Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Freedom Watch, Inc. v. National Security Agency

United States District Court, D. Columbia

September 30, 2015

FREEDOM WATCH, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, et al., Defendants

          For FREEDOM WATCH, INC., Plaintiff: Larry E. Klayman, LEAD ATTORNEY, LAW OFFICES OF LARRY KLAYMAN, Washington, DC.

         For NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, Defendants: Eric J. Soskin, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, DC.

         MEMORANDUM OPINION [Dkt. # 17]

         RICHARD J. LEON, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Freedom Watch, Inc. brings this action under the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIE" ), see 5 U.S.C. § 552, seeking information from the National Security Agency (" NSA" ), Central Intelligence Agency (" CIA" ), and Department of Defense (" DAD" ), related to the August 6, 2011 shoot-down of a military helicopter in Afghanistan. Now before the Court is defendant NSA's Motion to Dismiss. See

Page 438

Mot. to Dismiss [Dot. # 5]. Having considered the parties' pleadings, relevant law, and the entire Afghanistan. Now before the Court is defendant NSA's Motion to Dismiss. See Mot. to record of this case, the Court will GRANT the NSA's Motion to Dismiss and DISMISS this action as to defendant NSA.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 21, 2014, plaintiff Freedom Watch sent a FOIE request to the three defendants, including the NSA. Compel. ¶ 5. The FOIE request sought " the production of agency records relating to the shoot-down of Extortion 17, carrying in it thirty U.S. military servicemen who died on August 6, 2011." Compel. ¶ 5.

         On August 8, 2014, the NSA responded to plaintiff's 54-part FOIE request. Compel. 36. With respect to items 39 and 48 of the request, the NSA notified Freedom Watch that the agency had " conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover any relevant documents," but did not locate any responsive documents other than plaintiff's request letter itself. Compel. 37. With respect to items 3, 4, 18, 19, and 53 of the FOIE request, the NSA informed Freedom Watch that it would deny plaintiffs request pursuant to the first exemption of FOIE because the information was classified, and that it was further exempted pursuant to the third exemption. Compel. 37. The NSA advised Freedom Watch of its right to " file an appeal to the NSA/CSS Freedom of Information Act Appeal Authority," stated that any such appeal must be postmarked within " 60 calendar days," and provided an address to which an appeal must be sent. Compel. 37-38. Freedom Watch did not appeal the NSA's decision, and the time for appeal has passed. See generally Memo. in Opp'n to Mot. to Dismiss (" Opp'n" ) [Dot. # 7]; Compel. 37.

         On August 21, 2014, Freedom Watch sued the NSA, CIA, and DAD. On October 6, 2014, the NSA moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court may dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must " liberally" construe the complaint " in favor of the plaintiff, who must be granted the benefit of all inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged." Schuler v. United States, 617 F.2d 605, 608, 199 U.S.App.D.C. 23 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (internal citation and quotation macros omitted). However, in considering the pleadings, the Court is not required to " accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations," or to rely on inferences " unsupported by the facts set out in the complaint." Kowal v. MCI Commons Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276, 305 U.S.App.D.C. 60 (D.C. Cir. 1994). Thus, to withstand dismissal, the allegations, when read in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, must " raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007).

         ANALYSIS

         Under FOIE, " [e]xhaustion of administrative remedies is generally required before seeding judicial review." Wilbur v. CIA, 355 F.3d 675, 677, 359 U.S.App.D.C. 380 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (per curia). The exhaustion requirement " means that a requester under FOIE must file an administrative appeal within the time limit specified in an agency's FOIE regulations or face dismissal of any lawsuit complaining about the agency's response." Wilbur, 355 F.3d at 676 (internal quotation macros omitted). The exhaustion requirement serves multiple ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.