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Judicial Watch • JW v IRS 00237 IRS hard drives

JW v IRS 00237 IRS hard drives

JW v IRS 00237 IRS hard drives

Page 1: JW v IRS 00237 IRS hard drives

Category:IRS Scandal

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:February 18, 2015

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 27, 2015

Tags:Stamped1, File, Standard, Internal, Revenue, complaint, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, FOIA, Washington, court, IRS


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Case 1:15-cv-00237 Document Filed 02/18/15 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20024
Plaintiff,
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
1111 Constitution Avenue,
Washington, D.C. 20224
Defendant.
___________________________________
Civil Action No. __________________
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendant Internal Revenue Service 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, D.C. 20024. Plaintiff seeks promote transparency, integrity, and
accountability government and fidelity the rule law. part its mission, Plaintiff
regularly requests records from federal agencies pursuant FOIA. Plaintiff analyzes the
Case 1:15-cv-00237 Document Filed 02/18/15 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public inform
them about what their government to.
Defendant Internal Revenue Service agency the United States Government
and headquartered 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20224. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS July 18, 2014, Plaintiff sent FOIA request Defendant seeking access
[a]ny and all records concerning, regarding, related the destruction damaged hard drives
from IRS employee computers from January 2010 the present. letter dated August 18, 2014, Defendant acknowledged receiving the request
July 21, 2014 and assigned the request case number F14203-0174. letter dated October 14, 2014, Defendant notified Plaintiff that did not
find documents specifically responsive Plaintiff request. the same letter,
Defendant also stated that records that pertain the destruction damaged hard drives
are not maintained searchable manner, contradicting its earlier statement. letter dated November 18, 2014, Plaintiff appealed Defendant final
determination. appeal, Plaintiff requested that Defendant conduct another search and
provide full access the documents responsive its requests. Plaintiff also indicated
that extremely unlikely that searchable records exist this subject, within the time
frame Plaintiff FOIA request, given the extensive media coverage the lost
records result IRS employees hard drive crashes and the subsequent destruction
said hard drives.
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Case 1:15-cv-00237 Document Filed 02/18/15 Page related FOIA lawsuit filed Plaintiff against the Defendant this
Court, Case No. 1:13-cv-1559-EGS, Defendant submitted sworn declaration August
11, 2014 that describes, part, the process for the destruction damaged hard drives, and
specifically the damaged hard drive former IRS employee Lois Lerner. See generally
Declaration Stephen Manning dated July 18, 2014, Judicial Watch IRS, Case No.
1:13-cv-1559-EGS (DKT No. 26-3). The declaration specifically references standard
Internal Revenue Procedure disposal procedures for any equipment with data storage
capability. Id., 17. Defendant later submitted another declaration, which
referenced and attached IRS FORM 1933 and IRS Standard Form 120 Rev. Both forms
refer and concern the removal and disposal equipment with data storage capability
June 2012, including Blackberry device issued Lois Lerner. See Declaration
Thomas Kane dated August 22, 2014, Judicial Watch IRS, Case No.
1:13-cv-1559-EGS (DKT No. 28-2). minimum, IRS Form 1933, IRS Standard Form
120 Rev., the standard Internal Revenue Procedure disposal procedures and any other
records describing related the destruction damaged hard drives during the time
frame Plaintiff FOIA request are responsive Plaintiff request this case.
10. letter dated December 2014, Defendant acknowledged receiving
Plaintiff administrative appeal November 24, 2014.
11. December 10, 2014, Defendant denied Plaintiff administrative appeal
and its request conduct new search records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request.
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Case 1:15-cv-00237 Document Filed 02/18/15 Page
12. the date this complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) conduct search
reasonably calculated lead the discovery responsive records; (ii) produce the requested
records (iii) otherwise demonstrate that the requested records are exempt from production.
13.
Plaintiff has exhausted any and all administrative remedies pursuant U.S.C.
552(a)(6)(C).
COUNT
(Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552)
14.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
15.
Defendant unlawfully withholding records requested Plaintiff under FOIA.
16.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant unlawful
withholding records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request and will continue irreparably
harmed unless Defendant compelled conform its conduct the requirements the law.
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
the request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt 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
attorney 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.
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Case 1:15-cv-00237 Document Filed 02/18/15 Page
Dated: February 18, 2015
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Ramona Cotca
Ramona Cotca
D.C. Bar No. 501159
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street, SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
rcotca@judicialwatch.org
Attorney for Plaintiff
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