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Judicial Watch • JW v State Rice FOIA complaint 00205

JW v State Rice FOIA complaint 00205

JW v State Rice FOIA complaint 00205

Page 1: JW v State Rice FOIA complaint 00205

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Number of Pages:9

Date Created:January 31, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:June 14, 2017

Tags:Rice, 00205, searches, Benghazi Talking Points, Susan Rice, complaint, responsive, Benghazi, filed, State Department, request, records, FOIA, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-00205 Document Filed 01/31/17 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, 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 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, 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 1:17-cv-00205 Document Filed 01/31/17 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 records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS December 2016, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant seeking
access the following records: All records that concern relate the processing FOIA Request No. F-201408848, served the State Department Judicial Watch, Inc. May 13, 2014.
Any and all tasking, tracking, and reporting records for searches conducted
response the request should considered responsive. Forms DS-1748 and any
search slips, search tasker, and search details, also should considered
responsive. All internal State Department communications that concern relate the processing search for records responsive FOIA Request No. F-2014-08848, including
any directions guidance about how and where conduct the searches, whether and
how search the emails U.S. Secretary State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and any
issues, problems, questions regarding the searches and/or search results. All records that concern relate the State Department discovery, prior
February 2015, that additional searches for record responsive FOIA Request No.
F-2014-08848 were [sic] necessary. this regard, the State Department represented February 2015 status report filed litigation regarding FOIA Request No. F2014-08848 that: the course preparing additional information provide Plaintiff for
purposes settlement discussions, Defendant has discovered that additional
searches for documents potentially responsive the FOIA [request] must
conducted.1
Any records, including communications, regarding this discovery referenced the
status report should considered responsive. All records that concern, relate to, identify the location(s) source(s)
Joint Status Report, Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Dep State, Case No. 14-cv-2142 (RCL) (D. District
Columbia) (Dkt. Entry No. 11) para.
-2-
Case 1:17-cv-00205 Document Filed 01/31/17 Page
potentially responsive records that necessitated the additional searches referenced the February 2015 status report.
For convenience, Plaintiff attached copy Request No. F-2014-08848 with the FOIA
request issue this lawsuit, was copy the State Department initial, November 12,
2014 response the request and the February 2015 status report.
According U.S. Postal Service records, the request was delivered Defendant December 12, 2016. letter dated December 14, 2016, Defendant acknowledged receipt Plaintiff
request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned Case Control Number F-201617249. 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.
COUNT
Violation FOIA, U.S.C. 552
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
10.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendant violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendant compelled comply
with FOIA.
11. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendant was
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff request within twenty (20) working
days receiving the request, about January 2017. minimum, Defendant was
-3-
Case 1:17-cv-00205 Document Filed 01/31/17 Page
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).
12.
Because Defendant failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff 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 Plaintiff FOIA request and demonstrate
that employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records responsive Plaintiff FOIA request; (2) order Defendant produce, date certain, any and all nonexempt 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 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 31, 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Ramona Cotca
Ramona Cotca (D.C. Bar No. 501159)
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
rcotca@judicialwatch.org
Counsel for Plaintiff
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