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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ corporate shakedowns complaint 01064

JW v. DOJ corporate shakedowns complaint 01064

JW v. DOJ corporate shakedowns complaint 01064

Page 1: JW v. DOJ corporate shakedowns complaint  01064

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:June 5, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:June 05, 2017

Tags:shakedowns, 01064, Corporate, Civil, complaint, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, DOJ, records, FOIA, office, Washington, united


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Case 1:17-cv-01064 Document Filed 06/05/17 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,
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, 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-01064 Document Filed 06/05/17 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public
inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department 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 April 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the DOJ seeking the
following:
All records discussing the policy practice settling DOJ lawsuits against
corporate defendants requiring donations Raza, the Urban League,
the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.
The time frame the request was identified January 2013 through January 20, 2017. April 10, 2017, DOJ confirmed writing that Plaintiff request had been
referred the DOJ components most likely have responsive records the Executive Office
for United States Trustees, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, and the Civil Division.
Defendant subsequently designated the request with FOIA Control Number 145-FOI-15351. April 27, 2017 one Defendant components, the Civil Division, responded inform Plaintiff had completed its search for records and located responsive records, and state its belief that responsive records are likely maintained the DOJ Office the
Associate Attorney General OAAG instead. Plaintiff unaware whether the Civil Division
communicated its belief about the OAAG possession records further within DOJ. any
event, Plaintiff did not appeal the Civil Division April 27, 2017 determination, and does not
challenge that component search for records this lawsuit.
Case 1:17-cv-01064 Document Filed 06/05/17 Page
For all Defendant components other than the civil division, 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) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any adequately specific, adverse determination.
COUNT
Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
10.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply
with FOIA.
11. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff requests within twenty (20) business
days receipt. Accordingly, Defendants determinations were due about April 24, 2017,
the latest. minimum, Defendant was required 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).
12.
Because Defendant failed make substantive, appealable determination
whether comply with Plaintiff request within the time period required FOIA for all
Case 1:17-cv-01064 Document Filed 06/05/17 Page
components, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its administrative 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 Plaintiff FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records 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 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 2017
Respectfully submitted, Chris Fedeli
Chris Fedeli Bar No. 472919
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
cfedeli@judicialwatch.org
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff