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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ Balanoff complaint 01072

JW v. DOJ Balanoff complaint 01072

JW v. DOJ Balanoff complaint 01072

Page 1: JW v. DOJ Balanoff complaint 01072


Number of Pages:4

Date Created:May 7, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:May 14, 2018

Tags:01072, Balanoff, Hardy, Lauren, Pennsylvania, defendant, Obama, FBI, DOJ, FOIA

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Case 1:18-cv-01072 Document Filed 05/07/18 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington, 20530-0001,
Civil Action No.
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:
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).
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. Plaintiff Judicial Watch 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 agencies responses its requests and disseminates both its
Case 1:18-cv-01072 Document Filed 05/07/18 Page
findings and any responsive records the American public inform them about what their
government to.
Defendant U.S. Department Justice DOJ agency the United States
Government. Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks
access. Defendant headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, 20530.
STATEMENT FACTS February 14, 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Federal Bureau Investigation FBI component Defendant, seeking the following:
Any and all FD-302 forms and/or other records interviews with Tom
Blanoff (sic), prepared pursuant the Federal Bureau Investigation
[inquiry] into former Illinois Governor Rodney Blagojevich misconduct
appointing replacement the U.S. Senate seat vacated former President
Barack Obama. letter dated March 15, 2017, the FBI acknowledged receipt Plaintiff
request and assigned the request FOIPA Request No. 1368621-000. The letter, signed
Record/Information Dissemination Section Chief David Hardy Mr. Hardy also asserted
that the request implicated third-party privacy interests and that Plaintiff may receive greater
access the requested records provided authorization and consent from the individual
whose rights were implicated, proof death, justification that the public interest disclosure
outweighed the third-party privacy interests. letter dated April 2017, Plaintiff submitted supplemental information the
FBI demonstrating that public interest disclosure the requested records outweighed any
third party privacy interests the records. letter dated April 20, 2017, signed Mr. Hardy, the FBI denied Plaintiff
request, asserting, You have not demonstrated sufficient public interest Therefore, your
request being closed.
Case 1:18-cv-01072 Document Filed 05/07/18 Page April 28, 2017, Plaintiff submitted timely administrative appeal the denial its request.
10. letter dated June 2017, Defendant affirmed its denial Plaintiff request.
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
Defendant violating FOIA failing search for and produce all records
responsive Plaintiff request demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt
from production.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violations FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
Plaintiff has exhausted its administrative appeal remedies.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
search for and produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records responsive
Plaintiff FOIA request and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim
exemption; (2) require Defendant demonstrate that employed search methods reasonably
calculated uncover all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request; (3) enjoin Defendant
from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiff FOIA
request; (4) grant Plaintiff award attorneys fees and other litigation costs reasonably
incurred this action pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(E); and (5) award Plaintiff such other
relief the Court deems just and proper.
Case 1:18-cv-01072 Document Filed 05/07/18 Page
Dated: May 2018
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Lauren Burke
Lauren Burke
D.C. Bar No. 1028811
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff