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32 new FOIA court documents, plus case descriptions

by on April 16, 2014

We have added 32 documents from 5 FOIA cases filed between April 6, 2014 and April 12, 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. COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (filed Apr 9, 2014)
    The Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted a FOIA request to the EPA for text messages sent to or from 11 identified agency employees whom CEI believed received text messages from Administrator Gina McCarthy that had been destroyed. CEI also requested a fee waiver and to be placed in the news media fee category. EPA denied CEI’s request for a fee waiver because it had failed to show how it would broadly disseminate information. The agency also refused to categorize CEI as a representative of the news media for fee purposes because, although CEI was a source for news media outlets, it had not shown that it was a news media organization itself. CEI appealed the denial administratively, which was upheld by the agency. CEI then filed suit.
    Iss!
    ues:
    grant fee waiver, improper withholding, disclosure of all non-exempt records, attorney’s fees
  2. STS ENERGY PARTNERS LP v. FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (filed Apr 10, 2014)
    STS Energy Partners submitted two FOIA requests to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for records concerning two complaints filed with the Commission. The agency denied STS’s requests entirely on the basis of Exemption 7(A) (ongoing investigation or proceeding) and Exemption 5 (privileges). STS appealed the agency’s denial of both requests, but the agency upheld the denials in both cases. STS then filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all records, attorney’s fees
  3. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE (filed Apr 10, 2014)
    Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted two FOIA requests to the U.S. Forest Service. The first request was for records concerning incidences of violence against agency employees in 2013. The second request was for records concerning the non-law enforcement use of U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement & Investigations personnel. PEER asked for a fee waiver for both requests. The agency acknowledged receipt of both requests. It asked for further information justifying the fee waiver request for PEER’s first request, but did not contact PEER concerning the second request. After hearing nothing further from the agency on either request, PEER filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholdi!
    ng, retain jurisdiction until agency properly processes requests, attorney’s fees
  4. American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Mass v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, et al (filed Apr 10, 2014)
    The ACLU of Massachusetts submitted FOIA requests to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts for records concerning how the FBI collaborates with state and local Massachusetts police, the organization and operation of the Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the shooting of suspect Ibragim Todashev. The ACLU also requested expedited processing, a fee waiver, and inclusion in the news media category for fee purposes. The FBI acknowledged the request and granted expedited processing. The agency withheld all records concerning Todashev under Exemption 7(A) (ongoing investigation or proceeding). The ACLU appealed the FBI’s decision to the Office of Information Policy. Having heard nothing further from OIP or the U.!
    S. Attorney, the ACLU filed suit.
    Issues: immediate processing and disclosure of all non-exempt records, enjoin agency from assessing fees, attorney’s fees
  5. Justice v. Mine Safety and Health Administration (filed Apr 10, 2014)
    Marshall Justice, a coal miner, submitted a FOIA request to the Mine Safety and Health Administration concerning the investigation of an anti-retaliation complaint he had filed with the agency. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated that it was working on a response, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Justice filed suit.
    Issues: improper withholding, disclosure of all records, attorney’s fees
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From → FOIA, PACER

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