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Jan 16 18

FOIA Lawsuits Surge in Trump Administration’s First Year

by FOIA Project Staff

Since the new administration took office at the end of January 2017, there has been a sharp jump in the number of lawsuits filed by individuals and organizations seeking court orders to obtain federal government records.[1] Suits brought by the news media and nonprofit advocacy organizations have fueled a significant part of this rise. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), requesters can file suit when information they are seeking is withheld and they have exhausted administrative appeals, or when the agency fails to even respond in a timely manner.

Lawsuits this past fiscal year rose an astonishing 26 percent, and are continuing to climb. FOIA court cases are now up over 70 percent from just five years ago. See Figure 1.

requests_changeFigure 1. FOIA Lawsuits Jump 26% in FY 2017

Court backlogs of pending FOIA litigation have climbed even faster, with hundreds of cases waiting resolution. Indeed, the backlog is already approaching 900 cases and unless steps are taken may top a thousand in the near future. read more…

Jan 11 18

FOIA Activity: 32 new FOIA court documents

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 29 documents from 5 FOIA cases filed between December 31, 2017 and January 6, 2018. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) v. Department of Homeland Security (filed Jan 3, 2018)
    The Center for Investigative Reporting submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records concerning land acquisition at the U.S. border and related real estate costs. CIR also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency asked CIR to clarify the time frame of its request read more…
Jan 11 18

FOIA Activity: 5 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 5 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between December 31, 2017 and January 6, 2018. 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 1:2015cv00459GATORE et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
    • January 4, 2018: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on January 4, 2018. (lcrbw3)
  2. read more…

Jan 9 18

FOIA Activity: 157 new FOIA court documents

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 157 documents from 21 FOIA cases filed between December 17, 2017 and December 23, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence v. U.S. Department of Justice (filed Dec 18, 2017)
    The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence submitted three FOIA requests to the Department of Justice concerning the influence of the NRA pertaining to various judicial nominations. The Giffords Center also requested expedited processing. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and indicated they were being processed by the Judicial Management Division, but after hearing nothing further, the Giffords Center filed suit read more…
Jan 9 18

FOIA Activity: 9 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 9 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between December 17, 2017 and December 23, 2017. These are associated with 9 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. CAS 3:2017cv01451Wright v. U.S. Department of Justice et al
    • December 21, 2017: ORDER granting [4] Additional Time to Serve Complaint. The Court exercises its discretion to allow Wright to serve his complaint by 12/29/2017. If he doesn't, this action will be dismissed. Signed by Judge Larry Alan Burns on 12/20/2017. (jdt)
  2. read more…

Jan 4 18

FOIA Activity: 217 new FOIA court documents

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 60 documents from 5 FOIA cases filed between December 24, 2017 and December 30, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. Ramaci v. Federal Bureau Of Investigation (filed Dec 26, 2017)
    Lisa Ramaci, a plaintiff in several lawsuits alleging that Iran was responsible for the kidnapping and murder of her husband journalist Stephen Vincent in Basra, Iraq in 2005, whose death was investigated by the FBI, submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for its records pertaining to its investigation of Vincent’s murder read more…
Jan 4 18

FOIA Activity: 2 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 2 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between December 24, 2017 and December 30, 2017. These are associated with 2 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.

Jan 4 18

DocuFreedom Inc. v. United States Department of Justice et al and 16 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 112 documents from 13 FOIA cases filed between December 10, 2017 and December 16, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. DocuFreedom Inc. v. United States Department of Justice et al (filed Dec 13, 2017)
    DocuFreedom, Inc. submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Justice for the records concerning entries in the library catalog at the Justice Management Division. The library catalogue is publicly available as a 6,562-page PDF file, but DocuFreedom alleged that many of the entries themselves were not publicly available read more…
Jan 4 18

FOIA Activity: 8 New Procedural or Substantive Decisions

by FOIA Project Staff

We have added 8 decisions of a procedural or substantive nature filed between December 10, 2017 and December 16, 2017. 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 4:2017cv02650Dominguez v. Federal Bureau of Investigation et al
    • December 12, 2017: ORDER DISMISSING ACTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE FOR FAILURE TO PROSECUTE. Signed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on 12/12/17. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/12/2017)
  2. read more…

Dec 14 17

PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE, INC. et al v. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION et al and 17 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt

We have added 114 documents from 18 FOIA cases filed between December 3, 2017 and December 9, 2017. Note that there can be delays between the date a case is filed and when it shows up on PACER. If there are filings from this period that have yet to be posted on PACER, this FOIA Project list may not be complete.

Click on a case title below to view details for that case, including links to the associated docket and complaint documents.

  1. PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE, INC. et al v. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION et al (filed Dec 5, 2017)
    Property of the People and researcher Ryan Shapiro submitted FOIA requests to the General Services Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of State, and Department of Defense for records reflecting charges made on government credit cards for expenses at Trump-owned properties. All of the agencies acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from any of the agencies, Property of the People and Shapiro filed suit read more…