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58 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by on February 25, 2014

We have added 49 documents from 9 FOIA cases filed between February 16, 2014 and February 22, 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. JONES v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Feb 18, 2014)
    Mary Jones, the class representative in a class action suit against Pfizer for illegal off-label promotion of various drugs, currently being litigated in the Southern District of New York, submitted a request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for records obtained by DOJ during its investigation of Pfizer for off-label promotion allegations. Jones specifically requested records used by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the District of Massachusetts during its investigation of Pfizer. EOUSA acknowledged receipt of the request and told Jones it was considered a project request that could take nine months or longer to process. Jones informed DOJ that Judge Hellerstein in the Southern District had ordered Pfizer to produce all relevant documents, meaning that Pfizer should have no legitimate confident!
    iality claim. Although there were several other exchanges, EOUSA had not yet begun to process Jones request. Jones then filed suit.
    Issues: order agency to process request, production of Vaughn index, set date for filing of governments motion, disclosure of all non-exempt records, expedited processing, attorneys fees
  2. BORDA v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY (filed Feb 18, 2014)
    Christian Borda, a federal prisoner, submitted three requests to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for records concerning his criminal conviction. Although return receipts indicated the agency had received the requests, it failed to acknowledge any of them. Borda then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, enjoin agency from failing to respond to requests, finding that agencys behavior is arbitrary and capricious, referral to Merit Systems Protection Board for sanctions, fees, compensatory damages
  3. WRIGHT v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Feb 18, 2014)
    Lamont Wright submitted a request to the Criminal Division of the Justice Department for records concerning wiretap authorizations involved in his criminal investigation. The Criminal Division denied Wrights request, citing Exemption 3 (other statutes). Wright appealed to the Office of Information Policy, but after OIP failed to respond, Wright filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all non-exempt records, expeditious proceedings, costs
  4. Fields v. RV Properties Windwood Condo Association No. 1 (filed Feb 18, 2014)
    This is not a FOIA action, but does involve allegations that access to meetings and documents was denied by the Winwood Condominium Association. Karl Fields, a resident of Winwood Condominiums, filed suit against R.V. Properties and the Winwood Condominium Association alleging poor maintenance of the property, failure to provide notice of association meetings, and access to the annual budget.
    Issues: N/A
  5. Florez v. Central Intelligence Agency (filed Feb 18, 2014)
    Sergio Florez submitted a request to the CIA for records concerning his father, Dr. Armando Florez, a former Cuban diplomat who defected to the United States in 1968, for the time period from 1958 to 1990. Florez originally requested his fathers records in 2001, but the agency told him it would not process his request without a privacy waiver or proof of death. When his father died in 2013, Florez requested his fathers records again. This time, however, the agency responded that it could neither confirm nor deny the existence of records, citing Exemption 1 (national security). After the agency failed to respond to his appeal, Florez filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all records, enjoin agency from charging fees, attorneys fees
  6. Rodriguez v. U.S. Dept. of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration FOI Records Management (filed Feb 18, 2014)
    Jose Rodriquez, a state prisoner in Ohio, made a request to the Justice Department for copies of audio or videotapes related to him that were taken in Woods County, Ohio in 2007. The Justice Department indicated it was willing to release some of the records, but not all of them. Rodriquez appealed to the Office of Information Policy, which upheld the original decision. Rodriquez then filed suit.
    Issues: in camera inspection, de novo review, disclosure of records, attorneys fees, statutory damages under the Privacy Act
  7. Ocsar Johnson v. McDonald Restaurant (filed Feb 19, 2014)
    This is not a FOIA case. Oscar Johnson filed suit against McDonalds Restaurant in Los Angeles alleging his employment application had been rejected based on his race
    Issues: N/A
  8. BROOKS v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Feb 20, 2014)
    Aloysia Brooks is a graduate student in Australia doing research on David Hicks, an Australian citizen who was incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. She made requests for records concerning Hicks from the FBI, the Justice Department, the Defense Department, the State Department, and the CIA with accompanying privacy waivers signed by Hicks. Brooks requested a fee waiver from each agency. The CIA responded that it would neither confirm nor deny the existence of records on Hicks. The State Department denied Brooks a fee waiver. The FBI, DOJ, and DOD failed to respond to Brooks request for a fee waiver and none of the agencies had yet to disclose any records. Brooks then filed suit.
    Issues: failure to comply with FOIA, grant fee waiver, search for records and disclose all non-ex! empt records, attorneys fees
  9. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS v. EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS et al (filed Feb 21, 2014)
    The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers submitted a request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys for an Office of Legal Education publication known as the Federal Criminal Discovery Blue Book. The publication was written in response to the controversy over the governments handling of the prosecution of former Sen. Ted Stevens. EOUSA denied the request, citing Exemption 5 (privileges) and Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). On appeal, DOJ upheld the denial under Exemption 5 only. NACDL then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of record, attorneys fees

In addition, we have added 9 documents from 1 case, with an earlier filing date, that has recently appeared on PACER.

  • JACKSON v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al (filed Feb 10, 2014)
    Dominique Jackson, a state prisoner in Ohio, submitted a request to the Criminal Division of the Justice Department for records pertaining to the authorization of wiretaps of Jackson. The Criminal Division responded by telling Jackson that any records would be protected under Exemption 3 (other statutes). Jackson appealed to the Office of Information Policy, but after hearing nothing further, he filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all records, expeditious proceedings, costs, monetary damages under the Privacy Act
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