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Judicial Watch • JW v. State McCarrick 00127

JW v. State McCarrick 00127

JW v. State McCarrick 00127

Page 1: JW v. State McCarrick 00127

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:January 24, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:January 24, 2019

Tags:McCarrick, 00127, Cardinal, WDICIAL, Plaintiffs, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, State Department, request, document, records, department, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:19-cv-00127 Document Filed 01/18/19 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, N.W.
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. 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, 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-00127 Document Filed 01/18/19 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, W., Washington, 20520. Defendant has
possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS October 12, 2018, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant seeking
access the following records: All records related the appointment Cardinal Theodore
McCarrick official observer behalf the State
Department the Helsinki Accords Commission and/or serve any other State Department capacity. All records related the issuance U.S. diplomatic passport
Cardinal McCarrick, including but not limited to, records
communications between State Department officials about it. All records related the disbursement funds made Cardinal
McCarrick, other parties for services provided Cardinal
McCarrick, including but not limited expense reports and travel
vouchers, for work conducted connection with Governmentrelated activities. All materials used brief Cardinal McCarrick preparation for
any Government-related travel, including but not limited to,
memoranda, PowerPoint presentations, hand-outs, al.
The time frame for Plaintiffs FOIA request 1986 2016. letter dated November 29, 2018, Defendant acknowledged receipt
Plaintiffs request October 19, 2018 and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned
the tracking number F-2019-00711.
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
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Case 1:19-cv-00127 Document Filed 01/18/19 Page
Plaintiff immediately its determination, the records thereof, and the right appeal any
adverse determination. Defendants determination was due about November 21, 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
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 November 21, 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).
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Case 1:19-cv-00127 Document Filed 01/18/19 Page
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) order Defendant
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiffs 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
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: January 18, 2019
Respectfully submitted,
WDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Isl James Peterson
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
Attorneys for Plaintiff
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