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50 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by on February 6, 2014

We have added 50 documents from 10 FOIA cases filed between January 26, 2014 and February 1, 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. Patel et al v. Johnson et al (filed Jan 27, 2014)
    Ashish Patel, a renowned henna artist, was denied entrance to the United States from Canada. He was held in detention for a short period of time and was subsequently found to be ineligible for admission to the United States. Patel made a request to Customs and Border Patrol for records concerning his request for a waiver of ineligibility. CBP did not respond and Patel filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, improper withholding, disclosure of non-exempt records, fee waiver, attorneys fees, declaration that governments decision to declare him ineligible for admission to the U.S. was unconstitutional and arbitrary and capricious
  2. Havens v. Federal Communications Commission (filed Jan 28, 2014)
    Havens requested records from the FCC pertaining to an adjudication he had filed before the agency. The agency denied his request in full, citing Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). Havens appealed the denial and the agency upheld its decision. Havens then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of records, attorneys fees, injunction forbidding agency from holding a hearing until the records are disclosed
  3. Jay v. US Department of State (filed Jan 28, 2014)
    Katherine Jay, an attorney and writer concerning international adoptions and child welfare rights, made a request to the Department of State for records concerning international adoption policies. She asked the agency to expedite the processing of her request. Although Jay received expedited treatment for a similar request sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the State Department ultimately denied her request for expedited processing and has still not provided any further response. Jay then filed suit.
    Issues: immediate disclosure of all non-exempt records, attorneys fees
  4. Smith v. US Federal Aviation Administration (filed Jan 28, 2014)
    Steven Smith believed that overflights at the airport near his home were improper. He made a request to the FAA for records concerning the agencys conclusion that such overflights were permitted. The agency acknowledged Smiths request, but apparently indicated that it was unaware of the files Smith was requesting. Smith subsequently filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, disclosure of non-exempt records, attorneys fees
  5. Moon Mountain Farms LLC v. United States Risk Management Agency (filed Jan 29, 2014)
    Moon Mountain Farms made a request to the Risk Management Agency, a component of the Department of Agriculture that helps producers manage their business risks through market-based risk management solutions. RMA asked Moon Mountain Farms for authorization to release portions of the requested records and Moon Mountain Farms provided the requested authorization. Although the agency indicated that it would respond to the request shortly after the government shutdown was over, Moon Mountain Farms heard nothing further from the agency and filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, disclosure of non-exempt records, production of Vaughn index, attorneys fees
  6. Gregory Franklin v. Drug Enforcement Administration (filed Jan 29, 2014)
    Gregory Franklin submitted a request to the Drug Enforcement Administration for records concerning his conviction for murder. DEA responded that it would not search for records about third-party individuals without a privacy waiver. Franklin appealed to the Office of Information Policy, which indicated it could take no action since the agency had not made an adverse determination. Franklin filed suit in 2012 and his case was eventually dismissed. Based on subsequent requests for the same records, Franklin ultimately filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of records, request for new trial based on likely exculpatory evidence in records
  7. LONG et al v. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT et al (filed Jan 29, 2014)
    Susan Long and David Burnham, co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, submitted requests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection for technical data related to databases maintained by ICE and CBP. For several of the requests, the agencies found responsive records, but withheld portions of them under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques), as well as under Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy) and Exemption 7(C) (invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records). For other requests, the agencies failed to respond. TRAC appealed the denials, but after hearing nothing further, TRAC filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of non-exempt records, attorneys fees
  8. O’BRIEN v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (filed Jan 30, 2014)
    Alexa OBrien, an investigative reporter, made a request to the State Department for all records concerning contacts between the New York Times and the State Department pertaining to the Wikileaks documents. OBrien requested a fee waiver, which the agency granted. The agency provided OBrien with an estimated date of completion of July 2014. OBrien then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all responsive records, attorneys fees
  9. Detention Watch Network et al v. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement et al (filed Jan 30, 2014)
    No information available for this case.
  10. Lorber v. U.S. Department of the Treasury (filed Jan 31, 2014)
    Daniel Lorber made a request to the IRS and asked for expedited processing. The agency told him it would take an additional two months to respond. After the statutory time limit expired, Lorber filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all records on CD-ROM, expedited proceedings, attorneys fees


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