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Judicial Watch • JW v EPA Signal app 00533

JW v EPA Signal app 00533

JW v EPA Signal app 00533

Page 1: JW v EPA Signal app 00533

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:March 23, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 12, 2017

Tags:00533, Signal, administrator, Acting, produce, Assistant, requested, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, FOIA, office, Washington, EPA


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Case 1:17-cv-00533-JEB Document Filed 03/23/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGENCY,
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, 20460,
Defendant.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant Environmental
Protection Agency EPA 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 not-for-profit, educational organization that seeks promote
transparency, integrity, and accountability government and fidelity the rule law. part its educational mission, Plaintiff regularly requests records under FOIA, analyzes the
responses and any records receives, and disseminates its findings and the records the
Case 1:17-cv-00533-JEB Document Filed 03/23/17 Page
American public inform them about what their government to. U.S. Dep Justice
Reporters Committee for Freedom the Press, 489 U.S. 749, 795 (1989). Plaintiff
incorporated under the laws the District Columbia and headquartered 425 Third Street
S.W., Suite 800, Washington, 20024.
Defendant agency the United States Government and headquartered
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, 20460. Defendant has possession, custody,
and control public records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS February 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant,
certified mail, seeking access the following:
Any and all work-related communications sent from
the following EPA officials using the app known
Signal, for the period February 2016 the present:
Administrator (or Acting);
Deputy Administrator (or Acting);
Assistant Administrator (or Acting), Office Air
and Radiation;
Assistant Administrator (or Acting), Office
Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention;
Assistant Administrator (or Acting), Office
Enforcement and Compliance Assurance;
Assistant Administrator (or Acting), Office Land
and Emergency Management;
Assistant Administrator (or Acting), Office
International and Tribal Affairs; and
Chief Financial Officer (or Acting).
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Case 1:17-cv-00533-JEB Document Filed 03/23/17 Page
Any and all records requesting approving the use the
messaging app known Signal any EPA personnel
for official business. The time frame for the requested
records July 2014 the present.
According U.S. Postal Service Records, Defendant received Plaintiff request February 13, 2017. 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.
Defendant violating FOIA failing search for and produce all records
responsive Plaintiff request demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt
from production.
10.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply
with FOIA.
11. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff request within twenty (20) working
days receiving the request February 13, 2017. Accordingly, Defendant determination
was due about March 14, 2017. minimum, Defendant was required to: (i) gather and
review the requested documents; (ii) determine and communicate Plaintiff the scope any
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Case 1:17-cv-00533-JEB Document Filed 03/23/17 Page
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).
12.
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
search for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and demonstrate that
employed search methods reasonably calculated uncover all records responsive the request;
(2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive
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: March 23, 2017
Respectfully submitted, Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha
D.C. Bar No. 995749
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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