Skip to content

Judicial Watch • JW v DOJ Complaint 5172011

JW v DOJ Complaint 5172011

JW v DOJ Complaint 5172011

Page 1: JW v DOJ Complaint 5172011

Category:General

Number of Pages:8

Date Created:May 4, 2011

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:5172011, complaint, DOJ


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 

JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., 
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800  
Washington, 20024, Plaintiff,  Case: 11-cv-00803 Assigned To: Leon, Richard Assign. Date: 4/29/2011 Description: FOIAfPrivacy Act  
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,  
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.  
Washington, 20530-0001,  
Defendant.  

Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant United States Department Justice compel compliance with the Freedom oflnformation 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 non-profit, educational foundation organized under the laws the District Columbia and having its principal place business 425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800, Washington, 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote integrity, transparency, and accountability government and fidelity the rule law. furtherance its public interest 
mission, Plaintiff regularly requests access the public records federal, state, and local 
government agencies, entities, and offices, and disseminates its findings the public. Defendant agency the United States Government and headquartered 
U.S.Department Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, 20530-0001. Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder issued statement announcing that Defendant would not defend the constitutionality Section the Defense Man'iage Act ("DOMA") applied same-sex married couples two recently-filed cases, Pederson Office Personnel 1vfanagement, Case No. 2010-cv-1750 pending the U.S. District Court for the District Connecticut, and Windsor United States, Case No. 2010-cv-8435, pending the U.S. District Court for the Southern District New York. Attorney General Holder also announced that Defendant would not defend the constitutionality Section 
DOMA applied same-sex married couples any other pending future litigation the issue. 

Following Attorney General Holder's announcement, Plaintiff sent series FOIA requests Defendant seeking records about the decision not defend Section ofDOMA and the February 23, 2011 announcement. 

The Februarv 2011 February 24, 2011, Plaintiff sent FOI,A request the Office oflnformation Policy, component Defendant, seeking access the following: 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the Attorney General (AG), the Office the Deputy 
Attorney General (DAG), the Office the Associate Attorney General (Assoc. AG) and any individuals entities outside the government concerning Pedersen Office Personnel Management and Windsor United States, including but not limited to, communications concerning the Department Justice's (DOJ) defense the Defense Marriage Act (DOMA) 
Pedersen OfficeUnited Personnel Management and Windsor 
States. 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. and members the United States Congress concerning Pedersen OfficeUnited Personnel Management and Windsor 
States, including but not limited to, communications concerning the 
DOJ's defense ofDOMA Pedersen Office Personnel 
Management and Windsor United States. 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. and the White House and/or Executive Office the President concerning Pedersen Office Personnel Management and Windsor United States, including but not limited to, communications concerning the DOJ's defense ofDOMA Pedersen OfficeUnited Personnel Management and Windsor 
States. 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. and any individuals entities outside the government concerning the February 23, 2011 "Statement the Attorney General Litigation Involving the Defense Marriage Act." 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. and members ifthe United States Congress concerning the February 23, 2011 "Statement the Attorney General Litigation Involving the Defense Marriage Act." 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. and the White House and/or Executive Office the President concerning the February 23, 2011 "Statement the Attorney General Litigation Involving the Defense Marriage Act." 

The time frame for this request October 2010 February 24, 2011. "Entities outside the government," includes, but not limited to, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), any plaintiffs Pedersen Office Personnel Management Windsor United States, and advocacy groups, include, but not limited to: 
 
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 
 
The American Federation Labor and Congress Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) 
 
Center for American Progress; 
 
Freedom Marry; 
 
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD); 
 
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) 
 
The Human Rights Campaign; 
 
Lambda Legal; 
 
Marriage Equality USA; 
 
Moveon.org; 
 
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; and 
 
Service Employees International Union (SEIU). letter dated March 18, 2011, Defendant acknowledged receipt Plaintiff's FOIA request March 2011. Defendant also stated its March 18, 2011 letter that was granting itself ten day extension time respond the request pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(B)(i). reason the ten day extension time, Defendant's response Plaintiff's February 24, 2011 request was due within thirty working days March 2011 April 13, 2011. 

10. February 28, 2011, Plaintiff similarly sent FOIA request the Office 
Information Policy seeking access the following: 
Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between 
the Office the Attorney General (AG), the Office the Deputy 

Attorney General (DAG), the Office the Associate Attorney General (Assoc. AG), and the law firm Boies, Schiller Flexner LLP, including David Boies, concerning Pedersen Office Personnel Management and Windsor United States, including but not limited communications concerning the Department Justice's defense the Defense Marriage Act (DOMA) Pedersen Office Personnel Management and Windsor United States. 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. AG, and the law firm Gibson, Dunn Crutcher LLP, including Theodore Olson, concerning Pedersen Office 
Personnel Management and Windsor United States, including but 
not limited communications concerning the Department 
Justice's defense DOMA Pedersen Office Personnel 
Management and Windsor United States. 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. AG, and the law firm Boies, Schiller Flexner LLP, including David Boies, concerning the enclosed February 23, 2011 "Statement the Attorney General Litigation Involving the Defense Marriage Act." 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. AG, and the law firm Gibson, Dunn Crutcher LLP, including Theodore Olson, concerning the enclosed February 23, 2011 "Statement the Attorney General Litigation Involving the Defense Marriage Act." 
The time frame for this request October 10, 2010 February 28, 2011. 
11. letter dated March 18, 2011, Defendant acknowledged receipt Plaintiff's 
February 28, 2011 FOIA request March 2011. Defendant also stated its March 18, 2011 
letter that was granting itself ten day extension time respond the request pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(B)(i). 
12. reason the ten day extension time, Defendant's response Plaintiffs February 28, 2011 request was due within thi1iy working days March 2011 April 19, 2011. 

The March 2011 
13. March 2011, Plaintiff also sent FOIA request via certified mail 
Defendant's Referral Unit seeking access the following: 	Any and all communications among DOJ officials and/or employees concerning Pedersen Office Personnel Management and Windsor United States, including but not limited communications concerning the Department Justice's defense (DOMA) Pedersen Office Personnel Management and Windsor United States. 	Any and all communications, contacts correspondence between the Office the AG, the Office the DAG, the Office the Assoc. AG, and the law firm Boies, Schiller Flexner LLP, including David Boies, concerning the enclosed February 23, 2011 "Statement the Attorney General Litigation Involving the Defense Marriage Act." 
14. information and belief, Defendant received Plaintiffs March 2011 FOIA request March 07, 2011. 

15. 
Pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A), Defendant was required respond Plaintiffs March 2011 FOIA request within twenty working days March 2011 April 2011. 

16. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed produce any records responsive any Plaintiffs three FOIA requests demonstrate that responsive records are exempt from production. Nor has indicated whether when any responsive records will 

produced. fact, Defendant has failed respond any the three requests any substantive manner. 
17. Because Defendant has 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 three FOIA requests. U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(C). 
COUNT 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 

18. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
19. 
Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff pursuant u.s.c.  552. 

20. 
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant's unlawful withholding requested records, 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 search for any and all responsive records Plaintiff's three FOIA requests and demonstrate that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs three FOIA requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiff's three 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 Plaintiff's three FOIA requests; 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: April 29, 2011 Respectfully submitted, JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. 

Michael Bekesha 
D.C. Bar No. 995749 
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800 
Washington, 20024 

(202) 646-5172 

Attorneys for Plaintiff