/14 Case Management Conference and Setting Briefing and Hearing Schedule on Parties' Cross Motions for Summary Judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu on 06/30/2014. (dmrlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/30/2014)
    • July 17, 2014: AMENDED ORDER Vacating 7/2/14 Case Management Conference and Setting Briefing and Hearing Schedule on Parties' Cross Motions for Summary Judgment. Signed by Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu on 7/17/2014. (ig, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/17/2014).
  7. CAS 3:2014cv00958Rodriguez v. U.S. Department of Justice et al
    • July 7, 2014: Order Following ENE. Early Neutral Evaluation Conference held on 7/2/14. Telephonic Case Management Conference set for 8/11/2014 9:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major. Telephonic Early case management Conference will be also held on 11/3/14 @9:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major.. Signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major on 7/7/2014.(av1)
  8. CO 1:2014cv01282Western Energy Alliance v. United States Geological Survey
    • June 30, 2014: ORDER Setting Scheduling Conference for 8/20/2014 at 11:30 AM in Conference Room, proposed order (original only) on paper, shall be submitted directly to chambers by 4:00 p.m. on August 14, 2014, lead counsel present in person, and initial disclosures under Rule 26(a)(1) will be completed no later than 10 calendar days before the scheduling conference, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 6/30/2014. (jsmit)
  9. DC 1:2012cv00244SACK v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY et al
    • July 10, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 10, 2014. (lcegs2)
  10. DC 1:2012cv01441ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • July 18, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 7/18/2014. (lcabj1)
  11. DC 1:2012cv01510JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    • July 18, 2014: ORDER granting in part [35] plaintiff's motion to lift stay. See text of Order for details. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 7/18/14. (lcjdb2)
  12. DC 1:2014cv00403SAI v. TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
    • July 7, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on July 7, 2014. (lcesh1)
  13. PAE 2:2013cv05596ARDEN v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    • July 3, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 7/3/2014. 7/7/2014 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE AND E-MAILED.(amas)
    • July 3, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION ORDER THAT THE MOTION TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT FILED BY DEFENDANT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (DOC. NO. [9] ), IS GRANTED. PLAINTIFF'S CLAIMS ARE DISMISSED, WITHOUT PREJUDICE, FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES. THE CLERK OF COURT IS DIRECTED TO MARK THIS MATTER CLOSED. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 7/3/2014. 7/7/2014 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE AND E-MAILED.(amas)
  14. WIW 3:2014cv00369Ibeagwa v. United States of America (Internal Revenue Service)
    • July 17, 2014: ORDER denying [30] Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by District Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 7/17/2014. (nln),(ps)
Jul 3 14

FOIA Activity: 2 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 2 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between June 22, 2014 and June 28, 2014. These are associated with 1 FOIA case 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 the case title below to view other details for that case, including links to the docket report and complaint.

  • PAE 2:2013cv03657ARDEN v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    • June 27, 2014: MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE MOTION FOR PARTIAL DISMISSAL AND FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FILED BY DEFENDANT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS GRANTED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 6/27/14. 6/27/14 ENTERED AND E-MAILED, MAILED TO PRO SE.(jl, )
    • June 27, 2014: ORDER THAT THE MOTION FOR DISMISSAL AND FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS GRANTED. THE CLERK OF COURT IS DIRECTED TO MARK THIS MATTER CLOSED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE NITZA I QUINONES ALEJANDRO ON 6/27/14. 6/27/14 ENTERED AND MAILED TO PRO SE, EMAILED.(jl, )
Jul 3 14

