Skip to content

Judicial Watch • Attkisson v HHS 01348

Attkisson v HHS 01348

Attkisson v HHS 01348

Page 1: Attkisson v HHS 01348

Category:

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:August 8, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:August 11, 2014

Tags:01348, Attkisson, HHS, FOIA


File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!

  • demand_answers

See Generated Text   ˅

Autogenerated text from PDF

THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA 
 
SHARYL ATTKISSON, 
22697 Hillside Circle 
Leesburg, 20175, 
Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 
U.S. DEPARTMENT HEALTH HUMAN SERVICES, 
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. 
Washington, 20201, 
Defendant. 
 
COMPLAINT 
 
 Plaintiff Sharyl Attkisson brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department Health and Human Services compel compliance with the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C.  552 (FOIA). grounds therefor, Plaintiff alleges 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 Leesburg, Virginia.  She Emmy award winning investigative journalist and author. Defendant U.S. Department Health and Human Services agency the U.S. Government and headquartered 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, 20201.  Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS June 17, 2014, Plaintiff sent four FOIA requests the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), component Defendant, seeking the production agency records concerning healthcare.gov.  Specifically, Plaintiff sought copies of: All materials, communications, emails and/or documents which HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and/or CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner copies and/or party to, which mention and/or refer to, whether directly indirectly, enrollment figures regarding healthcare.gov, FMM, and/or state exchanges.  This request includes, but not limited to, actual enrollment data; any decision(s) related whether not and/or when make the information public; the decisions(s) and/or discussions about waiting until November 2013 make the information public; and talking points communications regarding public statements and/or preparation for Congressional testimony. All communications, whether written otherwise recorded, including but not limited to: emails, memos, report and phone records that mention, pertain to, otherwise refer to, whether directly indirectly, tests and/or assessments any sort surrounding the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, healthcare.gov, the Data Hub, any other component related the Affordable Care Act. This includes, but not limited to, performance tests, security tests and functionality tests.  The scope this request limited the time period from June 2013 present. All communications, whether written otherwise recorded, including but not limited to: emails, memos, report and phone records that mention, pertain to, otherwise refer to, whether directly indirectly, performance tests and assessments and/or their results conducted regarding healthcare.gov between September 15, 2013 and September 30, 2013.  This request includes, but not limited to, tests which CMS employees took part mock users trying out the website prior its launch. All emails, records, documents and other communications, whether written otherwise recorded, regarding FOIA requests made about healthcare.gov, whether name implication, which the following CMS officials are sender and/or receiver and/or party and/or mentioned, whether name implication: Janis Nero; Joseph Tripline; Deborah Peters, Vendetta Dutton; and Danean Jones.  Please note the records request specifically for communications dating from May 12, 2014 present. Plaintiff submitted all four FOIA requests via electronic mail FOIA_Request@cms.hhs.gov prescribed Defendant its website. letters dated June 27, 2014 and July 10, 2014, Defendant acknowledged receipt three Plaintiffs FOIA requests and assigned them Control Numbers 061820147012, 061820147013, and 061820147014.  Defendant did not identify which FOIA request was assigned which control number.  Nor did Defendant acknowledge receipt the other FOIA request. Defendant was required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs requests within days receipt the FOIA requests, excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A).  Pursuant this same provision, Defendant also was required notify Plaintiff immediately the determinations, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Excluding weekends and the intervening Independence Day (July 2014) holiday, Defendant was required make its determinations and provide Plaintiff with the requisite notifications July 16, 2014. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed make any determinations about whether will comply with Plaintiffs four FOIA requests, notify Plaintiff any determinations, notify Plaintiff her right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Nor has Defendant produced any records responsive her requests, indicated when any responsive records will produced, demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.      
 10. Because Defendant failed comply with the time limit set forth U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A), Plaintiff deemed have exhausted any and all administrative remedies with respect her four FOIA requests. 
      COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 
 
 11. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
 12. Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C.  552.   
 13. Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants unlawful withholding records responsive Plaintiffs four FOIA requests, and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law. 
 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs four FOIA requests and demonstrate that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs four FOIA requests and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs four FOIA requests; (4) grant Plaintiff award attorneys fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(4)(E); and (5) grant Plaintiff such other relief the Court deems just and proper. 
 
Dated:  August 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 Plaintiff



Sign Up for Updates!