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Judicial Watch • JW v State USAID Soros Albania complaint 01012

JW v State USAID Soros Albania complaint 01012

JW v State USAID Soros Albania complaint 01012

Page 1: JW v State USAID Soros Albania complaint 01012

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Number of Pages:6

Date Created:May 26, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:May 30, 2017

Tags:Albania, 01012, subsidiaries, Soros, USAID, defendants, requests, society, Foundation, complaint, government, defendant, filed, State Department, plaintiff, request, document, records, FOIA, department, Washington


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Case 1:17-cv-01012 Document Filed 05/26/17 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-01012 Document Filed 05/26/17 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 March 31, 2017, Plaintiff submitted FOIA requests Defendant State
Department seeking access the following records:
Any and all records regarding, concerning, relating
any contracts, grants other allocations/disbursements
funds the State Department the Foundation Open
Society-Albania (FOSA) and/or its personnel and/or any
FOSA subsidiaries. Such records shall include, but not limited proposals, contracts, requests for funding,
payment authorizations, invoices, and similar budget
records, well any and all related records
communication between State Department officials,
employees, representatives and officials, employees,
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Case 1:17-cv-01012 Document Filed 05/26/17 Page
representative the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID).
Any and all records communication between any
officials, employees representatives the State
Department, including but not limited U.S. Ambassador
Donald Lu, and any officials, employees representatives Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries
and/or affiliated organizations.
Any and all assessments, evaluations, reports similar
records relating the work Foundation Open SocietyAlbania and/or its subsidiaries affiliated organizations.
Any and all records communications transmitted via the
State Departments SMART system sent from any
employee the U.S. Government operating under the
authority the Chief Mission Tirana that pertain
Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or
affiliated organizations.
The time frame the request was identified January 2015 the present.
That same day, March 31, 2017, Plaintiff also submitted FOIA requests
Defendant USAID seeking access the following records:
Any and all records regarding, concerning, relating
any contracts, grants other allocations/disbursements
funds the State Department the Foundation Open
Society-Albania (FOSA) and/or its personnel and/or any
FOSA subsidiaries. Such records shall include, but not limited proposals, contracts, requests for funding,
payment authorizations, invoices, and similar budget
records, well any and all related records
communication between USAID officials, employees,
representatives and officials, employees, representative the U.S. Department State State Department
Any and all records communication between any
officials, employees representatives USAID and any
officials, employees representatives Foundation Open
Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or affiliated
organizations.
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Case 1:17-cv-01012 Document Filed 05/26/17 Page
Any and all assessments, evaluations, reports similar
records relating the work Foundation Open SocietyAlbania and/or its subsidiaries affiliated organizations.
Any and all records communications transmitted via the
State Departments SMART system sent from any
employee the U.S. Government operating under the
authority the Chief Mission Tirana that pertain
Foundation Open Society-Albania, its subsidiaries and/or
affiliated organizations.
The time frame the request was identified January 2015 the present. letter dated April 13, 17, 2017, USAID acknowledged receipt Plaintiff
request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned tracking number F-001171-17. letter dated April 17, 2017, the State Department acknowledged receipt
Plaintiff request and advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned Case Control Number
F-2017-09463.
10. 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
11.
Plaintiff realleges paragraphs through fully stated herein.
12.
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-01012 Document Filed 05/26/17 Page
13. trigger FOIA administrative exhaustion requirement, Defendants were
required determine whether comply with Plaintiff request within twenty (20) working
days receiving the request, about May 11, 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).
14.
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-01012 Document Filed 05/26/17 Page
Dated: May 26, 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
jpeterson@judicialwatch.org
Counsel for Plaintiff
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