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July 2021 FOIA Litigation with Five-Year Monthly Trends

by FOIA Project Staff on September 3rd, 2021

During the month of July 2021 federal district courts saw a total of 60 new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed under 5 U.S.C. 552. To place this number in perspective, 60 new filings compares with a monthly average of 57 filings during the last 12 months. This month’s total brought overall FOIA filings on an annual basis for these last 12 months to 688.

The figure below provides a more detailed view of monthly trends during the past five years. The height of each bar reflects the number of filings in that month. To see the actual filing count mouse over any bar. The superimposed line over the bars is the moving 12-month average. It is computed by adding up the 12 months ending at a given month, and then dividing that total by 12 to obtain the monthly average over this period. Mousing over any bar also shows the calculated result for this moving average for that given month.

Locating additional details on these cases: The FOIA Project compiles summaries of each of these cases written by Harry Hammitt for into a weekly blog posting. These typically are posted every Thursday. For recent postings see:

* July 22, 2021: JAMES MADISON PROJECT et al v. U.S. POSTAL SERVICE et al and 16 other new FOIA lawsuits, plus case descriptions.

* July 15, 2021: Black Veterans Project et al v. United States Department of Veterans Affairs and 6 other new FOIA lawsuits.

* July 13, 2021: FOIA Activity: 54 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions.

* June 30, 2021: CITIZENS UNITED v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE and 8 other new FOIA lawsuits, plus case descriptions.

* June 30, 2021: BUZZFEED, INC. v. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION et al and 7 other new FOIA lawsuits.

Documents in each case, including the complaint that was filed and the court’s docket sheet, are available elsewhere on They can be found by using the “Search Lawsuits” tool under the “FOIA Lawsuits” menu.

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