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FOIA Court Challenges Up 27% in FY 2011

by FOIA Project Staff on October 4th, 2011

The recently completed 2011 fiscal year saw 378 court challenges to the withholding of information by the federal government, up 27% from the previous fiscal year, according to district court information compiled as part of the FOIA Project.

The’s storehouse of details about U.S. FOIA cases has also been greatly expanded. As we continue each day to add information on each new case filed, we’ve also added closed cases, new charts, and new searches to the website.

  • Closed cases: All FOIA cases filed in district courts and closed since FY 2010 (October 1, 2009) are now listed on the site. For each case, we’ve retrieved the final PACER docket and uploaded it to As with filed cases, we’re updating this list daily.
  • New charts: Two new graphics have been added to the website: a chart showing counts for closed cases and a map detailing the geographical distribution of closed cases. The chart summarizes the numbers of cases, defendants and documents (dockets plus complaint instruments and attachments) in the current and previous fiscal year. The map identifies the location of each closed case since FY 2010, with color indications for newly (within 7 days) and recently (within 30 days) closed cases.
  • New searches: You can now search the court documents database by the date in which a FOIA case was closed. In addition, you can also now search by the name of the judge who presided over the case. As always, you can mix and match these with any of filing date, district, case number, plaintiff or defendant, as well as perform a text search of the scanned document residing on

The FOIA Project has compiled information on 949 cases either filed or closed since October 2009, with links to over 4000 documents stored on

From → FOIA, Reports

  1. Since the federal FY11 ended on September 30, 2011, your “Record Counts” graphic should be corrected to state “Current as of September 30, 2011” for the FY 2011 bars.

    • foiaproj permalink

      Joe, good point. The numbers could change slightly as occasionally filings and closing can show up on PACER several days later. In any case, once we get some more data on FY 2012 we’re going to switch the maps over to show activity in the current FY.

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