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Judicial Watch • Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State No. 1.14-cv-00812

Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State No. 1.14-cv-00812

Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State No. 1.14-cv-00812

Page 1: Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State No. 1.14-cv-00812

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Number of Pages:6

Date Created:May 15, 2014

Date Uploaded to the Library:June 05, 2014

Tags:Defense, defendants, AGENCY, Pentagon, Benghazi, defendant, plaintiff, request, records, FOIA, department


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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA 
 
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., 
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800  
Washington, 20024, 
Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 
U.S. DEPARTMENT DEFENSE 
1600 Defense Pentagon 
Washington, 20301, 
and 
U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE,     
Office the Legal Adviser 
Room 5519 
2201 Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20024, 
Defendants. 
____________________________________) 
 
COMPLAINT 
 
 Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendants U.S. Department Defense and U.S. Department State 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 Judicial Watch, Inc. not-for-profit, educational foundation organized under the laws the District Columbia and has its principal place business 425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800, Washington, 20024.  Plaintiff seeks promote transparency, accountability, and integrity government, politics, and the law. part its educational mission, Plaintiff regularly requests records under FOIA shed light the operations the federal government and educate the public about these operations.  Plaintiff then analyzes the agency records and disseminates the results its analysis, well the records themselves, the public. Defendant U.S. Department Defense agency the U.S. Government and headquartered 1600 Defense Pentagon, Washington, 20301.  Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. Defendant U.S. Department State agency the U.S. Government and headquartered 2201 Street, N.W., Washington, 20520.   
STATEMENT FACTS March 2014, Plaintiff sent FOIA request Defendant U.S. Department Defense seeking the production of: Any and all records detailing the dates which any official the Department Defense briefed any the following members Congress matters related the activities any agency department the U.S. government the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex Benghazi, Libya: 

 
 Rep. John Boehner 

 Rep. Mike Rogers 

 Rep. Charles Dutch Ruppersberger 

 Rep. Nancy Pelosi 

 Sen. Dianne Feinstein 

 Sen. Saxby Chambliss 

 Sen. Harry Reid 

 Sen. Mitch McConnell Any and all records produced any official the Department Defense preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant any the aforementioned briefings (including, but not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes). Any and all records communication between any official the Department Defense and any the aforementioned members Congress and/or any their respective staff members regarding, concerning, related activities operations any agency the U.S. government the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex Benghazi, Libya 

 
The time frame for this request January 2011 the present. letter dated March 18, 2014, Defendant U.S. Department Defense acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs FOIA request March 2014 and assigned Case Number 14-F-0552. Defendant U.S. Department Defense was required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request within days after the receipt the request, excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A).  Pursuant this same provision, Defendant U.S. Department Defense also was required notify Plaintiff immediately the determination, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse determination the head the agency.  Defendant U.S. Department Defense, therefore, was required make its determination and provide Plaintiff with the requisite notifications April 2014. March 2014, Plaintiff sent FOIA request Defendant U.S. Department State seeking the production of: Any and all records detailing the dates which any official the Department State briefed any the following members Congress matters related 

the activities any agency department the U.S. government the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex Benghazi, Libya: 

 
 Rep. John Boehner 

 Rep. Mike Rogers 

 Rep. Charles Dutch Ruppersberger 

 Rep. Nancy Pelosi 

 Sen. Dianne Feinstein 

 Sen. Saxby Chambliss 

 Sen. Harry Reid 

 Sen. Mitch McConnell Any and all records produced any official the Department State preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant any the aforementioned briefings (including, but not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes). Any and all records communication between any official the Department State and any the aforementioned members Congress and/or any their respective staff members regarding, concerning, related activities operations any agency the U.S. government the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex Benghazi, Libya 

 
The time frame for this request January 2011 the present. letter dated March 20, 2014, Defendant U.S Department State acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs FOIA request March 2014 and assigned Case Control Number F-2014-04166.   
10. Defendant U.S. Department State was required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request within days after receipt the request, excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A).  Pursuant this same provision, Defendant U.S. Department State also was required notify Plaintiff immediately the determination, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse determination the head the agency.  Defendant U.S. Department State, therefore, was required make its determination and provide Plaintiff with the requisite notifications April 2014. 
11. the date this Complaint, Defendants have failed make determinations about whether they will comply with Plaintiffs requests, notify Plaintiff any determinations, notify Plaintiff its right appeal any adverse determinations the head the agency.  Nor have Defendants produced any records responsive the requests, indicated when any responsive records will produced, demonstrated that responsive records are exempt from production.     12. Because Defendants 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 its FOIA requests pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(C). 
      COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 
 
 13. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
 14. Defendants are unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C.  552.   
 15. Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants unlawful withholdings requested records, and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendants are compelled conform their 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 Plaintiff's FOIA requests; (2) order Defendants produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA requests and Vaughn indices 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:  May 15, 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