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Judicial Watch • JW v State & USAID complaint 00729

JW v State & USAID complaint 00729

JW v State & USAID complaint 00729

Page 1: JW v State & USAID complaint 00729

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Number of Pages:6

Date Created:April 19, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:April 19, 2017

Tags:00729, Foundations, Soros, macedonia, USAID, Development, defendants, requests, society, Foundation, complaint, responsive, filed, State Department, plaintiff, request, document, records, FOIA, department, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-00729 Document Filed 04/19/17 Page THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
425 Third Street S.W., 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,
and
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT,
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, 20534,
Defendants.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. brings this action against Defendants U.S. Department
State and the U.S. Agency for International Development 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).
Case 1:17-cv-00729 Document Filed 04/19/17 Page
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
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 State Department agency the
United States Government headquartered 2201 Street, N.W., Washington, 20520. The
State Department has possession, custody, and control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
Defendant U.S. Agency for International Development USAID agency the United States Government headquartered 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,
Washington, 20534. USAID has possession, custody, and control records which
Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS February 16, 2017, Plaintiff submitted identical FOIA requests both
Defendants seeking access the following records:
Any and all records regarding, concerning, related any grants,
contracts, other allocations and/or disbursements funds the Department
State the Foundation Open Society-- Macedonia and/or any the Foundations
subsidiaries. This request includes, but not limited to, any and all related
proposals, requests for funding, assessments, evaluations, payment authorizations, similar records, well any and all related records communication between
any official, employee, representative the Department State and any official,
employee, representative the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID).
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Case 1:17-cv-00729 Document Filed 04/19/17 Page
Any and all records communication between any official, employee,
representative the Department State and any officer, employee,
representative the Foundation Open Society-Macedonia and/or any the
Foundations subsidiaries affiliated organizations. This request includes, but
not limited to, any responsive records communication sent from directed
U.S. Ambassador Macedonia Jess Baily.
Any and all assessments, evaluations, analyses, similar records regarding,
concerning, related the political activities the Foundation Open SocietyMacedonia and/or any the Foundations subsidiaries affiliated organizations.
Any and all cables, teletypes, other messages transmitted via the State
Departments SMART system sent from any U.S. Government employee
contractor operating under the Chief Missions authority the U.S. Embassy
Skopje that pertain and/or reference the Foundation Open Society- Macedonia
and/or any the Foundations subsidiaries affiliated organizations.
For purposes this request, subsidiaries and affiliated organizations the
Foundation Open Society Macedonia include, but are not limited to, the following
entities:
The Macedonian Civic Education Centre
The East-West Management Institute
The Association for Democratic Initiatives
The National Youth Council
Metamorphosis
Plusinfo
Meta
Libertas
Nova
Maktel
Prizma
Okno
The Media Development Centre
The Center for Civil Communications
The Macedonian Civic Education Center
HERA
CIVIL
IZLEZ
NVO lnfocentar
Ploshtad Sloboda (Freedom Square)
Kontrapunkt
Faculty for Things You Don Learn School
Reactor
The Macedonian Center for Training
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Case 1:17-cv-00729 Document Filed 04/19/17 Page
The Forum Center for Strategic Research and Documentation
The Youth Educational Forum
Citizens for European Macedonia (CEM)
The Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI)
The time frame for the requests was identified January 2015 the present. The request the State Department was submitted facsimile and certified U.S. Mail. The request
USAID was submitted e-mail and certified U.S. Mail. letter dated February 22, 2017, the State Department acknowledged receipt
Plaintiff request February 16, 2017 and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned
Case Control Number F-2017-03378. letter dated February 17, 2017, the USAID acknowledged receipt
Plaintiff request dated February 16. 2017, and advised Plaintiff that the request had been
assigned tracking number F-00108-17. the date this Complaint, both the State Department and USAID have
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 Defendants
intend 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
10.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
11.
Plaintiff being irreparably harmed reason Defendants violation FOIA,
and Plaintiff will continue irreparably harmed unless Defendants are compelled comply
with FOIA.
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Case 1:17-cv-00729 Document Filed 04/19/17 Page
12. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendants were
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff request within twenty (20) working
days receiving the request, about March 17, 2017. minimum, Defendants were
required to: (i) gather and review the requested documents; (ii) determine and communicate
Plaintiff the scope any responsive records Defendants 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 Comm 711 F.3d 180, 188-89 (D.C. Cir. 2013).
13.
Because Defendants have failed determine whether comply with Plaintiff
requests 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 Defendants
conduct searches for any and all records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests and demonstrate
that they employed search methods reasonably likely lead the discovery records
responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests; (2) order Defendants produce, date certain, any
and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests and Vaughn indices any
responsive records withheld under claim exemption; (3) enjoin Defendants from continuing
withhold any and all non-exempt records responsive Plaintiff FOIA requests; (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.
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Case 1:17-cv-00729 Document Filed 04/19/17 Page
Dated: April 19, 2017
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ James Peterson
James Peterson
D.C. Bar No. 450171
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
(202) 646-5172
Counsel for Plaintiff
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