37 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 37 documents from 7 FOIA cases filed between June 22, 2014 and June 28, 2014. 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. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 23, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Justice Department for records concerning communications between Deputy Attorney General James Cole and several legal organizations related to the Clemency Project. After hearing nothing further from the agency before the expiration of the 20-day time limit, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  2. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 23, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Justice Department for all emails from the Voting Section to Attorney General Eric Holder and other DOJ officials from October 2008 to December 2009. DOJ acknowledged receipt of the request and asked Judicial Watch to narrow the scope of the request. Judicial Watch narrowed the scope of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  3. Myers v. Stephens et al (filed Jun 23, 2014)
    Michael Myers made a FOIA request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for records pertaining to evidence collected as part of his investigation and conviction. After appealing to the Office of Information Policy, which remanded the request to EOUSA for further processing, he filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all requested records, explanation of reasons for withholding records if claimed to be exempt, admission by agency that records were exculpatory
  4. LEOPOLD et al v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (filed Jun 24, 2014)
    Investigative journalist Jason Leopold and MIT Ph.D. student Ryan Shapiro submitted a FOIA request to the CIA for records concerning the ongoing dispute between the agency and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence pertaining to the committee’s ability to access classified information. Leopold and Shapiro requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied Leopold and Shapiro expedited processing, but made no decision on the fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Leopold and Shapiro filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, grant expedited processing, disclosure of all non-exempt records without fees, attorney’s fees
  5. Fleming v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Jun 24, 2014)
    George Fleming submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas for records concerning his fraud trial. The agency acknowledged receipt of his request and asked for authentication. Fleming complied, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of records, attorney’s fees
  6. Evangelisti v. Perez et al. (filed Jun 25, 2014)
    John Evangelisti, an attorney, requested a copy of a CD containing a master copy of physicians used by Elsevier in scheduling Independent Medical Examinations. The CD had been sent to Elsevier as an attachment to a letter from the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs at the Department of Labor informing the company that the Office had received several FOIA requests for the company’s list of physicians used in scheduling Independent Medical Examinations. When the Office failed to respond within the statutory time limit, Evangelisti filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all records, attorney’s fees
  7. HALL v. U.S. BUREAU OF PRISONS et al (filed Jun 26, 2014)
    Virgil Hall, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA/PA request to the Bureau of Prisons for records indicating who had signed his indictment. His request went unanswered. He then filed suit, claiming several violations of the Privacy Act – failure to provide an accounting of disclosures, and failure to maintain records in an accurate, fair, and complete manner. He also alleged this was intentional on the part of the agency.
    Issues: destruction of inaccurate records, appropriate relief
Jun 26 14

FOIA Activity: 8 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 8 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between June 15, 2014 and June 21, 2014. These are associated with 8 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 3:2013cv02789Public.Resource.org v. United States Internal Revenue Service
    • June 20, 2014: ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS by Hon. William H. Orrick denying [14] Motion to Dismiss. (jmdS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/20/2014)
  2. CAN 3:2013cv06017Carlson v. United States Postal Service
    • June 17, 2014: ORDER granting [20] STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER continuing Settlement Conference until 9/5/2014 10:00 AM at 1301 Clay St., Oakland, CA. Signed by Judge Kandis A. Westmore on 6/17/2014. (kawlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/17/2014) (Additional attachment(s) added on 6/19/2014: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (sisS, COURT STAFF).
  3. CAN 4:2013cv05618Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment et al v. Federal Housing Finance Agency
    • June 19, 2014: STIPULATION AND ORDER, Motion granted: [45] STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER TO MODIFY BRIEFING SCHEDULE. Responses due by 6/24/2014. Replies due by 7/10/2014. Signed by Judge Kandis A. Westmore on 06/19/2014. (kawlc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/19/2014)
  4. DC 1:2012cv00537SACK v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY et al
    • June 17, 2014: Memorandum Opinion Re. 26 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 6/17/2014. (lccrc1, ).
  5. DC 1:2012cv00865MARINO v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al
    • June 19, 2014: MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on June 19, 2014. (lcrmc3)
  6. DC 1:2013cv01962ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY PROJECT et al v. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
    • June 16, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part [14] Motion to Amend/Correct Complaint. Plaintiffs shall file an Amended Complaint joining OMB but not EPA on or before June 23, 2014. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 6/16/2014. (lccrc1, ).
  7. OHS 1:2013cv00651Howard v. Railroad Retirement Board
    • June 20, 2014: OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS re [36] Report and Recommendation. The Court hereby GRANTS Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [13] and DISMISSES this matter from the docket. As such, the remaining motions on the docket are denied as MOOT [18] 22 [23] 26 [27] 30 [33] This case is closed. Signed by Judge S Arthur Spiegel on 6/19/2014. (km1) (Additional attachment(s) added on 6/20/2014: # 1 Certified Mail Receipt) (km1).
  8. WAW 2:2013cv00945St. Germain et al v. United States Department of Interior et al
    • June 18, 2014: ORDER terminating [29] Defendants' Motion for an order declaring the standards of review applicable to plaintiffs' claims, by Judge Richard A Jones.(MD)
Jun 26 14

