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Judicial Watch • JW v. DOJ Perkins Coie complaint 02617

JW v. DOJ Perkins Coie complaint 02617

JW v. DOJ Perkins Coie complaint 02617

Page 1: JW v. DOJ Perkins Coie complaint 02617

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:November 13, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:November 14, 2018

Tags:Coie, 02617, Perkins, produce, Plaintiffs, Pennsylvania, complaint, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, FBI, records, DOJ, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:18-cv-02617 Document Filed 11/13/18 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 Judicial Watch, Inc. (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 oflaw. part its mission,
Plaintiff regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes
Case 1:18-cv-02617 Document Filed 11/13/18 Page
the responses receives and disseminates its findings and any responsive records the
American public inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department Justice (Defendant DOJ) agency the
United States Government and headquartered 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, 20530-0001. information and belief, Defendant has possession, custody, and control
records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS October 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request the Federal Bureau
Investigation (FBI), component Defendant, seeking the following records:
All records concerning any and all meetings between former
FBI general counsel James Baker and one more attorneys
from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committees
private law firm during 2016.
The request also referenced specific media report that Mr. Baker met with
lawyers from the Perkins Coie law firm talk about allegations Donald Trump Russia
collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the FBI secured search warrant targeting
then-candidate Trumps campaign.
The FBI responded Plaintiffs request letter dated October 16, 2018 and
advised Plaintiff that the request has been assigned FOIPA Request No. 1419245-000. 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 they intend produce
withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any
adequately specific, adverse determination.
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Case 1:18-cv-02617 Document Filed 11/13/18 Page
COUNTI
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
10.
Defendant has violated FOIA failing and/or refusing employ search methods
reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs request and,
accordingly, failing and/or refusing produce any and all non-exempt records responsive the
request.
11.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendants violation FOIA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with
FOIA.
12.
Defendant was required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request
within twenty (20) working days ofreceiving the request. Accordingly, Defendants
determinations were due November 2018 the latest. this date Defendant was required
to: (i) gather and review the requested documents; (ii) make and communicate Plaintiff
determination about the scope any responsive records Defendant intended produce
withhold and the reasons for any withholdings; and (iii) inform Plaintiff that may appeal any
adverse determination. See, e.g., Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Wash. Federal
Election Comm 711 F.3d 180, 188-89 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
13.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request
within the time required FOIA, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its administrative appeal
remedies. U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C)(i).
14.
Plaintiff has adequate remedy law.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs request and demonstrate that
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Case 1:18-cv-02617 Document Filed 11/13/18 Page
employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive the
request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records
Plaintiffs request and Vaughn index any responsive records withheld under claim
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 13, 2018
Respectfully submitted,
isl Tames Petenon
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Phone: (202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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