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FRC v DOE Complaint

FRC v DOE Complaint

Page 1: FRC v DOE Complaint

Category:General

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:March 28, 2013

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:hennepin, anoka, decree, Consent, Avenue, Administrative, education, rights, appeal, defendants, Pursuant, justice, defendant, plaintiff, records, DOJ, department, school, Washington, district, EPA, IRS, ICE, CIA


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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA 
    
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, INC., 
801 Street, N.W., 
Washington,  20001 
   Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington,  20530-0001, 
and 
U.S. DEPARTMENT EDUCATION 
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. 
Washington,  20202 
   Defendants. 
___________________________________ 
 
COMPLAINT 
 Plaintiff Family Research Council, Inc. (FRC) brings this action against Defendants U.S. Department Justice (DoJ) and U.S. Department Education (DoE) 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  FRC non-profit corporation organized under the laws the District Columbia.  Its principal place business 801 Street, N.W., Washington,  20001.  FRC seeks advance faith, family, and freedom public policy and public opinion through policy research, public education, and grassroots mobilization. DoJ agency the U.S. Government and headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, 20530-0001.  Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. DoE agency the U.S. Government and headquartered 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, 20202.  Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS 
FOIA Request Defendant Department Justice April 24, 2012, FRC submitted FOIA request DoJ seeking access copies of: Any and all records concerning, regarding, relating the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies the Anoka-Hennepin School District which culminated the Anoka-Hennepin Consent Decree; Any and all communications between and/or among the U.S. Department Justice, the U.S. Department Education, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and/or the National Center for Lesbian Rights concerning, regarding, relating the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies the Anoka-Hennepin  

School District which culminated the Anoka-Hennepin Consent Decree; and Any and all communications between the U.S. Department Justice and any third parties not named (above), concerning, regarding, relating the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies the Anoka-Hennepin School District which culminated the Anoka Hennepin Consent Decree. 

 
The time frame for this request June 2011 the present. letter dated August 31, 2012, the Civil Rights Division, component DoJ, informed FRC that DoJ had determined that all records responsive FRCs FOIA request pertain active law enforcement proceeding.  DoJ therefore informed FRC that DoJ was denying access all responsive records pursuant FOIA Exemption 7(A). addition, DoJ informed FRC its right file administrative appeal within days. letter dated September 28, 2012, FRC sent timely administrative appeal DoJs final determination. letter dated October 25, 2012, DoJ acknowledged receiving FRCs administrative appeal October 2012 and assigned FRCs administrative appeal number AP-2013-00091. 
 10. Pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A)(ii), DoJ was required make determination with respect FRCs appeal within twenty (20) working days after its receipt the appeal, November 2012.  DoJ did not make any determination FRCs administrative appeal.  Nor did DoJ inform FRC the provisions for judicial review any determination. 
11. the date this Complaint, DoJ has failed make determination with respect FRCs appeal. 
FOIA Request Defendant Department Education 
 12. April 24, 2012, FRC submitted FOIA request DoE seeking access copies of: Any and all records concerning, regarding, relating the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies the Anoka-Hennepin School District which culminated the Anoka-Hennepin Consent Decree; Any and all communications between and/or among the U.S. Department Justice, the U.S. Department Education, the Southern Poverty Law Center, 

and/or the National Center for Lesbian Rights concerning, regarding, relating the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies the Anoka-Hennepin  

School District which culminated the Anoka-Hennepin Consent Decree; and Any and all communications between the Department Education and/or U.S. Department Justice and any third parties not named (above), concerning, regarding, relating the anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies the Anoka-Hennepin School District which culminated the Anoka Hennepin Consent Decree. 

 
The time frame for this request June 2011 the present. 
 
 13. letter dated May 30, 2012, the Office for Civil Rights, component DoE, informed FRC that DoE had searched for and located 7,453 pages responsive FRCs FOIA request. addition, DoE informed FRC that was producing 294 pages part and withholding 7,159 pages their entirety pursuant FOIA Exemptions and 7(A).  Moreover, DoE informed FRC its right file administrative appeal within days.   
 14. letter dated June 29, 2012, FRC sent timely administrative appeal DoEs final determination.  FRC sent its administrative appeal first-class, certified mail. 
 15. According the United States Postal Service, DoE received FRCs administrative appeal July 2012. 
 16. Pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A)(ii), DoE was required make determination with respect FRCs appeal within twenty (20) working days after its receipt the appeal, August 2012. 
17. the date this Complaint, DoE has failed make determination with respect FRCs appeal. 
18. Because Defendants have failed comply with the time limits set forth U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(ii), FRC deemed have exhausted any and all administrative remedies with respect its FOIA requests, pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C). 
COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 
 19. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
 20. Defendants are unlawfully withholding public records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C.  552. 
 21. Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants unlawful withholding the requested public records, and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendants are compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law. 
 WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendants conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and demonstrate that they employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests; (2) order Defendants produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendants from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs 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:  March 27, 2013    Respectfully submitted, 
/s/ Paul Orfanedes   
Paul Orfanedes (D.C. Bar No. 429716) 
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800 
Washington, 20024 
(202) 646-5172 
 
Counsel for Plaintiff