39 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 39 documents from 8 FOIA cases filed between June 15, 2014 and June 21, 2014. 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. AQUALLIANCE v. UNITED STATES BUREAU OF RECLAMATION (filed Jun 16, 2014)
    Aqualliance, a non-profit dedicated to defending northern California waterways, submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Reclamation for records concerning the amount of water transferred in 2013 under the purview of federal and California water authorities. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, indicated that it was considered a voluminous request, and asked for clarification. Aqualliance provided the needed clarification and BLM indicated it would begin providing interim responses, and, further, that some information might be exempt. Aqualliance submitted a second FOIA request to BLM for records of all applications for approval of specific water transfers from the Sacramento River watershed to south of the Delta. The agency acknowledged receipt of the second request and again indicated that its size meant it would take a considerable amount of time to process. The agency further told Aqualliance that it was reviewing the documents for exemptions. The agency then provided an interim response to the first request. After receiving nothing further pertaining to either request, Aqualliance filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  2. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Jun 17, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records from the Interactive Case Management System detailing the number of hours DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman spent on the investigation of the IRS for targeting conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. After the agency failed to respond within the 20-day time limit, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  3. Meyer v. Social Security (filed Jun 18, 2014)
    Eric Meyer and a number of other plaintiffs filed suit against the Social Security Administration and other feral government components seeking to invalidate the privacy restrictions contained in the privacy regulations for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, arguing that they prohibit unrelated individuals from contacting each other. This is not a FOIA action, but instead is an attempt to repeal privacy restrictions on personal information.
    Issues: N/A
  4. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (filed Jun 17, 2014)
    PEER submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for records concerning FEMA’s administration of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Energy Allocation Initiative grants for Superstorm Sandy in the State of New Jersey. FEMA acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated it would take a 10-day extension. After hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  5. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (filed Jun 17, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Defense for records concerning the processing of a previous Judicial Watch request submitted in May 2011. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated it would be unable to respond within 20 days. After the expiration of the 20-day time limit, Judicial Watch filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  6. JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (filed Jun 18, 2014)
    Judicial Watch submitted two FOIA requests to the Internal Revenue Service for records concerning allegations that several agency employees had urged taxpayers to vote for President Obama in violation of the Hatch Act. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and several weeks later denied Judicial Watch’s requests by indicating that records pertaining to alleged violations of the Hatch Act were considered personal records rather than agency records. Judicial Watch filed an administrative appeal and the agency upheld its original denial. Judicial Watch then filed suit.
    Issues: conduct adequate search, disclosure of all non-exempt records by date certain, production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  7. Patel et al v. Department of Health and Human Services (filed Jun 18, 2014)
    Shatish Patel and three other doctors submitted a FOIA request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services concerning St. Luke’s Sugar Land Hospital. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and the doctors were told that the regional office had gathered records responsive to their request. However, after failing to provide any responsive records, the doctors filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, immediate disclosure of all responsive documents, attorney’s fees
  8. Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP v. United States Food and Drug Administration (filed Jun 20, 2014)
    The law firm of Faruqi and Faruqi, the court-appointed counsel for a securities class action suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit against Chelsea Therapeutics International, submitted an email request to the FDA for information letters sent to Chelsea Therapeutics. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further, the law firm sent a second identical email request, which was also acknowledged. However, after hearing nothing more pertaining to either request, the law firm filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
Jun 20 14

