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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOD Enduring Freedom opioids 00276

JW v. DOD Enduring Freedom opioids 00276

JW v. DOD Enduring Freedom opioids 00276

Page 1: JW v. DOD Enduring Freedom opioids 00276

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:February 13, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 15, 2017

Tags:opioids, Enduring, 00276, Cugler, Crime, Administrative, Dod, appeal, Defense, Freedom, responsive, Pentagon, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-00276 Document Filed 02/13/17 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 DEFENSE,
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, 20301,
Defendant.
____________________________________)
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department
Defense 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, accountability,
and integrity government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, Plaintiff
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes the
Case 1:17-cv-00276 Document Filed 02/13/17 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public
inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department Defense agency the United States
Government and headquartered 1400 Defense Pentagon, Washington, 20301.
Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS February 2016, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Administrative
Services FOIA officer U.S. Army Crime Records Center, component Defendant, seeking
the following:
Any and all records regarding, concerning, related the nonprescription use opiates (including opium, heroin, and/or
pharmaceutical opioid medications) American service members Afghanistan and veterans Operations Enduring Freedom
Afghanistan (OEF-A) Operation Freedom Sentinel.
The time frame for the request was identified January 2012 the present.
Plaintiff request was verbatim copy FOIA request Plaintiff had served
the U.S. Department the Army February 15, 2012. The U.S. Army Crime Records Center
produced records responsive the earlier request March 2012. The records produced
the U.S. Army Crime Records Center subsequently were the subject news reports Fox
News (April 20, 2012) and CNN (April 23, 2012). letter dated February 2016, the Director U.S. Army Crime Records
Center/Privacy Act officer, Susan Cugler, acknowledged receipt Plaintiff request and
advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned case number [FA16-1380]. letter dated March 2016, Ms. Cugler denied Plaintiff request, asserting
that the request was unfeasible perform with the information provided because records the
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Case 1:17-cv-00276 Document Filed 02/13/17 Page
U.S. Army Crime Records Center are indexed personal identifiers such names, social
security numbers, dates and places birth and other pertinent data enable the positive
identification individuals. letter dated April 2016, Plaintiff filed timely administrative appeal the
March 2016 denial. its appeal, Plaintiff referenced the U.S. Army Crime Records Center
March 2012 production records response Plaintiff identical, earlier request. that
case, the U.S. Army Crime Records Center was able identify, retrieve, review, apply
appropriate redactions to, and release records responsive th[e 2012] request matter
approximately days.
10. letter dated May 11, 2016, Ms. Cugler acknowledged receipt Plaintiff
FOIA administrative appeal and stated the appeal was forwarded the Office the Secretary the U.S. Army Office the General Counsel (OGC), Freedom Information Act
Appellant Authority. Ms. Cugler further indicated [a] reply from the OGC Appellant
Authority will forthcoming.
11. letter dated May 20, 2016, Plaintiff received response from Hayley Curry,
Office the Secretary the U.S. Army OGC acknowledging receipt Plaintiff appeal.
Ms. Curry states the OSG will respond [Plaintiff appeal[] the order received due the
large volume FOIA demands the agency.
12. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) produce the
requested records demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from
production; (ii) notify Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendant intends
produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; (iii) make determination with
respect Plaintiff administrative appeal.
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Case 1:17-cv-00276 Document Filed 02/13/17 Page
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
13.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
14.
Defendant violating FOIA failing search for and produce all records
responsive Plaintiff request demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt
from production. Defendant also violating FOIA failing make determination with
respect Plaintiff administrative appeal.
15.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant violations FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply
with FOIA.
16. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required make determination with respect Plaintiff appeal within twenty (20) working
days receiving the appeal. Accordingly, Defendant determination was due about June
20, 2016, the latest.
17.
Because Defendant failed make determination with respect Plaintiff
appeal within the time period required FOIA, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its
administrative appeal remedies. U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C)(i).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
search for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and demonstrate that
employed search methods reasonably calculated uncover all records responsive the request;
(2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive
Plaintiff FOIA request 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 request; (4) grant Plaintiff award attorneys fees and other
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Case 1:17-cv-00276 Document Filed 02/13/17 Page
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: February 13, 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Paul Orfanedes
Paul Orfanedes
D.C. Bar No. 429716
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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