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Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights et al v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and 19 other new FOIA lawsuits

by Harry Hammitt on December 8th, 2022

We have added 130 documents from 19 FOIA cases filed between November 27, 2022 and December 3, 2022. 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. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights et al v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (filed Dec 1, 2022)
    Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Justice for Migrant Families, and Prisoner Legal Services of New York submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning the scope and scale of detention in the Buffalo Field Office District and records regarding the treatment of people detained at Batavia. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. After hearing nothing from the agency, the plaintiffs filed an administrative appeal. As a result of the appeal, ICE remanded the request for further processing. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, the plaintiffs filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees, Adequacy – Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Public Interest Fee Waiver
  2. The Appeal, Inc. et al v. United States Department of Justices Office of Justice Programs (filed Nov 28, 2022)
    The Appeal, a non-profit news agency that covers the impact of the criminal legal system on vulnerable communities, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs for records concerning the number of jail deaths reported for each facility from 2000-2018. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and identified 182, 611responsive records. The agency withheld them all under Exemption 3 (other statutes), citing 34 U.S.C. §§ 10134 and 10231, which pertains to research or statistical information collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that must be kept confidential. The Appeal filed an administrative appeal with the Office of Information Policy, which was denied on modified ground. The Appeal then filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  3. CITIZENS UNITED v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE (filed Nov 28, 2022)
    Citizens United submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Commerce for records concerning emails and letters sent to or from certain specific agency officials. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Citizens United filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Vaughn index, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  4. JUDGE ROTENBERG EDUCATIONAL CENTER, INC. v. U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION (filed Nov 28, 2022)
    The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center submitted a FOIA request to the FDA for records concerning its 2016 request to the present. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, JREC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  5. HETTENA v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (filed Nov 29, 2022)
    Seth Hettna, an investigative journalist, submitted three FOIA requests to the CIA for records concerning the concluding document for a report from the Inspector General of the CIA of non-registration of detainees. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Hettna filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  6. CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES v. UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (filed Nov 29, 2022)
    The Center for Immigration Studies submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for records concerning credible fear screenings since 2010. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency asked CIS to clarify its request. CIS clarified the request but after hearing nothing further from the agency, CIS filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Vaughn index, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  7. Virtu Financial, Inc. v. United States Securities and Exchange Commission (filed Nov 29, 2022)
    Virtu Financial, Inc. submitted a FOIA request to the Securities and Exchange Commission for records concerning communications between the agency and any stock market professionals related to stock order handling and execution. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency told Virtu Financial that the request was too broad to conduct a search. Virtu Financial treated the agency’s response as a denial and filed an administrative appeal. After considerable back and forth, the agency conducted a search which located no responsive records pertaining to certain organizations. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Virtu Financial filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Vaughn index, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  8. Palen v. Kendall (filed Nov 29, 2022)
    Joseph Palen submitted a FOIA request to the Department of the Air Force for records concerning his security clearance review. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency told Palen that the processing of his request was nearly finished. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Palen filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  9. Palen v. Austin (filed Nov 29, 2022)
    Joseph Palen submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Defense for records concerning communications in which he was discussed between named National Guard Bureau members who were collateral witnesses to his security clearance review. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Palen filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  10. American Civil Liberties Union Foundation et al v. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (filed Nov 30, 2022)
    The ACLU of Northern California submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning template form used by the ICE Office of Detention Oversight and ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in conducting compliance inspections of immigration detention facilities from January 2018 to the present. The ACLU of Northern California also requested a fee waiver and expedited processing. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the ACLU of Northern California filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  11. INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY RESEARCH v. FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (filed Nov 30, 2022)
    The Institute for Energy Research submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for records concerning certain described text messages and phone bills related to FERC Chairman Richard Glick. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency located 12 responsive records and withheld 9 records under Exemption 5 (privileges). IER filed an administrative appeal. FERC denied its administrative appeal and IER filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  12. STEELE v. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE et al (filed Nov 30, 2022)
    David Steele submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Defense and the CIA for records concerning the reason for why he was denied a security clearance. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. After hearing anything further from the agencies, Steele filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  13. WILDERNESS WORKSHOP v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE et al. (filed Nov 30, 2022)
    The Wilderness Workshop and Rocky Mountain Wild submitted FOIA requests to the U.S. Forest Service for records concerning the Berlaimont Estates Access Route EIS process. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency disclosed some records but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the Wilderness Workshop and Rocky Mountain Wild filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy – Search, Litigation – Vaughn index, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  14. Brown v. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (filed Nov 30, 2022)
    Steven Brown submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for records concerning H-4 and H-4 EAD programs. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Brown filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  15. Ryan, LLC v. U.S. Department of the Treasury (filed Nov 30, 2022)
    The law firm of Ryan, LLC submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Treasury for records concerning the examination of the Captive Insurance Program. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told Ryan that it would be unable to respond within the statutory time limits. After some back and forth without success, Ryan filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  16. SILVERSMITH v. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (filed Dec 1, 2022)
    Jolyon Silversmith, an attorney at KMA Zuckert LLC, submitted FOIA requests to the Federal Aviation Administration for records concerning communications between Elliott Black, who was the FAA’s Director of Airport Policy, and the Town of East Hampton, NY, related to other airports that supposedly transitioned from public-use to private-use. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Silversmith filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  17. Jamul Action Committee v. Department of Interior et al (filed Dec 2, 2022)
    The Jamul Action Committee submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Interior for records concerning Exhibit A of the California-JIV Compact. JAC also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency indicated that it would waive fees. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, JAC filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  18. THE REVOLVING DOOR PROJECT v. BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (filed Dec 2, 2022)
    The Revolving Door Project submitted five FOIA requests to the Federal Reserve for records, including records concerning ethics responsibilities. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. The agency responded to all five requests, disclosing some records and withholding other under Exemption 4 (commercial and confidential), Exemption 5 (privileges), and Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). RDP filed administrative appeals of all the requests. The Federal Reserve upheld their initial decisions concerning all five requests. RDP then filed suit.
    Issues: Litigation – Attorney’s fees
  19. PROTECT THE PUBLIC'S TRUST v. OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYPOLICY (filed Dec 2, 2022)
    Protect the Public’s Trust submitted a FOIA request to the Office of Science and Technology Policy for records concerning communications between any agency employees and a list of individuals and entities. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency asked PPT to narrow the scope of its request. PPT responded by providing a more specific set of entities and employees. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, PPT filed suit.
    Issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation – Vaughn index, Litigation – Attorney’s fees

In addition, we have added 7 documents from 1 case, with an earlier filing date, that has recently appeared on PACER.

From → FOIA, PACER

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