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Judicial Watch • JW v Treasury Wynn complaint 01827

JW v Treasury Wynn complaint 01827

JW v Treasury Wynn complaint 01827

Page 1: JW v Treasury Wynn complaint 01827

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:June 21, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:July 01, 2019

Tags:Wynn, 01827, orfanedes, produce, Department of the Treasury, Pennsylvania, requested, treasury, complaint, responsive, defendant, filed, plaintiff, request, document, records, department, FOIA, states, Washington, united


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Case 1:19-cv-01827 Document Filed 06/21/19 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 THE TREASURY,
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, 20220,
Defendant.
Civil Action No.
COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Judicial Watch, Inc. Plaintiff brings this action against Defendant United
States Department the Treasury Defendant 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 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
Case 1:19-cv-01827 Document Filed 06/21/19 Page
both its findings and the requested records the American public inform them about what
their government to.
Defendant agency the United States Government headquartered 1500
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, 20220. Defendant has possession, custody, and
control records which Plaintiff seeks access.
STATEMENT FACTS March 20, 2019, Plaintiff submitted FOIA request Defendant, seeking
access the following records:
Any and all records concerning, regarding, relating
the June 2018 meeting between former Wynn Resorts
Ltd. CEO Steve Wynn (Wynn) and Department the
Treasury officials, including but not limited Daniel
Kowalski. Such records include, but are not limited to,
letters, emails, text messages, calendar entries, and notes
memos about the meeting.
Any and all communications between Wynn and
Department the Treasury officials concerning, regarding, relating Opportunity Zone tax incentives
investments Qualified Opportunity Funds under
Section 1400Z-2 the Internal Revenue Code. Such
records include letters, emails, text messages and notes
memos communications. The time frame this request March 2018 October 31, 2018.
After initial dispute about whether Plaintiff adequately described the requested
records, Defendant acknowledged receiving Plaintiff request letter dated May 2019.
the acknowledgment letter, Defendant advised Plaintiff that the request had been assigned
reference number 2019-03-219 and invoked FOIA unusual circumstances provision grant
itself additional days which issue determination. the date this Complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) produce the
requested records demonstrate that the requested records are lawfully exempt from
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Case 1:19-cv-01827 Document Filed 06/21/19 Page
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.
Defendant violation FOIA.
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 the applicable time limit
provisions U.S.C. 552(a)(6). 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). Accordingly, Defendant
determination was due about June 17, 2019, including the 10-day extension Defendant
granted itself.
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).
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Case 1:19-cv-01827 Document Filed 06/21/19 Page
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: June 21, 2019
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Paul Orfanedes
Paul Orfanedes
D.C. Bar No. 429716
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
425 Third Street SW, Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Tel: (202) 646-5172
Email: porfanedes@judicialwatch.org
Counsel for Plaintiff
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