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Judicial Watch • JW v State Benghazi Security Waivers complaint 00153

JW v State Benghazi Security Waivers complaint 00153

JW v State Benghazi Security Waivers complaint 00153

Page 1: JW v State Benghazi Security Waivers complaint 00153

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:January 29, 2016

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 10, 2017

Tags:SECCA, 00153, Waivers, produce, Special, complaint, responsive, security, Benghazi, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, FOIA, department, Washington


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Case 1:16-cv-00153-RDM Document Filed 01/29/16 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 STATE,
The Executive Office
Office the Legal Adviser, Room 5519
2201 Street,
Washington, D.C. 20520,
Defendant.
____________________________________)
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department
State 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 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
Case 1:16-cv-00153-RDM Document Filed 01/29/16 Page the 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
SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024.
Defendant U.S. Department State agency the United States
Government and headquartered 2201 Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20520. Defendant
has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS August 27, 2015, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the U.S. Department State, certified mail, seeking access the following:
ii.
Any and all records security waivers issued for the
Special Mission compound Benghazi, Libya under the
Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act
(SECCA);
Any and all records concerning, regarding, related the
Special Mission compound Benghazi, Libya being
excepted from office facility standards and accountability
under SECCA noted the Benghazi Accountability
Review Board.
According U.S. Postal Service records, Defendant received Plaintiff FOIA
request December 14, 2015. 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.
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Case 1:16-cv-00153-RDM Document Filed 01/29/16 Page
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 December 14, 2015. Accordingly, Defendant determination
was due about January 13, 2016. 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).
13.
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;
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Case 1:16-cv-00153-RDM Document Filed 01/29/16 Page
(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: January 29, 2016
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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