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Judicial Watch • JW v Dept Education Complaint 00501

JW v Dept Education Complaint 00501

JW v Dept Education Complaint 00501

Page 1: JW v Dept Education Complaint 00501

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:March 20, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:March 20, 2017

Tags:00501, student loans, Error, Dept, education, obamacare, requests, requested, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, document, records, FOIA, states, Washington, united


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Case 1:17-cv-00501 Document Filed 03/20/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT EDUCATION,
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, 20201,
Defendant.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant United States
Department Education 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 organization
incorporated under the laws the District Columbia and headquartered 425 Third Street
S.W., Suite 800, Washington, 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote transparency, accountability,
and integrity government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, Plaintiff
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes agencies
Case 1:17-cv-00501 Document Filed 03/20/17 Page
responses its requests and disseminates both its findings and the requested records the public inform them about what their government to.
Defendant United States Department Education agency the United States
Government and headquartered 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, 20201.
Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS January 29, 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant, via e-mail,
seeking access the following:
Any and all records concerning relating the coding error the calculation
repayment rate data contained the College Scorecard, disclosed January
13, 2017. Requested records include, but are not limited to, records identifying
causes the coding error and steps taken correct the error, communications
within DOE regarding the error, communications with third parties concerning the
error, and records relating the public announcement the error.
Because this request was submitted email, was received the same day was
sent, January 29, 2017.
Defendant acknowledged receipt Plaintiff request letter dated February
2017 and advised Plaintiff that its request has been assigned FOIA Request Number 17-00824-F. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) produce the requested
records demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from production; (ii) notify
Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendant intends produce withhold and the
reasons for any withholdings; (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any adequately specific,
adverse determination.
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
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Case 1:17-cv-00501 Document Filed 03/20/17 Page
10.
Defendant violating FOIA failing search for and produce all records
responsive Plaintiff requests demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt
from production.
11.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
12. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was required determine whether comply with Plaintiff requests within twenty (20) working days
receipt. the latest, Defendant determination was due February 28, 2017. minimum, this date Defendant was required to: (i) gather and review the requested documents; (ii)
determine and communicate Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendants intended produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; and (iii) inform Plaintiff that may
appeal any adequately specific, adverse determination. See, e.g., Citizens for Responsibility and
Ethics Washington Federal Election Commission, 711 F.3d 180, 188-89 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
13.
Because Defendant failed make determination with respect Plaintiff
requests within the time period required FOIA, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its
administrative appeal remedies. U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C)(i).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant search
for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests and demonstrate that they employed
search methods reasonably calculated uncover all records responsive the requests; (2) order
Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiff
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
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Case 1:17-cv-00501 Document Filed 03/20/17 Page
Plaintiff 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 20, 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ James Peterson
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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