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Judicial Watch • JW v DOJ entire Comey records complaint 00262

JW v DOJ entire Comey records complaint 00262

JW v DOJ entire Comey records complaint 00262

Page 1: JW v DOJ entire Comey records complaint 00262

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:February 5, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 13, 2018

Tags:Hardy, 00262, memos, Comey, requested, complaint, filed, plaintiff, request, FBI, records, DOJ, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:18-cv-00262 Document Filed 02/05/18 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
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 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 1:18-cv-00262 Document Filed 02/05/18 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. Defendant has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks
access. Defendant headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, 205300001.
STATEMENT FACTS the Second Declaration David Hardy, which was filed December
2017 CNN Federal Bureau Investigation, Case Number 17-cv-01167, Mr. Hardy
testifies:
The FBI confident that has identified and located the entire collection
documents comprising the Comey Memos. sure, however, the FBI
consulted with the Special Counsels Office and confirmed that the records
located and processed response this portion plaintiffs requests represent
the universe Comey Memos that exist. Also, explained our first
declaration, the National Security and Cyber Law Branch (NSCLB) the FBI
Office General Counsel was responsible for providing legal advice and
guidance within the Bureau regarding the Russian interference investigation.
Consequently, attorneys NSCLB were able confirm staff members
handling these FOIA requests that the collection memos located within the
larger collection former Director Comey records comprised the universe
the Comey Memos requested some the plaintiffs.
(emphasis added). December 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Federal Bureau Investigation, component Defendant, seeking copies all records located within the
larger collection former Director Comey records described the Second Declaration
David Hardy. letter dated December 14, 2017, the FBI acknowledged receiving Plaintiff
FOIA request and informed Plaintiff that had assigned the request FOIAPA Request Number
-2-
Case 1:18-cv-00262 Document Filed 02/05/18 Page
1391462-000. letter dated December 20, 2017, the FBI informed Plaintiff that had invoked
the 10-day extension time provision set forth U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(i). 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) inform Plaintiff that may
appeal any adequately specific, adverse determination.
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
10.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
11.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
12. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff request within the time limits set
FOIA. Accordingly, Defendant determination was due about January 31, 2018.
minimum, 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).
13.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff FOIA
-3-
Case 1:18-cv-00262 Document Filed 02/05/18 Page
request, 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 search 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 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 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 2018
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Michael Bekesha
Michael Bekesha
D.C. Bar No. 995749
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Phone: (202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
-4-