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Judicial Watch • JW v State Guatemala complaint 00968

JW v State Guatemala complaint 00968

JW v State Guatemala complaint 00968

Page 1: JW v State Guatemala complaint 00968

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:April 8, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 08, 2019

Tags:Guatemalan, guatemala, 00968, complaint, defendant, FOIA


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Case 1:19-cv-00968 Document Filed 04/05/19 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
WDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024,
Plaintiff,
U.S. DEPARTMENT STATE,
The Executive Office
Office the Legal Adviser, Suite 5.600
600 19th Street
Washington, 20522,
Defendant.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against the U.S. Department State
(Defendant) compel compliance with the Freedom oflnformation 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. 139l(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 1:19-cv-00968 Document Filed 04/05/19 Page
responses and disseminates its findings and the requested records the American public
inform them about what their government to.
Defendant U.S. Department State agency the United States
Government headquartered 2201 Street NW, Washington, 20520. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS May 2018, Plaintiff served FOIA request Defendant seeking access
the following public records:
Any and all records created, received, reviewed, and/or
maintained any official, employee, representative the United States Mission the United Nations
regarding, concerning, related the Comision
Internacional Contra Impunidad Guatemala
(CICIG) and/or CICIG Commissioner Ivan VelasquezGomez.
Any and all records communication between any
official, employee, representative the United States
Mission the United Nations and any official,
employee, representative the CICIG.
Any and all records created preparation for, during,
and/or pursuant any meetings and/or teleconferences
between any official, employee, representative the
United States Mission the United Nations and
Guatemalan Minister Foreign Affairs Sandra JovelPolanco.
Any and all records communication between any
official, employee, representative the United States
Mission the United Nations and any official,
employee, representative the Guatemalan Ministry Foreign Affairs.
The time frame the request was identified January 2016 the present.
-2-
Case 1:19-cv-00968 Document Filed 04/05/19 Page letter dated July 20, 2018, Defendaut acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs
request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned FOIA Control Number F-201803560. August 15, 2018, Plaintiff served second FOIA request Defendaut
seeking access the following public records:
Any and all records communication between
Ambassador Todd Robinson and International
Commission against Impunity Guatemala (CICIG)
Commissioner Ivan Velasquez.
Any and all records communication between
Ambassador Todd Robinson and former Guatemalan
Attorney General Thelma Aldana.
Any and all records communication between any
employee representative the Department State
assigned the Bureau Western Hemisphere Affairs the U.S. Embassy Guatemala and former White
House Director Media Affairs Helen Aguirre Ferre.
Any and all records communication between any
employee representative the Department State
assigned the Bureau Western Hemisphere Affairs the U.S. Embassy Guatemala and any U.S.
Government employee assigned permanently
temporarily any component the Executive Office
the President that mention pertain Guatemalan
President Jimmy Morales and/or the activities the
CICIG.
The time frame the August 15, 2018 request was identified January 2016 the
present. letter dated August 30, 2018, Defendaut acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs
request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned FOIA Control Number F-201806203. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) produce the
requested records demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from
-3-
Case 1:19-cv-00968 Document Filed 04/05/19 Page
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.
COUNTI
(Violation ofFOIA, U.S.C. 552)
10.
Plaintiffrealleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
11.
Defendant violation ofFOIA.
12.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed Defendants violation IA, and
Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply with it.
13. trigger FOIAs administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required make final determination Plaintiffs FOIA requests within the time limits set
FOIA. Accordingly, Defendants determination was due August 17, 2018 the latest, with
respect the May 2018 request, and September 28, 2018, the latest, with respect the
August 15, 2018 request.
14.
Because Defendant failed make final determination Plaintiffs FOIA
requests within the time limits set IA, Plaintiff deemed have exhausted its
administrative appeal remedies.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs requests and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive the requests; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all non-exempt records
responsive the requests and Vaughn indices any responsive records withheld under claim
exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold any and all non-exempt records
responsive the FOIA requests; (4) grant Plaintiff award attorneys fees and other
-4-
Case 1:19-cv-00968 Document Filed 04/05/19 Page
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: April 2019
Respectfully submitted,
Isl Eric Lee
Eric Lee
D.C. Bar No. 1049158
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Counsel for Plaintiff
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