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Judicial Watch • JW v DOJ Fusion GPS Ohr complaint 01854

JW v DOJ Fusion GPS Ohr complaint 01854

JW v DOJ Fusion GPS Ohr complaint 01854

Page 1: JW v DOJ Fusion GPS Ohr complaint 01854

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:August 7, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:August 08, 2018

Tags:01854, Nellie, GPS, Bruce Ohr, Fusion, Ohr, Steele, requested, Attorney, complaint, justice, plaintiff, records, DOJ, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:18-cv-01854 Document Filed 08/07/18 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-01854 Document Filed 08/07/18 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 May 29, 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant certified
mail, seeking copies of:
All records from the Office the Deputy Attorney General relating Fusion
GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele, including but not limited
all records communications about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr and
Christopher Steele.
All records from the office former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr relating Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national Christopher Steele,
including but not limited all records communications (including those former
Associate Deputy Attorney General Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials, Nellie Ohr
and Christopher Steele.
All records from the office the Director the Organized Crime Drug
Enforcement Task Force relating Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr and/or British national
Christopher Steele, including but not limited all records communications (including
those former OCDETF Director Bruce Ohr) about and with Fusion GPS officials,
Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele.
The time frame for the requested records January 2016 the present. separate e-mail and letter dated June 2018, Defendant acknowledged
receiving Plaintiff FOIA request June 2018 and assigned Tracking Number DOJ-2018005947. The letter identified the DOJ components most likely have the requested records
FOIA/PA, Office Information Policy for the Department Justice and FOIA/PA, Executive
Office for Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.
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Case 1:18-cv-01854 Document Filed 08/07/18 Page July 2018, the Office Information Policy for the Department Justice
responded letter behalf the Office the Deputy Attorney General which
acknowledged receipt Plaintiff FOIA request June 2018. The Office the Deputy
Attorney General also represented, part, that would need beyond the ten additional days
provided FOIA respond Plaintiff FOIA request. date, Plaintiff has not received any
other communication from the Office the Deputy Attorney General regarding the status
Plaintiff FOIA request.
Additionally, the Executive Office for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement
Task Forces responded letter dated July 16, 2018 which acknowledged receipt
Plaintiff FOIA request June 2018 and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned
number FOIA-OCD2018-0029.
Pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i), the Defendant was required determine
whether comply with Plaintiff request within (20) working days after its receipt the
request and notify Plaintiff immediately its determination, the records thereof, and the right appeal any adverse determination. Defendant determination was due July 20, 2018 with
the additional ten days. U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(viii)(II)(aa).
10. 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)
11.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
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Case 1:18-cv-01854 Document Filed 08/07/18 Page
12.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
13. 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 July 20, 2018. 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).
14.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff request
within the time 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 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
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Case 1:18-cv-01854 Document Filed 08/07/18 Page U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(E); and (5) grant Plaintiff such other relief the Court deems just and
proper.
Dated: August 2018
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Ramona Cotca
Ramona Cotca (D.C. Bar No. 501159)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
rcotca@judicialwatch.org
Counsel for Plaintiff
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