FOIA Activity: 5 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by foiaproj

We have added 5 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between June 8, 2014 and June 14, 2014. 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. DC 1:2012cv01088FREEDOM WATCH, INC. v. NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY et al
    • June 12, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION re: 11 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 6/12/2014. (lccrc1, ).
  2. DC 1:2013cv01566ABTEW v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
    • June 13, 2014: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 6/13/2014. (lcabj1)
  3. HI 1:2014cv00225Cassell v. Primus Automobile Financial
    • June 10, 2014: ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION (ECF NO. 6) re [6] – Signed by JUDGE HELEN GILLMOR on 6/10/2014. "Plaintiff is granted leave to submit the appropriate removal documents or amended complaint to cure the deficiencies outlined in the Findings and Recommendation (ECF No. 6) on or before July 10, 2014." (emt, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Jerry R. Cassell served by first class mail at the address of record on June 10, 2014.
  4. MD 1:2013cv01878Orly Taitz v. Colvin
  5. NV 3:2013cv00625Bergeron v. United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    • June 10, 2014: ORDER denying as moot Defendant's [14] Motion to Strike. Signed by Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb on 6/10/2014. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF – KR)
Jun 20 14

101 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by foiaproj

We have added 101 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between June 8, 2014 and June 14, 2014. 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. PRISOLOGY v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS (filed Jun 8, 2014)
    Prisology, a non-profit organization that advocates for prison reform, filed suit against the Bureau of Prisons alleging the agency had failed to post a number of categories of records required to be made available electronically by the EFOIA Amendments.
    Issues: declaratory judgment requiring agency to make categories of records available electronically, attorney’s fees
  2. CENTER FOR COMPETITIVE POLITICS v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION (filed Jun 9, 2014)
    The Center for Competitive Politics submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Election Commission for the “First General Counsel’s Report,” a document prepared for the FEC commissioners as part of their consideration of whether Crossroads GPS had violated federal law by failing to register as a political action committee. A majority of commissioners decided not to pursue the charges. As part of their statement of reasons, the three majority commissioners indicated that the First General Counsel’s Report had not been made public because it was considered privileged. Instead, a Second General Counsel’s Report was made part of the public record. The agency responded to the Center’s FOIA request by withholding the First General Counsel’s Report entirely under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). The Center appealed the denial and the agency indicated that the commission had been unable to reach a decision on the merits of the appeal. The Center then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, immediate disclosure of records, disclosure of record with redactions, attorney’s fees
  3. COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE et al v. UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (filed Jun 9, 2014)
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted two FOIA requests to the National Security Agency for records of metadata for allegedly destroyed emails sent to and from anonymous email accounts maintained for current EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. The agency issued a Glomar response neither confirming nor denying the existence of records for both requests. CEI appealed the denial of both requests, but after the agency failed to respond to the appeals, CEI filed suit.
    Issues: improper response, conduct adequate search, disclosure of records within 10 days or production of Vaughn index, attorney’s fees
  4. GREEN v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Jun 9, 2014)
    Vance Green, a researcher and producer for a local cable news program, sent a FOIA request in 2012 to the Justice Department for all records concerning defendants who were arrested in response to the government’s Sept. 11, 2001 lookout bulletin. Green reminded the agency that he was renewing a request originally submitted in 2009. The agency informed Green that it had found 2606 pages of records as well as 14 CDs and would disclose them if Green paid $275 in estimated fees. Green told the agency that since it had missed the time limit for responding it could no longer charge fees. He also sent a request for expedited processing. Green also submitted similar FOIA requests to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense. After the agencies failed to provide records, Green filed suit.
