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Judicial Watch • JW v DOJ Comey testimony complaint 02316

JW v DOJ Comey testimony complaint 02316

JW v DOJ Comey testimony complaint 02316

Page 1: JW v DOJ Comey testimony complaint 02316

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:November 2, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:November 06, 2017

Tags:02316, comey memos, memos, Comey, peterson, testimony, produce, Pennsylvania, requested, complaint, justice, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, FBI, document, records, DOJ, FOIA, James, office, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-02316 Document Filed 11/02/17 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 JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, 20530-0001,
Defendant.
____________________________________)
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant U.S.
Department Justice Defendant 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 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 responses and disseminates its findings
Case 1:17-cv-02316 Document Filed 11/02/17 Page
and the requested records the American public inform them about what their government to.
Defendant agency the United States Government. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access. Defendant
headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, 20530-0001.
STATEMENT FACTS August 14, 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request, through on-line
submission system, Defendant seeking the following records:
All records communications between the Dept Justice and
former FBI director James Comey prior and regarding
Comeys testimony before the Senate Select Committee
Intelligence June 2017.
The timeframe for the request was May 15, 2017 June 2017. letter dated September 14, 2017, Defendant acknowledged receipt
Plaintiff FOIA request August 14, 2017. The letter confirmed that Plaintiff and Defendant
subsequently agreed that four components Defendant would searched and assigned tracking
numbers each: (i) Office the Attorney General (DOJ-2017-006052(AG)); (ii) Office the
Deputy Attorney General (DOJ-2017-006608 (DAG)); (iii) Office Legislative Affairs (DOJ2017-006609)); Office Public Affairs (DOJ-2017-006610)). Defendant also advised that
unusual circumstances required extend the time for its response beyond the ten additional
days provided the statute. Defendant did not specify when would issue its determination the request. 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
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Case 1:17-cv-02316 Document Filed 11/02/17 Page
produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; (iii) inform Plaintiff that may
appeal any adequately specific, adverse determination.
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
10. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with the request within thirty (30) working days
receipt. Accordingly, Defendant determination was due about October 30, 2017. this
date, Defendant was obligated to: (i) gather and review the requested documents; (ii) determine
and communicate Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendant intended produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; and (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any
adequately specific, adverse determination. See, e.g., Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics
Washington Federal Election Commission, 711 F.3d 180, 188-89 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
11.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff request
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
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive the request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records Plaintiff FOIA request and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim
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Case 1:17-cv-02316 Document Filed 11/02/17 Page exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records
responsive the 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) grant Plaintiff
such other relief the Court deems just and proper.
Dated: November 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ James Peterson
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Tel: (202) 646-5172
Email: jpeterson@judicialwatch.org
Counsel for Plaintiff
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