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74 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by on January 14, 2014

We have added 74 documents from 15 FOIA cases filed between December 22, 2013 and January 11, 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. FRIENDS OF ANIMALS v. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (filed Dec 23, 2013)
    Friends of Animals submitted a request for records concerning Fish and Wildlife Services processing of permit applications under the Endangered Species Act to allow the take of scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelle on U.S. hunting ranches. Friends of Animals also requested a fee waiver. After hearing nothing from the agency, Friends of Animals filed suit. Issues: improper withholding, fee waiver, attorneys fees
  2. AGUIRRE-BEISA et al v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION REVIEW (filed Dec 25, 2013)
    Necla Lane, the attorney for Emiliano Aguirre-Beisa, requested all records pertaining to Aguirre-Beisa’s case before the Executive Office of Immigration Review. EOIR responded that it was taking a 10-day extension of the 20-day time limit for unusual circumstances. After hearing nothing further after the 30 days had expired, Aguirre-Beisa filed suit. Issues: improper withholding
  3. WILSON v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Dec 26, 2013)
    Wilson requested allegedly exculpatory information that had been withheld by U.S. Attorneys during his criminal trial. The Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys told Wilson that it would not process his request without privacy waivers for third parties mentioned in his criminal records. Wilson appealed the decision and EOUSA affirmed its denial. Wilson then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, arbitrary and capricious behavior
  4. American Civil Liberties Union et al v. National Secuirty Agency et al (filed Dec 30, 2013)
    The ACLU sent requests to agencies that were part of the intelligence community asking for information about how they interpreted their authority to conduct surveillance. The ACLU also requested a fee waiver. Some agencies provided records that were already publicly available, but after none of the agencies responded fully to the ACLUs request, the organization filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, disclosure of all non-exempt records, waiver of all fees, attorneys fees
  5. Carlson v. United States Postal Service (filed Dec 31, 2013)
    Carlson submitted multiple requests concerning database queries on workday collection times. The Postal Service responded to most of his requests by indicating that he would have to pay fees ranging from $60 to $10,000. The agency upheld the fee estimates on appeal and did not provide records pertaining to any of Carlsons requests. Carlson then filed suit.
    Issues: improper fee estimate, disclosure of records at reasonable cost
  6. Fels v. United States Supreme Court et al (filed Jan 2, 2014)
    Although Fels claimed to have made a FOIA request, this case has nothing to do with a request for access to government records. Issues: None
  7. Ibeagwa v. United States of America (Internal Revenue Service) (filed Jan 2, 2014)
    Ibeagwa requested copies of tax forms he had sent to the IRS. Although the agency responded that it was providing records responsive to the request, Ibeagwa was not satisfied with the agencys response and filed suit. Issues: improper withholding, costs, punitive damages
  8. BAYALA v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (filed Jan 3, 2014)
    Bayala, a citizen of Burkina Faso, applied for asylum in the U.S. With the help of a French interpreter, he was interviewed by an asylum officer, who prepared notes of the interview. Bayala submitted a request for the interview notes. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told Bayala it had located 157 records responsive to his request and was withholding some records under four exemptions. USCIS indicated it had referred some documents to the Department of State and others to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Arguing that the agency had not adequately explained its actions, Bayala contended that an administrative appeal would be fruitless. Instead, he filed suit.
    Issues: require agency to provide better explanation of its actions, enjoin agency from issuing similar letters in the future, attorneys fees
  9. GILLIAM v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Jan 7, 2014)
    Gilliam requested records concerning any electronic surveillance of himself. After hearing nothing from the agency, Gilliam filed an administrative appeal. The agency responded that if any records existed, they would be protected by Exemption 3 (other statutes). Gilliam appealed that decision, but heard nothing further and filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of non-exempt records, expedited proceedings, attorneys fees
  10. Balch & Bingham LLP v. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (filed Jan 8, 2014)
    Balch & Bingham submitted two requests to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. One request was for information about the coverage for certain drugs under Part D. The other request was for any correspondence pertaining to coverage for compounded or bulk powder drugs under Part D. The law firm authorized fees of $300 for each request. CMS acknowledged receipt of the two requests, but Balch & Bingham heard nothing more from the agency and filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, disclosure of all non-exempt records, waiver of all fees, attorneys fees
  11. SHAPIRO v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (filed Jan 8, 2014)
    Shapiro submitted FOIA requests for records pertaining to Nelson Mandela. He asked for expedited processing and a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Shapiro filed suit.
    Issues: failure to make determination on expedited processing request, improper withholding, attorneys fees
  12. Burmeister v. United States Department of Health and Human Services et al (filed Jan 9, 2014)
    Burmeister requested from the National Institutes of Health any contracts with the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine relating to clinical diagnostic criteria for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). NIH acknowledged the request but after hearing nothing more from the agency, Burmeister filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, arbitrary and capricious behavior, expedited proceedings, attorneys fees
  13. LEOPOLD v. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (filed Jan 9, 2014)
    Leopold submitted a number of requests to Southern Command for records concerning detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Although he had received interim responses to some requests, Leopold had not received fee waiver determinations or completed responses for any of his requests. Further, on several occasions, Southern Command failed to provide an estimated date of completion for his requests. Leopold finally filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, fee waiver, pattern and practice concerning estimated date of completion, attorneys fees
  14. CLEVELAND v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Jan 9, 2014)
    Cleveland, an immigration attorney, submitted a request for each Profile of Asylum Claims and Country Conditions published for each country from 2000-2013. The State Department acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Cleveland filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of non-exempt records, enjoin agency from withholding Profiles in the future, attorneys fees
  15. Fennerty v. Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers et al (filed Jan 9, 2014)
    Fennerty requested emails between an Army Corps of Engineers employee and Fennerty’s ex-wife Erin. The Army Corps of Engineers identified 43 pages responsive to Fennertys request but refused to release them. He made a second request for emails from the employee to Erin Fennerty during 2011. The agency responded to neither Fennerty’s second request nor his administrative appeal concerning his first request. He then filed suit against the agency.
    Issues: improper withholding, expedited proceedings, attorneys fees
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From → FOIA, PACER

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