    Issues: Green requested a number of items for relief. Highlights include disclosure of all records, waive all fees, order re-training of DOJ-FBI FOIA personnel, order agency to stop closing requests before 60 days, conduct thorough search, order re-training of FAA FOIA personnel
  5. MCCLARY et al v. USDA (filed Jun 10, 2014)
    Robin McClary submitted a FOIA request to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the Department of Agriculture for records concerning the killing of Canadian Geese in Virginia. Citizens for the Preservation of Wildlife made a request to APHIS for records concerning any public participation processes pertaining to the management of Canadian Geese in Virginia. Friends of Animals made a request for a 2013 decision finding no significant impact for mammal damage management in Wisconsin. The agency provided a partial response to McClary’s request and to the request from Friends of Animals, but had provided no response to the request submitted by Citizens for the Preservation of Wildlife. McClary and the two organizations filed suit against the agency.
    Issues: improper withholding, immediate disclosure of responsive records with no fees, attorney’s fees
  6. MUCKROCK, LLC v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (filed Jun 10, 2014)
    MuckRock, an online news organization, submitted a request to the CIA for all information contained in its CADRE database pertaining to processing of FOIA, Privacy Act, and mandatory declassification reviews received during the first quarter of 2013. MuckRock explained that it was interested only in information about the processing of the requests and not records disclosed as a result of requests. MuckRock also asked for a fee waiver and inclusion in the news media fee category. The agency denied MuckRock’s fee waiver request and placed it in the all other category for fees. MuckRock appealed the denial of its fee waiver request, but the CIA has not acknowledged receipt of the appeal. MuckRock submitted another eight requests for similar information from the agency’s FOIA-processing database as well as the database for classification decisions. After the agency failed to respond to the requests, MuckRock filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, disclosure in electronic formats requested, grant fee waivers, order MuckRock placed in news media fee category, prohibit agency from refusing to respond because of absence of specific information, expedited proceedings, attorney’s fees
  7. WHITMORE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS (filed Jun 10, 2014)
    Torenda Whitmore, a federal prisoner convicted of kidnapping, submitted a FOIA request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for records concerning the impact of a recent case on the ability of prisoners to submit habeas corpus petitions. The agency acknowledged her request and told her to submit identifying documents. Once she submitted the identifying information, the agency told her it would process her request, but after hearing nothing further, Whitmore filed suit.
    Issues: immediate disclosure of responsive records, production of Vaughn index
  8. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (filed Jun 12, 2014)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Management at the Department of Interior for records summarizing incidents of violence or threats against BLM employees in 2013. In a second FOIA request to BLM, PEER asked for records concerning the agency’s actions against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. After the agency failed to respond to either request within the statutory time limit, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, permanent injunction requiring disclosure of responsive records, attorney’s fees
  9. PAWELSKI v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION et al (filed Jun 12, 2014)
    John Pawelski, who is under federal indictment, submitted FOIA requests to the FBI, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, and the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for records about himself. He also requested expedited processing for each request. After none of the agencies responded to his request for expedited processing, Pawelski filed suit.
    Issues: processing of all responsive records, expedited processing, disclosure of all responsive records, attorney’s fees
  10. ADVANCED TESTING TECHNOLOGIES INC v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE (filed Jun 13, 2014)
    Advanced Testing Technologies submitted a FOIA request to Warner Robins Air Force Base for all visitor entries for Robert Buckley, as well as records pertaining to his meetings with Air Force personnel. The Air Force responded to the company’s request by withholding information about the meetings under Exemption 5. Advanced Testing Technologies appealed the denial of its request. It also submitted a new FOIA request renewing the first FOIA request and, alternatively, asking for a narrower subset of records if the agency continued to disagree with the company’s prior requests. The Air Force responded to the third request by indicating there was no responsive record. Advanced Testing Technologies appealed that denial as well, but after hearing nothing further, filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of previously redacted records, disclosure of all other responsive records, expedited proceedings, attorney’s fees