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Judicial Watch • JW v State Memorandum and discovery 01242

JW v State Memorandum and discovery 01242

JW v State Memorandum and discovery 01242

Page 1: JW v State Memorandum and discovery 01242


Number of Pages:3

Date Created:March 29, 2016

Date Uploaded to the Library:March 29, 2016

Tags:Departments, Discovery, Memorandum, 01242, official, Clintons, Sullivan, Civil, search, Plaintiffs, order, documents, government, Secretary, defendant, filed, plaintiff, State Department, document, department, FOIA, district, Judge

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Case 1:14-cv-01242-RCL Document Filed 03/29/16 Page
Civil Action No. 14-1242 (RCL)
This matter comes before the Court plaintiffs motion for limited discovery regarding
the adequacy the State Departments search for responsive documents this Freedom
Information Act case.
The Court set forth the proper legal standards for such discovery prior case which
the Environmeltal Protection Agency had excluded its Administrator from search senior
official files response FOIA request, did not search personal e-mail accounts where
official government business was being conducted, and ultimately disclosed that the
Administrator was sending and receiving e-mails her dogs name-which was not subject
the FOIA search. See Landmark Legal Found. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 959 Supp. 175
(D.D.C. 2013). Where there evidence government wrong-doing and bad faith, here,
limited discovery appropriate, even though exceedingly rare FOIA cases. understanding the facts and circumstances surrounding Secretary Clintons
extraordinary and exclusive use her account conduct official
government business, well other officials use this account and their own personal e-mail
accounts conduct official government business required before the Court can determine
whether the search conducted here reasonably produced all responsive documents. Plaintiff
Case 1:14-cv-01242-RCL Document Filed 03/29/16 Page
certainly entitled dispute the State Departments position that has obligation produce
these documents because did not possess control them the time the FOIA request was
made. The State Departments willingness now search documents voluntarily turned over
the Department Secretary Clinton and other officials hardly transforms such search into
adequate reasonable one. Plaintiff not relying speculation surmise the
State Department claims. Plaintiff relying constantly shifting admissions the
Government and the former government officials. Whether the State Departments actions will
ultimately determined the Court not acting good faith remains seen this
time, but plaintiff clearly entitled discovery and record before this Court rules that
The Court must observe that the Government argues its opposition memorandum (page that the fact that State did not note that had not searched Secretary Clintons e-mails when responded Plaintiffs FOIA request was neither misrepresentation nor material
omission, because these documents were not its possession and control when the original
search was completed. The Government argues that this does not show lack good faith, but
that what remains seen, and the factual record must developed appropriately order
for this Court make that determination.
The Court does understand the Governments argument that the sheer volume pending
cases involving these issues burden and the Court aware that Judge Sullivan has already
ruled another case brought this plaintiff against this defendant-regarding other requested
documents-that will authorize limited discovery. See Judicial Watch Dept. State, Civil
Action No. 13-1363-EGS (filed Sept. 10, 2013). Briefing ongoing before Judge Sullivan.
When Judge Sullivan issues discovery order, the plaintiff shall-within ten days thereafter-
Case 1:14-cv-01242-RCL Document Filed 03/29/16 Page
file its specific proposed order detailing what additional proposed discovery, tailored this case, seeks have this Court order. Defendant shall respond ten days after plaintiffs submission.
Plaintiffs motion for limited discovery GRANTED.
Defendants motion for summary judgment DENIED, without prejudice filing
new motion after authorized discovery concluded. ORDERED.
yce Lamberth
United States District Judge
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