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Judicial Watch • 2011 jw-v-doj-complaint-10112011

2011 jw-v-doj-complaint-10112011

2011 jw-v-doj-complaint-10112011

Page 1: 2011 jw-v-doj-complaint-10112011


Number of Pages:5

Date Created:October 11, 2011

Date Uploaded to the Library:July 30, 2013

Tags:receive, dated, failed, received, bureau, deputy, Street, public, Pursuant, information, response, Attorney, letter, justice, responsive, government, watch, ATF, defendant, plaintiff, State, judicial, request, records, FBI, DOJ, department, Washington, court, EPA, IRS, ICE, CIA

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425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800  
Washington, D.C. 20024,  Case: 11-cv-01796  
Plaintiff,  Assigned To: Kennedy, Henry  
Assign. Date 10/11 /2011  Description: FOIAfPrivacy Act  
950 Pennsylvania venue,  
Washington, 20530-0001,  

Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department 
Justice ("DOJ") 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.  139l(e). 
PARTIES Plaintiff non-profit, educational foundation organized under the laws the 
District Columbia and having its principal place business 425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800, 
Washington, 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote integrity, transparency, and accountability 
government and fidelity the rule law. furtherance its public interest mission, Plaintiff 
entities, and offices, and disseminates its findings the public. Defendant agency the U.S. Government and headquartered 950 
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, 20530-0001. Defendant has possession, custody, 
and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. 
STATEMENT FACTS July 13, 2011, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant, facsimile 
and certified mail, seeking access the following public records: All records communication, contacts and correspondence 
between Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Director Kenneth Melson and any official, officer employee the Office the Deputy Attorney General regarding Phoenix Operation Fast and Furious. All records regarding, concerning related the October 26, 2009 
meeting/telephonic conference call between DAG David Ogden, AAG Lanny Breuer, ATF Director Melson, DEA Administrator Michelle Leonhart, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and other Department Justice officials regarding the Southwest Border Strategy (including, but not limited to, any agendas, minutes, transcripts notes presentations). All records prepared for submitted the House Committee 
Oversight and Government Reform regarding, concerning related Operation Fast and Furious. 
Plaintiffs request was sent Defendant' FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit, the location designated Defendant receive FOIA requests for distribution appropriate agency component(s). The timeframe for the request was identified January 20, 2009 July 13, 2011. According U.S. Postal Service records, Plaintiffs July 13, 2011 request was 
received Defendant's Mail Refe1Tal Unit July 18, 2011. Plaintiff subsequently received acknowledgment letter from Defendant dated August 2011. The acknowledgment letter stated that Plaintiffs request was being forwarded several components within Defendant, including the Office Information and Privacy ("OIP") Office the Associate Attorney General, OIP -Office the Deputy Attorney General, the Antitrust Division, the Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), and the Federal Bureau Investigation ("FBI"). However, the acknowledgment letter did not state when Plaintiff could expect receive substantive response its request. Plaintiff subsequently received second letter dated August 2011 from the DEA acknowledging receipt Plaintif request and assigning the request Case Number: 11-003 61-F. However, the DEA's August 2011 letter did not state when Plaintiff could expect receive substantive response its request. Plaintiff subsequently received third letter dated August 18, 2011 from the FBI 
stating that the FBI had found documents responsive Plaintif request. 
10. Plaintiff subsequently received fourth letter dated August 22, 2011 from OIP, acknowledging receipt Plaintif request. However, OIP's August 22, 2011 letter did not state when Plaintiff could expect receive substantive response its request. 
11. Because Plaintiff had directed its July 13, 2011 request Defendant's FOIA/PA 
Mail Referral Unit rather than any particular agency component, pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(A)(ii), Defendant's 20-day time period for responding the request commenced the date the request was received the agency components, but any event not later than days after the request was first received Defendant's FOIA/PA Mail referral unit. Based later than August 25, 2011. 
12. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed produce any records 

responsive Plaintiffs request demonstrate that responsive records are exempt from 
production. Nor has indicated whether when any responsive records will produced. 
fact, other than the "no records" response from the FBI, which Plaintiff does not challenge, 
Defendant has failed respond Plaintiffs request any substantive manner. 
13. 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 with respect its July 13, 2011 FOIA request pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)(6)(C). 
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C.  552) 

Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 

Defendant unlawfully withholding public records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C.  552. 
16. Plaintiff 
being irreparably harmed reason Defendant's unlawful 
withholding the requested public records, and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law. 
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant 
conduct search for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request and demonstrate that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive 
Plaintiffs FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt 
records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request and Vaughn index any responsive records 
withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all 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: October 11, 2011 Respectfully submitted, 

Bar No. 429716 

Bar No. 495488 425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800 Washington, 20024 

(202) 646-5172 
Attorneys for Plaintiff