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36 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by on March 4, 2014

We have added 34 documents from 8 FOIA cases filed between February 23, 2014 and March 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. Botein v. United States Customs and Border Protection (filed Feb 24, 2014)
    Mathew Botein made an online FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for all records in his CBP file. Although he contacted CBP several times to inquire about the status of his request, he received no response. He then filed suit.
    Issues: withholding, disclosure of all records, attorneys fees
  2. Village of Hobart v. US Department of the Interior et al (filed Feb 24, 2014)
    The Village of Hobart submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for documents relevant to the claim by the Oneida Tribe that parcels of land were held in trust. The Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians responded to the Villages request by withholding 94 responsive pages under Exemption 5 (privileges). The Village appealed, but when the agency failed to respond to its appeal, the Village filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, disclosure of all records, expedited proceedings, attorneys fees
  3. ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER v. DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION (filed Feb 26, 2014)
    EPIC submitted a request to the Drug Enforcement Administration for all records concerning its Hemisphere program, which provided the agency access to phone records maintained by AT&T. EPIC requested news media status, expedited processing, and a fee waiver. DEA denied EPICs request for expedited processing and indicated that it would administratively close EPICs request unless it narrowed the scope of the request. EPIC did so, limiting the search to DEA offices in Washington, Los Angeles, Houston, and Atlanta. After hearing nothing further from the agency, EPIC filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all non-exempt records, production of Vaughn index, attorneys fees
  4. ALLIANCE TO PROTECT NANTUCKET SOUND v. FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (filed Feb 27, 2014)
    The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound submitted a FOIA request to the Federal Aviation Administration for records concerning the performance and evaluation of a TDX-2000 installed at Falmouth, MA. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated it would take a 10-day extension to respond. However, after hearing nothing further despite repeated letters and emails, the Alliance filed suit.
    Issues: adequacy of search, disclosure of all non-exempt records, production of Vaughn index, attorneys fees
  5. LEOPOLD v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (filed Feb 27, 2014)
    Journalist Jason Leopold sent a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning Jordan Ross Belfort, who was convicted of securities fraud. Belfort is the main character in the current movie, Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Leopold requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. After hearing nothing from the FBI, Leopold filed suit.
    Issues: failure to comply with FOIA, grant of fee waiver, disclosure of all non-exempt records, attorneys fees
  6. SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE et al (filed Feb 27, 2014)
    Speaking Truth to Power submitted FOIA requests to the Defense Department and the Energy Department for records concerning two nuclear armament incidents known as Bent Spear or Dull Sword that occurred sometime between June 1992 and October 2007. Receipt of the request was acknowledged by the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff, but neither the Energy Department nor any of the other components of the Defense Department had responded by the time Speaking Truth to Power filed suit.
    Issues: disclosure of all responsive records, enjoin agencies from charging any search, review, or duplication costs, attorneys fees
  7. Beckcom v. Verizon Wireless, Inc (filed Feb 28, 2014)
    This is not a FOIA action. Angela Beckhom filed a complaint requesting the court enforce a subpoena against Verizon Wireless for her husbands cell phone records. Beckhom alleged her husband had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from her company and she needed his cell phone records as evidence. After unsuccessfully trying to contact Verizon concerning the issue, she filed suit.
    Issues: N/A
  8. Salomone v. Mills et al (filed Feb 28, 2014)
    William Salomone submitted a FOIA request to the Secret Service for information about the whereabouts of President Barack Obama on Sept. 11-12, 2012 at the time of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The Secret Service acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated it would process it as expeditiously as possible. Salomone subsequently sent the agency a letter asking if they intended to respond. After hearing nothing further from the agency, he filed suit.
    Issues: discovery, disclosure of all records, jury trial to decide compensatory and punitive damages

In addition, we have added 2 documents from 1 case, with an earlier filing date, that has recently appeared on PACER.

  • Gary J LaPook v. United States of America et al (filed Feb 20, 2014)
    Gary LaPook sent an online FOIA request to the State Department for information concerning the possible discovery of wreckage from Amelia Earharts airplane on Nikumororo Island. Although the agency acknowledged receiving his request, it took no further action and LaPook filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all records, attorneys fees
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From → FOIA, PACER

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