Letters Blogatory FOIA Update: I’ve Filed A Motion Seeking Production Of A Vaughn Index

Those of you who have been following my FOIA suit against the State Department know that so far the whole thing has been an exercise in frustration. I submitted my FOIA request nearly two years ago, and even though I sued the government several months ago, I still have not been told whether any responsive documents exist; whether the government intends to object to the production of any particular document; or when I can expect to receive the documents. The government answered my complaint in May, but its answer shed no light on any of these questions.

Now I am asking the State Department to produce a Vaughn index, an index of each document that it is withholding along with its rationale for withholding. My aim is just to get the government to take a position so that I can get a ruling from the judge. If you read my memorandum you will see that courts sometime grant motions for Vaughn indexes at the early stages of FOIA cases and sometimes not; I think I have the better of the argument. But in any event, I think it is important to highlight the government’s nearly two years of inaction, especially given that the statute requires a response within twenty days. If nothing else, at least let the government explain why it should not have to produce an index given its lengthy delays. Let’s get the ball rolling!

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2012), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

2 thoughts on “Letters Blogatory FOIA Update: I’ve Filed A Motion Seeking Production Of A Vaughn Index

  1. USMS Agency’s Polic Officers in New York unlawfully invaded my Bronx County New York home WITHOUT search warrant; probable cause; reasonable cause; exigent circumstances and etc with their guns displayed and caused property damages and legal fees to me based upon a Charlotte North Carolina State’s Reliable Confidential Informant making statements against my New York Home.

    Civil Rights case against USMS Agency’s police in New York: USMS Agency claim it was a mistake to invade my home and conduct search and then offered me $30,000. I REJECTED!

    Federal Judge’s order compelled Government to produce documentation regarding the North Carolina State’s Confidential Informant. Government REFUSED to do so. Then Federal Judges granted the Government’s Summary Judgment motion under Qualified Immunity by claiming that USMS Agency Police Officers’ mistake was caused by the North Carolina State’s Confidential Informant.

    FOIA civil case in Washington DC: Federal Judge’s order granted the Government’s Summary Judgment motion by claiming that under FOIA’s exemption the Government can withhold responsive documents regarding the North Carolina State’s Reliable Confidential Informant. The Government’s Declaration is considered to be used in the place of the Vaugh Index. (13 Civ 1115 (RMC))

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