FOIA: Next Moves

Having been unable to get the State Department to tell me whether it is willing to give me copies of the correspondence between it and Chevron concerning whether some of the public records I requested in my first FOIA request should be withheld on confidentiality grounds, I have now filed a motion asking the judge to allow me to serve what’s known as a supplemental complaint—a complaint that seeks to add to the case allegations about things that happened after the initial complaint. The proposed supplemental complaint challenges both the government’s refusal to give me the public records and the government’s refusal to grant me expedited treatment as a news media requester.

I have to say that I find the government’s inaction baffling. There can’t be more than a handful of letters at stake. At the end of the day the government will have to give me the documents in any case, I think. Surely it would be better for everyone, and cheaper for the government, just to give them to me than to engage in motion practice?

By the way, as I’m sure you know, I’m working for tips here. My FOIA case, while interesting to me and, I hope, to you, is something I do in my spare time and, needless to say, non-billable (though I do seek attorney’s fees in the complaint!) One way you could show support for Letters Blogatory is to nominate it for the 2014 ABA list of best legal blogs!

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 2d ed. 2016), 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.

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