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Judicial Watch • JW v DOJ Kadzik complaint 00029

JW v DOJ Kadzik complaint 00029

JW v DOJ Kadzik complaint 00029

Page 1: JW v DOJ Kadzik complaint 00029

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:January 5, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:January 18, 2017

Tags:Kadzik, 00029, official, requests, Peter, complaint, email, policy, justice, Hillary Clinton, defendant, filed, clinton, plaintiff, request, State Department, document, records, DOJ, FOIA, department, office, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-00029 Document Filed 01/05/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, 20530-0001,
Defendant.
____________________________________)
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant U.S.
Department Justice Defendant 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
SW, 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 the
Case 1:17-cv-00029 Document Filed 01/05/17 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public
inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department Justice agency the United States
Government. Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks
access. Defendant headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, 205300001.
STATEMENT FACTS about November 2016, was reported that Peter Kadzik, the Assistant
Attorney General for Legislative Affairs the U.S. Department Justice, used gmail email
account send email John Podesta, chairman Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential
campaign, concerning the State Department review former Secretary Clinton emails. See
Laura Koran, Hacked email appears show DOJ official tipping Clinton Campaign about
review, CNN (Nov. 2016, available http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/02/politics/peter-kadzikjohn-podesta-wikileaks). November 26, 2014, [a]n officer employee executive agency may
not create send record using non-official electronic messaging account unless such officer employee- (1) copies official electronic messaging account the officer employee
the original creation transmission the record; (2) forwards complete copy the record official electronic messaging account the officer employee not later than days after
the original creation transmission the record. U.S.C. 2911. November 2016, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the U.S. Department Justice seeking:
All email correspondence between Peter Kadzik
either his official Justice Department email account
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Case 1:17-cv-00029 Document Filed 01/05/17 Page
peterkadzik@gmail.com and any non-government
employee concerning, regarding, relating former
Secretary State Hillary Clinton use non-state.gov
email conduct official government business;
All email correspondence between Peter Kadzik
either his official Justice Department email account
peterkadzik@gmail.com and John Podesta; and
All email correspondence between Peter Kadzik
either his official Justice Department email account
peterkadzik@gmail.com and any official, officer,
employee Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential
campaign.
The timeframe for this request December 2014
November 2016. November 17, 2016 letter, the U.S. Department Justice acknowledged
receiving Plaintiff FOIA request and referred the request the Office Information Policy. email dated November 21, 2016, the Office Information Policy assigned
Plaintiff FOIA request Tracking Number DOJ-2017-00820.
10. December 13, 2016 letter, the Office Information Policy again
acknowledged receiving Plaintiff FOIA request and informed Plaintiff that was assigned
the complex track.
11. November 2016, Plaintiff also submitted FOIA request the U.S.
Department Justice seeking:
All emails sent received Peter Kadzik using the
email address peterkadzik@gmail.com which
conducted official government business.
All emails copied and/or forwarded required
U.S.C. 2911 Peter Kadzik Justice Department
email account from peterkadzik@gmail.com.
The timeframe for this request January 2016 the
present.
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Case 1:17-cv-00029 Document Filed 01/05/17 Page
12. November 17, 2016 letter, the U.S. Department Justice acknowledged
receiving Plaintiff FOIA request and referred the request the Office Information Policy.
13. email dated November 21, 2016, the Office Information Policy assigned
Plaintiff FOIA request Tracking Number DOJ-2017-00819.
14. the date this Complaint, the U.S. Department Justice 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)
15.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
16.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
17. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff requests within the time limits set
FOIA. Accordingly, Defendant determinations were due about January 2017.
minimum, Defendant was obligated to: (i) gather and review the requested records; (ii) determine
and communicate Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendant intended produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; and (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any
adequately specific, adverse determinations. See, e.g., Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics
Washington Federal Election Commission, 711 F.3d 180, 188-89 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
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Case 1:17-cv-00029 Document Filed 01/05/17 Page
18.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff
requests within the time 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
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records 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 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: January 2017
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
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