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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ Steele Orbis complaint 00916

JW v. DOJ Steele Orbis complaint 00916

JW v. DOJ Steele Orbis complaint 00916

Page 1: JW v. DOJ Steele Orbis complaint 00916

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:May 16, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:May 16, 2017

Tags:Orbis, 00916, Intelligence, Steele, investigation, requested, complaint, justice, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, FBI, request, document, DOJ, federal, records, FOIA, department, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-00916 Document Filed 05/16/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, 20530-0001,
Defendant.
____________________________________)
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department
Justice 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-00916 Document Filed 05/16/17 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 U.S. Department Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW, Washington, 20530-0001.
STATEMENT FACTS March 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Federal Bureau
Investigation FBI component Defendant, seeking the following:
Any and all records communications between any official,
employee, representative the Federal Bureau Investigation
and Mr. Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer and
the owner the private firm Orbis Business Intelligence.
Any and all records regarding, concerning, related the proposed,
planned, actual payment any funds Mr. Steele and/or Orbis
Business Intelligence.
Any and all records produced preparation for, during, pursuant any meetings telephonic conversations between any official,
employee, representative the Federal Bureau Investigation
and Mr. Christopher Steele and/or any employee representative
Orbis Business Intelligence.
The request specifically requested that the search for records responsive this request include
any records, including records communications, produced and/or maintained FBI Assistant
Legal Attach Italy Michael Gaeta. The time frame the request was identified January 2016 the present. The request was submitted via certified mail and online via the FBI
eFOIA system.
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Case 1:17-cv-00916 Document Filed 05/16/17 Page letter dated April 2017, Defendant acknowledged receiving Plaintiff
request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned FOIPA Request No. 1370340000. 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.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply
with FOIA.
10. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff request within twenty (20) working
days receiving the request. Accordingly, Defendant determination was due about
April 2017. minimum, Defendant was required to: (i) gather and review the requested
documents; (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 determination. 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-00916 Document Filed 05/16/17 Page
11.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff request
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
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records Plaintiff FOIA request 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 request; (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 ___, 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ James Peterson
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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