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Judicial Watch • JW v State Comey Complaint 01520

JW v State Comey Complaint 01520

JW v State Comey Complaint 01520

Page 1: JW v State Comey Complaint 01520

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:July 27, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:July 27, 2017

Tags:01520, Comey, electronic, Pennsylvania, requested, complaint, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, michael, FBI, request, document, records, FOIA, James, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-01520 Document Filed 07/27/17 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-01520 Document Filed 07/27/17 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 June 21, 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request, certified mail and
through the eFOIPA portal, the Federal Bureau Investigation, component Defendant,
seeking the following:
Any and all records depicting metadata for any and all
memoranda written former Director James Comey
memorializing any meetings and/or telephonic
communications with President Donald Trump,
including metadata for the original electronic
versions the memoranda and any electronic copies
the memoranda that were subsequently created
saved. For purposes this request, the term
metadata includes, but not limited to, dates and
times creation, modification, transmission, and/or
retrieval any electronic copy any such
memorandum currently formerly the possession
the FBI and/or drafted, modified, transmitted, and/or
received via any FBI-owned computer other
electronic device.
Any and all records regarding, concerning, related
the return, disposition, handling any laptop
computer other electronic device previously issued
and/or utilized former Director James Comey.
Any and all records regarding, concerning, related
the records management and preservation procedures
utilized former Director James Comey. This
includes, but not limited to, any and all records
communication between Mr. Comey and any other
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Case 1:17-cv-01520 Document Filed 07/27/17 Page
individual entity regarding, concerning, related
any such procedures related regulations. email dated June 22, 2017, Defendant acknowledged receiving Plaintiff
FOIA request via the eFOIAPA portal June 22, 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.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed 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 the time limits set
FOIA. Accordingly, Defendant determination was due about July 21, 2017.
minimum, Defendant was obligated 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-01520 Document Filed 07/27/17 Page
11.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff request
and/or determine whether comply with Plaintiff appeal 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 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: July 27, 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha
D.C. Bar No. 995749
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Phone: (202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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