Department of Housing and Urban Development FOIA request
Number of Pages:4
Date Created:May 17, 2011
Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014
Autogenerated text from PDF
Judicial Watch Because one above the law! Mayl7,2011 VIA CERTIFlED MAJL FACSIMILE 619-8365 Shaun Donovan, Secretary U.S. Dept. Housing Urban Development Freedom Information Act Office 451 7th Street, SW, Room 10139 Washington, 20410-3000 Facsimile: (202) 619-8365 Re: EXPEDITED PROCESSING for Set Audits Term Sheet Dear Mr. Shaun Donovan: 4:42 p.m. May 16, 2011, Shahieu Nasiripour The Huffington Post published online news article asserting that four federal officials had briefed him set audits accusing "the nation' five Jargest mortgage companies defrauding taxpayers their handling foreclosures homes purchased with government-backed loans." the next last paragraph the May article, Nasiripour further referred te1m sheet that federal officials had disclosed him 1.he week before. That term sheet was the subject separate news article published 8:26 p.m. May 2011. that Huifmgton Post article, Nasiripour explained that the term sheet outlined plan for "the creation federal account funded the nation's largest mortgage firms help distressed bonowers avoid foreclosure and settle ongoing probes into faulty m01tgage practices." Despite the purportedly confidential nature these records, federal comts agree that selective disclosure matters the public interest violates the letter and spirit the Freedom oflnformation Act (FOIA), U.S.C. 552, seq. See Caton Norton, 2005 DNH 155 (D.N.H. 2005)("when the records question have already been disclosed, agency cannot credibly claim that releasing response FOlA request will impede the proper functioning the administrative process inhibit the free and frank exchange opinions among government personnel, because the agency has already indicated diminished expectation privacy concerning these documents through its prior volLUltarydisclosure")(intemal citations and quotation marks omitted); Peck United States, 514 Supp. 210, 212 (S.D.N.Y. 1981)(voluntary disclosure the privileged communications may waive the privilege); North Dakota rel. Olson Andrus, 581 F.2d 177, 182 (8th Cir. N.D. 1978)("Preferential treatment persons interest groups fosters precisely the distrust govenunent that the FOIA was intended 425 Third St., SW, Suite 800, Washington, 20024 Tel: (202) 646-5172 J-888-593-8442 FAX: (202) 646-5199 Email: infoJudicialWatch.org www.JudicialWatch.org HUD May 17, 201.1 obviate.") Accordingly, pursuant FOTA, Judicial Watch, Inc., (Judicial Watch) hereby requests that the U.S. Department ofthe Housing Urban Development (HUD) produce within twenty (20) business days: The set audits accusing "the nation's five Jargest mortgage companies defrauding taxpayers their handling foreclosures homes purchased with governmentMbacked loans"; and, The term sheet outlining for "the creation federal account funded the nation's largest mortgage firms help distressed borrowers avoid foreclosure and settle ongoing probes into faulty mortgage practices." placing this request, Judicial Watch directs the HUD's attention President Obama's January 21, 2009 Memorandum concerning FOfA which states: All agencies should adopt presumption favor disclosure order renew their commitment the principles embodied fOIA ... The presumption disclosure should applied all decisions involving FOIA.1 The memorandum goes state that FOTA "should administered with clear presumption: the case doubt, openness prevails." Nevertheless, any responsive record portion thereof claimed exempt from production under FOIA, please provide sufficient identifying information with respect each allegedly exempt record portion thereof allow assess the propriety the claimed exemption. Vaughn Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 1974). addition, any reasonably segregable portion responsive record must provided, ailer redaction any allegedly exempt material. U.S.C. 552(b). Judicial Watch also hereby requests waiver both search and duplication fees pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(ji)(II) and 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). Judicial Watch entitled waiver search fees under U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II) because member the news media. See National Security Archive Department Defense, 880 F.2d 381 1387 (D.C. Cir. 989). Judicial Watch has also been recognized member the news media other FOIA litigation. See Judicial Watch, inc. US. Department Justice, 133 Supp.2d (D.D.C. 2000); and, Judicial Watch, Inc. Department Defense, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44003, (D.D.C. June 28, 2006). Judicial Watch regularly obtains information about the operations and activities HUD May 17, 2011 govenunent through FOIA and other means, uses its editorial skills tum this information into distinct works, and publishes and disseminates these works the public. intends likewise with the records receives response this request Judicial Watch also entitled complete waiver both search fees and duplication foes pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). Under this provision, records: shall furnished without any charge charge reduced below the fees established under clause (ii) disclosure the infonnatjon the public interest because likely contribute significantly public understanding the operations activities government and not primarily the commercial interest the requester. U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). addition, records are not produced within twenty (20) business days, Judicial Watch entitled complete waiver search and duplication fees under Section 6(b) ofilie OPEN Government Act of2007, which amended FOIA U.S.C. 552(a)( 4)(A)(viii). Judicial Watch 501(c)(3), not-for-profit, educational organization, and, definition, has commercial purpose. Judicial Watch exists educate the public about the operations and activities government, well increase public understanding about the importance ethics and the ntle law governmentThe particular records requested herein are sought part Judicial Watch's ongoing efforts document the operations and activities the federal government and educate the public about these operations and activities. Once Judicial Watch obtains the requested records, intends analyze them and disseminate the results its analysis, well the records themselves, special written report. Judicial Watch will also educate the public via radio programs, Judicial Watch's website, and/or newsletter, among other outlets. also will make the records available other members the media researchers upon request. Judicial Watch has proven ability disseminate information obtained through FOJA the public, demonstrated its long-standing and continuing public outreach efforts. Given these circumstances, Judicial Watch entitled public interest fee waiver boU1 search costs and duplication costs. Nonetheless, the event our request for waiver search and/or duplication costs denied, Judicial Watch willing pay $350.00 search and/or duplication costs. Judicial Watch requests that contacted before any such costs are incurred, order prioritize search and duplication efforts. effort facilitate record production within the statutory time limit, Judicial Watch willing accept documents electronic format (e.g. e-mail, .pdfs). When necessary, Judicial Watch will also accept the "rolling production" documents. HUD May 17, 201J you not understand this request any portion thereof you feel you require clarification, please immediately contact Judicial Watch FOii Manager Jolm Althen 202-646-5172 jaJthen@judicialwatch.org. Judicial Watch looks forward receiving the requested documents and waiver both search and duplication costs within twenty (20) business days. Thank you for your cooperation. Lisette Garcia, J.D. Senior Lnvestigator Freedom Information Act. Pres. Mcm. January 21, 2009, Fed. Reg. 4683.