Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jubic v. DOI / FOIA Appeal / UPDATE 8/19/10

Permission GRANTED to Proceed in the Matter as a Poor Person (Filing Fee Waived) and Case assigned to Judge Roberts, Civil Action # 101361
Am Looking Forward to a Hearing Date - Will Post it Here When Known
Update 8/12/10
Received in USDC Clerks Office (Angela D. Caesar) on Aug. 4, 2010 / USPS Tracking # 7004 1350 0001 9564 3185


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


CHRISTINE A JUBIC,
118 River Rd.
Johnsonville, NY 12094,
Plaintiff, CASE#____________________

v. Assigned To:________________

Description: FOIA / Privacy Act
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
OF THE INTERIOR
1849 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20240,
Defendants.


COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

Plaintiff Christine A Jubic, brings this action against Defendant The United States Department of

the Interior (DOI) to compel compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC ss. 552 (“FOIA”). As

grounds therefore, Plaintiff alleges as follows:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. The Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 5 USC ss. 552 (a)(4)(B) and 28 USC ss.

1331.

2. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 USC ss. 1391(e).


PARTIES

3. Plaintiff is a natural-born citizen of the United States currently residing in County of Renssalear,

State of New York.

4. Defendant Department of the Interior is an agency of the United States

whos task it is, among other things, to oversee all operations of the Bureau of Land

Management and is also the agency in charge of FOIA requests and/or appeals

regarding records and record-keeping kept by the BLM .

STATEMENT OF FACTS

5. On October 22, 2009, , Plaintiff sent a FOIA request to the BLM seeking

access to the following records:

(1) The number and location of all the wild horses and burros (if any) that were rounded up in the summer and fall gathers of 2009 of the Golden Gate, Seaman, White River and Caliente Herds

(2) The names and locations of all long and short term holding facilities where these particular herd-members are being kept, and whether said facilities are owned by the BLM or are leased under private contract

(3) The herd-members brand numbers along with descriptions or photographs or any other information that would identify the individual horses or burros removed from the above mentioned range lands
(See FOIA Request Dated 10/22/09, attached as Ex. ______)

6. On November 6, 2009, I did receive acknowledgement that my request had been

received by the Department of the Interior (DOI), and also informing me that my

request was being forwarded to the BLM.

(See Letter from the DOI dated 11/06/09, attached as Ex.______)

7. On November 16, 2009 I did receive a reply from BLM Ely District Office informing

me that “it was determined” that they do not have the information I requested, and

further informing me that my request was being forwarded to Arthur A. DiGrazia, Jr.,

Wild Horse & Burro Operations Manager of the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and

Burro Corrals in Ridgecrest California.

(See Letter from BLM Ely Dated 11/16/09, attached as Ex._______)

8. On or about the 20th of November, 2009, I did receive a letter from a Hector

Villalobos, Field Manager of the Ridgecrest Holding Facility, dated November 6, 2009
who informs me that “to his knowledge” that “all wild horses gathered during the 2009

season were transported to this facility and no other.” Additionally, Mr. Villalobos

informs me also that the facility has only processed “15 Wild horses to date.“

(See Villalobos / Ridgecrest letter dated 11/06/09, attached as Ex.________)

9. In addition to the barebones allegations contained in Mr Villalobos’s Nov. 6, 2009
letter, he did provide me with two “generic” unsigned documents not printed on

any official letter-head;

(1) Document 1 indicated that a total of 689 horses had been gathered from the

Golden Gate, Seaman, White River and Caliente Herd Areas, (See Doc. 1, attached as

Ex._____(a))

(2) Document 2 indicated a series of 15 numbers alleged to represent the 15 horses

that were allegedly processed at Ridgecrest Facility (See Doc. 2, attached as

Ex._______(b))

10. On November 23, 2009, I did appeal the response to my FOIA request by Mr.

Villalobos as a partial denial of same, and submitted said appeal to Department of

the Interior, and did so on the grounds:

The information so provided to me by Mr. Villalobos is insufficient as does not give any information as to the descriptions, brand numbers, processing records, etc., nor does it give any information as to the whereabouts of the 689 horses alleged to have been received and/or processed by Ridgecrest Facility. Since the whole purpose of my submitting the FOIA request was to ascertain the whereabouts of these horses, the response of Mr. Villalobos can be seen as wholly inadequate and insufficient to ascertain same.

(See Appeal dated Nov. 23, 2009, attached as Ex._________)

11. On June 17, 2010, I did receive notice from the Defendant DOI that my appeal

(No. 2010-068)

was received and was currently under review. Also, the letter admitted that the

Department “has not responded to your appeal within the time limits proscribed by 5

USC ss. 552(a)(6)(A)(ii)” and informing me also of my right to seek judicial review

under 5 USC ss. 552(a)(4)(B).

(See DOI Letter dated June 17, 2010, attached as Ex._________)


COUNT 1
(Violation of FOIA)

12. Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 11 (A) as if fully stated herein.

13. Defendant DOI has violated FOIA by failing to reply to my appeal within the

twenty (20) day time period required by 5 USC ss. 552(a)(6)(A)(I) or otherwise deny

the existence of such records or assert such records are exempt from production

under 5 USC ss. 552(b).

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court: (1) Declare Defendants

failure to comply with the FOIA to be unlawful; (2) Order Defendant to search for

and produce by a date certain any and all non-exempt records responsive to

Plaintiffs FOIA requests and a Vaughn index of responsive records subject to a claim

of exemption; (3) enjoin Defendant from continuing to withhold any and all non-

exempt records responsive to Plaintiffs FOIA requests; and (4) grant Plaintiff any

such other and further relief that the Court may deem just and proper.


Dated:________________________ Respectfully Submitted,

_____________________________________
Christine A. Jubic, Plaintiff Pro Se
118 River Rd. 1st Fl.
Johnsonville, NY 12094
(518) 753-7791

2 comments:

Suzanne said...

It posted just fine. Hope you get something worthwhile!

sandra longley said...

Good Job!!!This is what we need dogged perseverance, that is the only way we will catch them in the lies..by not letting them wear us down!