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Judicial Watch • Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice 00924

Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice 00924

Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice 00924

Page 1: Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice 00924

Category:Legal Document

Number of Pages:4

Date Created:June 16, 2015

Date Uploaded to the Library:June 16, 2015

Tags:batfe, stamped, requests, complaint, service, justice, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, department, FOIA, Washington, court


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Case 1:15-cv-00924-TSC Document Filed 06/16/15 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 JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, 20530-0001,
Defendant.
____________________________________)
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department
Justice 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. 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, integrity, and
accountability government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, Plaintiff
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes the
Case 1:15-cv-00924-TSC Document Filed 06/16/15 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public
inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department Justice agency the United States
Government and headquartered U.S. Department Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW, Washington, 20530-0001. Defendant has possession, custody, and control records
which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS September 30, 2014, Plaintiff sent FOIA request the Bureau Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives BATFE component Defendant, seeking the
following records:
Any and all records communication from January
2014 the present from (as either direct recipient,
bcc any official employee the office the Director
[BATFE], including but not limited Director Todd Jones,
regarding, concerning related the January 2014 explosion
and fire the Cedar-Riverside apartment complex Minneapolis,
Minnesota; and
ii.
Any and all records communication from January
2014 the present date from (as either direct recipient, bcc [BATFE] Special Agent Steve Forman, St. Paul
Field Division regarding, concerning related the January
2014 explosion and fire the Cedar-Riverside apartment complex Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The request was sent certified U.S. mail.
According U.S. Postal Service records, BATFE received the request
October 2014.
BATFE never acknowledged receipt the request otherwise responded the
request.
Case 1:15-cv-00924-TSC Document Filed 06/16/15 Page
Plaintiff sent follow-up request BATFE for the same records January 23,
2015. copy the first request was attached the second request, along with proof
delivery. Like Plaintiff first request, Plaintiff second request also was sent certified U.S.
mail.
10.
According U.S. Postal Service records, BATFE received the second request
February 2015.
11.
BATFE never acknowledged receipt the second request otherwise responded the request.
12.
Pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i), Defendant was required determine
whether comply with the requests within twenty (20) working days and notify Plaintiff
immediately its determination, the reasons therefor, and the right appeal any adverse
determination. Defendant determination was due March 2015 the latest.
13. the date this complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) determine whether
comply with the 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.
Case 1:15-cv-00924-TSC Document Filed 06/16/15 Page
16.
Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff pursuant U.S.C. 552.
17.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant unlawful
withholding records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests, 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
search for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests and demonstrate that
employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive the
requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records
Plaintiff FOIA requests and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim
exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records
responsive Plaintiff FOIA 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: June 16, 2015
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ James Peterson
(D.C. Bar No. 450171)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff