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Judicial Watch • JW v State refugees 02030

JW v State refugees 02030

JW v State refugees 02030

Page 1: JW v State refugees 02030

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:November 20, 2015

Date Uploaded to the Library:December 10, 2015

Tags:020301, volags, refugees, Copies, defendants, Plaintiffs, requests, HHS, September, filed, defendant, document, plaintiff, request, records, FOIA, department, office, states, Washington, united


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Case 1:15-cv-02030 Document Filed 11/20/15 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 oflnformation 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
Case 1:15-cv-02030 Document Filed 11/20/15 Page
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes the
agencies responses and disseminates both its findings and the requested records the American
public inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department State agency the United States
Government and headquartered 2201 Street NW, Washington, 20520. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS May 22, 2015, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant, certified
mail, seeking access the following records:
Copies any and all Cooperation Agreements for the
years 2014 and 2015 between the Department State and the
Voluntary Agencies (VOLAGs) involved providing Reception
and Placement (RP) services refugees arriving the United
States.
Copies any and all Reception and Placement abstracts
for the years 2014 and 2015 furnished the Department State VOLAGs, entities subcontracting VOLAGs, entities
affiliated with VOLAGS regarding the provision RP services refugees arriving the United States.
Copies any and all transcripts hearings held 2014
and 2015 the Department State with representatives from
VOLAGs, entities subcontracting VOLAGs, entities affiliated
with VOLAGs, the Department Health and Human Services
(HHS), and/or the Office Refugee Settlement (ORR) regarding
the provision RP services refugees arriving the United
States.
Copies any and all comments submitted the State
Department members the public the hearings identified
Bullet above.
Any and all records reflecting the number refugees, their
countries origin, and destinations the United States which
they were settled the Bureau Population, Refugees and
Case 1:15-cv-02030 Document Filed 11/20/15 Page
Migration (PRM) through RP programs for the years 2013, 2014,
and 2015. letter dated June 2015, Defendant acknowledged receiving Plaintiffs
request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned Case Control No. F-2015-10718.
Defendants acknowledgement letter for the May 22, 2015 request did not identify
the date the request was received. According U.S. Postal Service records, however, Defendant
received Plaintiffs May 22, 2015 request June 2015.
Pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i), Defendant was required determine
whether comply with Plaintiffs May 22, 2015 request within twenty (20) working days and
notify Plaintiff immediately its determinations, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal
any adverse determinations. Accordingly, Defendants determination the May 22, 2015
request was due June 30, 2015 the latest. September 14, 2015, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant,
certified mail, seeking access the following records:
Any and all records regarding, concerning relating meeting held August
25, 2015 Spartanburg, South Carolina between representatives from the State
Departments Office Refugee Resettlement and/or Bureau Population,
Refugees and Migration, and representatives from the non-profit organization
known World Relief. Records sought shall include, but not limited to,
notices the meeting, meeting agenda, transcripts, recordings, materials
presented World Relief, multimedia presentations, abstracts, contracts and any
other materials.
10. letter dated October 19, 2015, Defendant acknowledged receiving Plaintiffs
September 14, 2015 request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned Case
Control No. F-2015-14781.
Case 1:15-cv-02030 Document Filed 11/20/15 Page
11.
Defendants acknowledgement letter for the September 14, 2015 request did not
identify the date the request was received. According U.S. Postal Service records, however,
Defendant received Plaintiffs September 14, 2015 request September 22, 2015
12.
Pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i), Defendant was required determine
whether comply with Plaintiffs September 14, 2015 request and notify Plaintiff
immediately its determinations, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse
determinations October 21, 2015 the latest.
13. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) determine whether
comply with Plaintifrs requests; (ii) notify Plaintiff any such determination the reasons
therefor; (iii) advise Plaintiff the right appeal any adverse determination; (iv) produce the
requested records otherwise demonstrate that the requested records are exempt from
production.
14.
Because Defendant has failed comply with the time limit set forth U.S.C.
552(a)(6)(A), Plaintiff deemed have exhausted any and all administrative remedies
pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C).
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
15.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
16.
Defendant violating FOIA failing search for and produce all records
responsive Plaintiffs requests that are not lawfully exempt from production.
17.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants violation ofFOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its
conduct the requirements the law.
Case 1:15-cv-02030 Document Filed 11/20/15 Page
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
conduct search for any and all responsive records Plaintiffs FOIA requests and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably calculated uncover all records responsive the
requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records
responsive the requests and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim
exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records
responsive the 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: November 20, 2015
Respectfully submitted,
Isl Lauren Burke
Lauren Burke
D.C. Bar No. 1028811
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff