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Judicial Watch • Opposition to Motion to Stay: JW v DOJ (Fast and Furious Documents)

Opposition to Motion to Stay: JW v DOJ (Fast and Furious Documents)

Opposition to Motion to Stay: JW v DOJ (Fast and Furious Documents)

Page 1: Opposition to Motion to Stay: JW v DOJ (Fast and Furious Documents)

Category:Legal Document

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:January 15, 2013

Date Uploaded to the Library:September 17, 2013

Tags:Supreme Court, EPA, ICE, CIA


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  • demand_answers

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THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
Civ. No. 1:12-cv-1510 (JDB)
PLAINTIFF RESPONSE DEFENDANT
MOTION STAY; REQUEST FOR HEARING
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc., counsel, respectfully submits this response opposition Defendant motion for indefinite stay the proceedings. addition, pursuant LCvR
7(f), Plaintiff requests oral hearing Defendant Motion Stay. grounds therefor,
Plaintiff states follows:
MEMORANDUM LAW the heart Defendant argument the assertion that Plaintiff FOIA lawsuit
ancillary the House Committee suit. Defendant Motion Stay 11. This notion that
Plaintiff lawsuit some way inferior simply incorrect. Plaintiff has much right
under the law the House Committee seek access records Defendant. fact, since
Defendant does not challenge Plaintiff claim jurisdictional grounds, could reasonably
argued that Plaintiff right greater certainly clearer and simpler than that the House
Committee.
Under the Freedom Information Act FOIA any person has has right request
any records held federal agency. Taylor Sturgell, 553 U.S. 880, 885 (2008) (citing U.S.C. 552(a)(3)(A)) (emphasis added). reason need given for FOIA request, and
unless the requested materials fall within one the Act enumerated exemptions the agency
must make the records promptly available the requester. Taylor, 553 U.S. 885 (quoting U.S.C. 552(a)(3)(A)). addition, [i]f agency refuses furnish the requested records,
the requester may file suit federal court. Taylor, 553 U.S. 885. other words, FOIA
requester has undisputed, statutory right request records the government and litigate the
withholding those records.
There dispute that Plaintiff has brought proper claim. Plaintiff filed its Complaint September 13, 2012. Id. Defendant filed its Answer October 18, 2012. Id. Although
Defendant initially suggested that may move dismiss the case threshold grounds,
Defendant has since indicated that believes only that this FOIA litigation should not proceed this time. Id.
Since both the Complaint and Answer have been filed, the briefing dispositive motions the merits appropriate this time. There dispute that Plaintiff exhausted its
administrative remedies. Nor there dispute that records responsive Plaintiff FOIA
request exist. The only issue before the Court whether Defendant properly withholding
records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request.
The straightforward procedural posture this case stands sharp contrast the
complexity the House Committee suit. that case, unclear when the courts will ever
resolve the issue the merits. Defendant stated, oral argument only motion dismiss
based jurisdictional grounds scheduled for February 2013. Defendant Motion Stay There deadline for decision jurisdiction issued. Nor there schedule for
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briefing the merits. fact, near certainty that regardless the Court decision the
motion dismiss, the losing party will seek immediate appeal, which could ultimately require
resolution the U.S. Supreme Court. Committee the Judiciary the U.S. House
Represenatives Miers, 542 F.3d 909 (D.C. Cir. 2008) (In denying motion for expedited
appeal case with the same jurisdictional issues, the D.C. Circuit stated that even
expedited, this Controversy will not fully and finally resolved the Judicial Branch 
including resolution panel and possible rehearing this Court banc and the Supreme
Court.
Whereas Plaintiff FOIA lawsuit ripe for adjudication the merits, the House
Committee suit could months, not years, away from reaching the same stage. addition, quite possible that the U.S. Supreme Court could ultimately decide that jurisdiction does not
exist. Therefore, the delay adjudication Plaintiff lawsuit caused any stay would not
only immoderate but oppressive. Landis North American Company, 299 U.S. 248, 256
(1936). For this reason alone, Defendant motion stay should denied. addition, undisputed that Plaintiff not party the House Committee suit.
Therefore, for Plaintiff estopped from litigating its claim, one the six exceptions the
rule against nonparty preclusion must exist. Taylor, 553 U.S. 893-895. None the six
exemptions exist this case. Importantly, Defendants not even argue that Plaintiff would
estopped from proceeding; baldly asserts that [i]f Judge Jackson were reach the merits
the assertion, such ruling would, the very least, relevant here. Defendant Motion
Stay 12. Defendant has made effort demonstrate how any ruling Judge Jackson
would relevant. would irrelevant. Playboy Enterprises, Inc. Department Justice,
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677 F.2d 931, 936 (D.C. Cir. 1982) (With respect claims privilege, issues the context FOIA action are quite different [than that discovery proceedings]. That for one reason
another document may exempt from discovery does not mean that will exempt from
demand under FOIA.
Similarly, Defendant sincerely believed that Plaintiff lawsuit was closely related
the House Committee suit, LCvR 40.5 required Defendant notify the Court that the two cases
were related. never did so. Defendant inaction telling. not immediately notify[ing] 
the Court, Defendant has conceded that Plaintiff lawsuit and the House Committee suit not
 (i) relate common property, (ii) involve common issues fact, (iii) grow out the
same event transaction (iv) involve the validity infringement the same patent. Nor has
Defendant sought consolidate the two cases. addition, Defendant claims that negotiations between the Executive and Legislative
Branches would hindered Plaintiff lawsuit were proceed. Yet unclear how any
discussions between the two parties the House Committee suit would affected Defendant
satisfying its obligations under FOIA. Regardless any potential resolution that case,
Defendant this action will still required satisfy its obligations under FOIA, including
justifying its withholdings. Plaintiff lawsuit simply does not vanish and when the House
Committee suit resolved.
Simply put, Plaintiff has statutory right the requested records and have
Defendant denial Plaintiff FOIA request reviewed this Court. Plaintiff claim now
ripe for adjudication, and Plaintiff prepared brief the issues. Defendant simply seeks
delay the date that must justify its claims exemption. Defendant has not demonstrated why
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Plaintiff rights should immoderately and oppressively delayed; has only disparaged the
public right request records its government. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff
respectfully requests that Defendant request for indefinite stay the proceedings
denied.1
Dated: January 15, 2013
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Paul Orfanedes
Paul Orfanedes (D.C. Bar No. 429716)
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha (D.C. Bar No. 995749)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
Although Plaintiff believes that summary judgment briefing appropriate this time, minimum, the Court should order Defendant provide Plaintiff with Vaughn index other
detailed justification for its claims withholdings.
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