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Judicial Watch • Attkisson JW v DOJ 01944

Attkisson JW v DOJ 01944

Attkisson JW v DOJ 01944

Page 1: Attkisson JW v DOJ 01944

Category:Lawsuit

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:December 17, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:December 17, 2014

Tags:01944, Attkisson, FBI, DOJ


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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA 
 
SHARYL ATTKISSON,   Civil Action No. 
and 
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., 
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800 
Washington, 20024, 
Plaintiffs, 
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE, 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington,  20530,       
Defendant. 
 
COMPLAINT 
 
 Plaintiffs Sharyl Attkisson and Judicial Watch, Inc. bring this action against the U.S. Department Justice compel compliance with the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C.  552 (FOIA) and the Privacy Act, U.S.C.  552a (Privacy Act). grounds therefor, Plaintiffs allege follows: 
JURISDICTION AND VENUE The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(B) and U.S.C.  1331. Venue proper this district pursuant U.S.C.  1391(e).   
  
PARTIES Plaintiff Sharyl Attkisson private citizen residing  She Emmy award winning investigative journalist and author. Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. not-for-profit, educational organization incorporated under the laws the District Columbia and headquartered 425 Third Street SW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C.  20024.  Plaintiff seeks promote transparency, integrity, and accountability government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, Plaintiff regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA.  Plaintiff analyzes the responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public inform them about what their government to. Defendant U.S. Department Justice agency the United States government and headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, 20530.  Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS September 2014, Plaintiffs jointly submitted request the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), component Defendant.  Plaintiff Judicial Watch submitted the request under FOIA, and Plaintiff Attkisson submitted the request under both FOIA and the Privacy Act. Plaintiffs request sought access to: Any and all records concerning, regarding, relating Sharyl Attkisson.  Such records include, but are not limited to, records background checks Sharyl Attkisson, records communications, contacts, correspondence between Sharyl Attkisson and employees, officials, agents the Federal Bureau Investigation, and records investigations concerning regarding Sharyl Attkisson victim; Any and all records Case Number 288-HQ-C2570709; and Any and all records Case Number 80-HQ-A1199962. letter dated September 18, 2014, the FBI acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs request and assigned FOIAPA Request Number 1297576-000.  The FBI also informed Plaintiffs that needed authorization and consent form from Plaintiff Attkisson before processed Plaintiffs request. September 22, 2014, Plaintiffs submitted signed, fully executed Certification Identity form from Plaintiff Attkisson. 
 10. letter dated October 2014, the FBI acknowledged receipt the authorization and consent form from Plaintiff Attkisson. 
11. The FBI was required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request within days receipt the authorization and consent form from Plaintiff Attkisson, excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A).  Pursuant this same provision, the FBI also was required notify Plaintiffs immediately the determinations, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Excluding weekends and the intervening Columbus Day holiday, the FBI was required make its determinations and provide Plaintiffs with the requisite notifications November 2014. 
12. the date this Complaint, the FBI has failed make any determination about whether will comply with Plaintiffs request, notify Plaintiffs any determinations, notify Plaintiffs their right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Nor has the FBI produced any records responsive their requests, indicated when any responsive 
records will produced, demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.     13. Because the FBI has failed comply with the time limit set forth U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A), Plaintiffs are deemed have exhausted any and all administrative remedies with respect their FOIA request. 
14. Defendant also has refused comply with Plaintiff Attkissons request under the Privacy Act. 
      COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 
 
15. Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
 16. Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiffs pursuant FOIA. 
 17. Plaintiffs are being irreparably harmed reason Defendants unlawful withholding requested records, and Plaintiffs will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law. 
COUNT 
(Violation Privacy Act, U.S.C.  552a) 
 
18. Plaintiff Attkisson paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
 19. Defendant unreasonably refusing comply with Plaintiff Attkissons request under the Privacy Act.  
 20. Plaintiff Attkisson being irreparably harmed reason Defendants unlawful withholding requested records, and Plaintiff Attkisson will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law. 
 WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court: (1) order Defendant conduct search for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs request and demonstrate that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs request and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs request; (4) grant Plaintiffs award attorneys fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(E) and U.S.C.  552a(g)(3)(B); and (5) grant Plaintiffs such other relief the Court deems just and proper. 
Dated:  November 19, 2014     Respectfully submitted, 
 
        /s/ Michael Bekesha   
        Michael Bekesha 
        D.C. Bar No. 995749 
        JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 
        425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800 
        Washington, 20024 
        (202) 646-5172 
         
        Counsel for Plaintiffs