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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ HRC 302 complaint 01979

JW v. DOJ HRC 302 complaint 01979

JW v. DOJ HRC 302 complaint 01979

Page 1: JW v. DOJ HRC 302 complaint 01979

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:August 23, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:August 28, 2018

Tags:01979, HRC, hillary, complaint, justice, Hillary Clinton, clinton, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, FBI, DOJ, department, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:18-cv-01979 Document Filed 08/24/18 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. brings this action against Defendant U.S. Department
Justice compel compliance with the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C. 552. 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-01979 Document Filed 08/24/18 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, N.W., Washington, 205300001.
STATEMENT FACTS July 2016, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Federal Bureau
Investigation seeking all FD-302 forms and communications related the FBI investigation
former Secretary State Hillary Clinton use non-State.gov email account. After the FBI
failed respond Plaintiff FOIA request, Plaintiff sued. See Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S.
Department Justice, 16-cv-2046-TSC (D.D.C., October 13, 2016). date, the FBI has made productions records. Instead producing only
FD-302 forms and communications, the FBI has been producing all records contained within the
Hillary Clinton investigative file. According the FBI, now done processing all FD-302
forms and communications. However, more records exist within the investigative file.
Plaintiff believed the FBI would continue producing records Plaintiff until the
entire investigative file was processed and produced. Plaintiff also believed after all nonexempt, responsive records were produced, Plaintiff would have the opportunity challenge
withholdings contained within more than just FD-302 forms and communications. The FBI
disagreed.
Therefore, July 25, 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the FBI,
component Defendant, seeking the entire Hillary Clinton investigative file.
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Case 1:18-cv-01979 Document Filed 08/24/18 Page letter dated July 26, 2018, the FBI acknowledged receiving Plaintiff FOIA
request and assigned FOIPA Request Number 1411956-000.
10. letter dated August 10, 2018, the FBI informed Plaintiff that its request
currently being processed and that records are available the FBI FOIA library its website.
The FBI also informed Plaintiff that the available records represent interim release
information and that Plaintiff FOIA request will remain open while monthly releases are placed its website.
11.
The FBI response not final determination. has not (i) produced all records
responsive Plaintiff FOIA request demonstrated that the requested records are lawfully
exempt from production; (ii) notified Plaintiff the scope any responsive records the FBI
intends produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any adequately specific, adverse determinations.
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
12.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
13.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendant violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
14. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff FOIA request within the time limits set FOIA. Accordingly, Defendant determination with respect Plaintiff FOIA request was
due August 23, 2018. minimum, Defendant was obligated to: (i) gather and review the
requested records; (ii) determine and communicate Plaintiff the scope any responsive
records Defendant intended produce withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; and
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Case 1:18-cv-01979 Document Filed 08/24/18 Page
(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).
15.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff FOIA
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 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 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: August 24, 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
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