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Judicial Watch • JW v State Kerry Iran complaint 00777

JW v State Kerry Iran complaint 00777

JW v State Kerry Iran complaint 00777

Page 1: JW v State Kerry Iran complaint 00777

Category:

Number of Pages:4

Date Created:March 20, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 11, 2019

Tags:00777, Iran, KERRY, Plaintiffs, complaint, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, State Department, request, document, records, department, FOIA, office, Washington


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Case 1:19-cv-00777 Document Filed 03/20/19 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 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 Defendant U.S. Department
State compel compliance with the Freedom oflnformation 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, 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 1:19-cv-00777 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page
agencies responses and disseminates both 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, N.W., Washington, 20520. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control ofrecords which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS May 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant seeking access the following records:
All records communications, including but not limited emails
(whether .gov non .gov email accounts), text message instant
chat, between former Secretary State John Kerry and officials
the State Department regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan
Action (also known the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal) and/or
meetings between Kerry and Iranian officials discuss the JCPOA.
The time frame for the request was identified May 2017 through the present. letter dated June 28, 2018, Defendant acknowledged receipt Plaintiffs
request May 16, 2018 and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned the tracking
number F-2018-03800.
Pursuant U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i), the Defendant was required determine
whether comply with Plaintiffs request within (20) working days after its receipt and notify
Plaintiff immediately its determination, the records thereof, and the right appeal any
adverse determination. Defendants determination was due about June 14, 2018. 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
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Case 1:19-cv-00777 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page
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.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
11.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply
with FOIA.
12. trigger FOIAs administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request within twenty (20) working
days ofreceiving the request, about June 14, 2018. minimum, Defendant was
required 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).
13.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiffs request
within the time period 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 searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt records responsive Plaintiffs FOIA request and Vaughn index any responsive
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Case 1:19-cv-00777 Document Filed 03/20/19 Page
records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing withhold
any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiffs 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: March 20, 2019
Respectfully submitted,
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC
Isl .Tames Petenon
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
jpeter on@ judicia1watch.org
Attorneys for Plaintiff
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