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Old Welcome to the FOIA Project

The goal of is to provide the public with timely and complete information about every instance in which the federal government grants or withholds records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Updated daily, this “FOIA accountability engine” now includes detailed information on every case that challenges government withholding in federal court. And we have started expanding coverage to decisions on FOIA administrative requests on an agency-by-agency basis.

By providing a home for comprehensive information on federal FOIA decisions at every stage, the project aims to: (1) create a shaming mechanism by which agencies and officials who ignore the law are held accountable, and (2) arm the public with the full record of FOIA efforts that have and haven’t worked, so anyone can more effectively surmount frequently used roadblocks to public access. Read more…

Latest Additions

We have added decisions on administrative FOIA requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Coverage begins with ICE decisions made since October 1, 2010. You can search cases, produce listings and examine case details, analyze agency performance, and add your documents to the archives.

Site Improvements to FOIA Lawsuit Coverage

Since this site was launched, we’ve been working to make The FOIA Project more useful, by improving the search tools, expanding coverage, adding statistics and allowing users to upload their own documents. Here are some details on what we’ve been doing:

  • Better Search
    Improvements have been made to the case search tool. You can now search by defendant organization and sub-organization, and by the plaintiff’s attorney. You can also specify which documents you want to see: dockets, complaints or opinions. Searching has gotten easier; instead of lists of all possible entries, typing in part of a name brings up a list of suggestions from which you can pick.
  • Expanded Coverage
    Coverage has been expanded to include district court cases filed, closed or updated any time since the start of fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004). Documents now also include judicial opinions issued for such cases, starting from fiscal year 2005 up to the present.
  • More Statistics
    Quick and easy access to statistical information about all district court FOIA filings, closings and pending cases — by department, agency, year, and duration of case — is now available through the FOIA Lawsuits application.
  • User Uploads
    A new upload capability lets members of the FOIA community add documents and commentary to existing court cases, or share information about new cases, even those that are not in court. Note: registration is required to upload documents.
  1. Kip Evan Steinberg permalink

    Please include my FOIA lawsuit in your project: Hajro v USCIS CV 08 1350 PSG (NDCA)
    Pleadings can be found on PACER or the American Immigration Council Legal Action Center website:
    Please let me know if you track this lawsuit in your project.

    • foiaproj permalink

      We definitely want to expand our coverage. We are awaiting word on funding to add a new feature that would let you upload FOIA cases you are involved in. Stay tuned…

  2. As Kip Steinberg mentions above, the American Immigration Council offers updates and court documents related to immigration-related FOIA lawsuits on our FOIA Litigation Issue Page:

    The Immigration Council, on behalf of AILA, is currently involved in a lawsuit against DHS related to a FOIA request for documents related to the H-1B Program. The lawsuit is AILA v. DHS, No. 10-01224 (D.D.C. July 20, 2010). More on that lawsuit is available here,

  3. Rule 101. Scope; Definitions
    (a) Scope. These rules apply to proceedings in United States courts. The specific courts and proceedings to which the rules apply, along with exceptions, are set out in Rule 1101.

    (b) Definitions. In these rules
    (1) “civil case” means a civil action or proceeding;
    (2) “criminal case” includes a criminal proceeding;
    (3) “public office” includes a public agency;
    (4) “record” includes a memorandum, report, or data compilation;
    (5) a “rule prescribed by the Supreme Court” means a rule adopted by the Supreme Court under statutory authority; and
    (6) a reference to any kind of written material or any other medium includes electronically stored information.

    The definitions section is new as of 12/1/2011


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