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Judicial Watch • DOJ Complaint 10112011

DOJ Complaint 10112011

DOJ Complaint 10112011

Page 1: DOJ Complaint 10112011


Number of Pages:5

Date Created:October 11, 2011

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:10112011, complaint, DOJ

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425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800 Washington, D.C. 20024, 
Case: 1:11-cv-01796 
Assigned To: Kennedy, Henry 
Assign. Date 10/11 /2011 Description: FOIA/Privacy Act 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, 
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: 
The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant U.S.C.  552(a)( 4)(B) and 
Venue proper this district pursuant U.S.C.  1391 (e). 
Plaintiff non-profit, educational foundation organized under the laws the u.s.c.  1331. 
District Columbia and having its principal place business 425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800, 
Washington, 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote integrity, transparency, and accountability 
govenunent aod fidelity the rule law. furtherance its public inlerest 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 Kelllleth Melson and any official, officer employee the Office the Deputy Attorney General regarding ATF 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, 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, conceming related Operation Fast and Furious. 
Plaintiff's request was sent Defendant's FOINP Mail Referral Unit, the location designated Defendant receive FOIA requests for distribution appropriate agency component(s). The 
timeframe for tl1e request was identified January 20, 2009 July 13, 2011. 
According U.S. Postal Service records, Plaintiffs July 13, 2011 request was 
Plaintiff subsequently received acknowledgment letter from Defendant dated 

received Defendant's Mail Rcfenal Unit July 18, 2011. 
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 Plaintiffs request and assigning the request Case Number: 11-00361-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 Plaintiff's request. 
10. Plaintiff subsequently received fourth letter dated August 22, 2011 from OTP, 
acknowledging receipt Plaintiffs 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 tmit. 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, 
Defondant has failed respond Plaintiff's 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) 
14. Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein. 
Defendant unlawfully withholding public records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C.  552. 
16. Plaintiff being irreparably haimcd 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 Plajntiff's 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, 

D.C. Bar No. 429716 

D.C. Bar No. 495488 

425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800 
Washington> 20024 

(202) 646-5172 

Attorneys for Plaintiff