Fund U.S. District Court Complaint on Homeland

In order to raise fees due in District Court to file a complaint for relief from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Church Publishing has created a new fund where donations are deposited in a reference account earmarked to pay for filing, process service, and materials here.

Donate anywhere from $10 to 200 dollars.  This remittance stub contains a window advocates key-in any donation amounts before entering their credit and billing information.  Church is considering coding a page for this website listing collections and expenditure.  Transfer funds now, or continue reading a detailed history of this case against Homeland Security.

Church Publishing filed a formal Freedom of Information Act request to The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis August 11, 2014.  Twenty days later this request was acknowledge and assigned identifier 2014-IAFO-0246.

DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis officials anticipated issuing a response by December 15, 2014.  After being notified the FOIA request was being processed but obtaining no documents on schedule Church forewarned I&A officials conferral by telephone could be expected.  DHS replied processing 2014-IAFO-0246 was then anticipated to be completed by December 19, 2014.

This expectation passed without receipt of notification or records thus the Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) was called December 22, 2014.  After speaking to the FOIA Officer in charge of the request a new date December 24, 2014 was expected for approval from General Counsel for release of these documents in two parts.  After this date went unfulfilled Church Publishing would again call December 29, 2014 but sent a reminder in writing December 26, 2014 to The Department of Homeland Security.

Church Publishing finally received a final response letter dated January 13, 2015.  The request for information was denied pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(1), (b)(3), and (b)(7)(E).  It’s when this case gets interesting and why your donations are necessary.

Church Publishing employed The United States Postal Service to deliver via 2-Day Priority Mail its appeal of adverse determination to the Associate General Counsel of The Department of Homeland Security.  A full four days later but days before that appeal was due (Rule 6, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) this envelope arrived in Washington DC postal facility 20066.  The envelope was subsequently moved to Washington facility 20018, departing after five hours.  It then got delivered to  Post Office 20018 also in Washington DC after three more days and wouldn’t be delivered by The United States Postal Office in Washington to The U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more than 72 hours!  2-Day Priority Mail took over 7 full days for delivery to The District of Columbia March 17, 2015.

Part 552 sub-part (a)(6)(A) of The Freedom of Information Act amended in 2007 by the “Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act” states:

Each agency, upon any request for records made under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, shall- (ii) make a determination with respect to any appeal within twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt of such appeal. If on appeal the denial of the request for records is in whole or in part upheld, the agency shall notify the person making such request of the provisions for judicial review of that determination under paragraph (4) of this subsection.

Twenty days beyond receipt of this appeal was April 14, 2015.  Church Publishing expected to receive determination on or before April 14, 2015 and to be notified of these provisions for judicial review pursuant paragraph (4).  Nevertheless, part 552 sub-part (a)(6)(B)(i) states:

In unusual circumstances as specified in this subparagraph, the time limits prescribed in either clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) may be extended by written notice to the person making such request setting forth the unusual circumstances for such extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No such notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more than ten working days, except as provided in clause (ii) of this subparagraph.

Although clause (ii) of subparagraph (a)(6)(B)(i) does not respect the appeal in (a)(6)(A)(ii), amendment to this clause in The Freedom of Information Act, 2007 by an “Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government Act” states, “To aid the requester, each agency shall make available its FOIA Public Liaison, who shall assist in the resolution of any disputes between the requester and the agency” [effective on the eve of 2009] and that requesters’ allowance shall be considered before enjoining the agency from withholding records.

Church Publishing received no notification from The U.S. Department of Homeland Security by April 14, 2015.  It was not able to check the status of this FOIA request governed by 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(7).  552 (a)(7)(B) states each agency shall “establish a telephone line or Internet service that provides information about the status of a request to the person making the request using the assigned tracking number…”  April 18, 2015 Church Publishing attempted to retrieve this status of a request from dhs.gov/foia-check-status however the identifier 2014-IAFO-0246 wasn’t listed!

Church Publishing started work to address these violations.  Suddenly Church received one email with an attachment having no body or contents beyond a file that could’ve activated a computer virus July 22, 2015 which got sent to spam.  After the Company viewed this email on a separate client the sender’s address displayed and Church noted this file was delivered from The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in time to reply within 30 days.  August 22, 2015 Church Publishing acknowledged Homeland Security Disclosure and FOIA Operations Director James Holzer’s assignment on behalf of the Deputy Associate General Counsel for General Law of number 2015-HQAP-00091 to the appeal of 2014-IAFO-0246.  In that email August 22, 2015 Church wrote it hadn’t received legal notice to arrange alternate time for processing extending from March 17, 2015, that it was not assigned a Public Liaison, and since 2015-HQAP-00091‘s Estimated Delivery Date published to The Department’s website wasn’t until September 11, 2015 that it expected determination to be resolved by then.

That email concerning processing of the appeal to james.holzer@hq.dhs.gov yielded this auto-reply August 22, 2015 from Holzer, “As of August 9, I am no longer working at the Department of Homeland Security.  If you have FOIA related questions, please contact the DHS FOIA Office at 202-343-1743 or FOIA@hq.dhs.gov.”  Twelve days after Director Holzer sent his letter to Church Publishing acknowledging this appeal the Director suddenly resigned from The U.S. Department of Homeland Security!

Church immediately notified FOIA@hq.dhs.gov August 22, 2015.  “FOIA” replied August 24, 2015 with a generic response not specifically addressing that notification stating The Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy Office “is responsible for administering policies, programs, and procedures to ensure that the Department complies with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552 and 5 U.S.C. 552a…,” and that Complaints could be filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General at http://www.dhs.gov/xoig/about/gc_1163703329805.shtm.

Nevertheless that link launched a response indicating the browser communicates with The Department of Homeland Security but that DHS.gov cannot find the page being requested.  That link sent to remedy this case by the DHS Office responsible for ensuring The Department complies with 5 U.S.C. 552 after FOIA Operations Director James Holzer abruptly departed Homeland Security was broken!  James Holzer doesn’t work at The Department of Homeland Security, and Senior Directors at FOIA Operations or their staff neither reply with FOIA case specific detail nor provide useful information.  In fact, this is in violation of several statutes including at least 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(1).

James Holzer never responded, the DHS Office responsible for ensuring compliance did not address this case, and complaint to The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General directed an HTTP Page Not Found Error.  Meanwhile, the Estimated Date of Delivery for determination of DHS Appeal Number 2015-HQAP-00091 was September 11, 2015.

Again, 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(6)(A)(ii) states:

Each agency shall “make a determination with respect to any appeal withing twenty days after the receipt of such appeal.”

The appeal was received March 17, 2015.  Notwithstanding, estimated delivery dates have been unlawfully tolled for extensions averaging five weeks EVERY-TIME they’re due WITHOUT notification to Church Publishing.

5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(6)(C)(i) legislates Church has exhausted administrative remedy when DHS fails to comply with time provisions provided by (6)(A)(ii).  552 (a)(4)(B) states, “On complaint, the district court of the United States in the district in which the complainant resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which the agency records are situated, or in the District of Columbia, has jurisdiction to enjoin the agency from withholding agency records…In such a case the court shall determine the matter de novo and may examine the contents of such agency records in camera…”

552 (a)(4)(B) mandates not only a U.S. court have jurisdiction in this matter but that IT CAN review these 187 pages of records pertaining to The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s practice of Pursuit Lead Cabling in un-redacted form in a Judge’s chambers.  Church Publishing needs funds to file a new Civil Case in U.S. District Court and service summons in which The Department of Homeland Security must plead to within thirty days per 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(4)(C) notwithstanding any other provisions of law, as well as for incidental documents opening a miscellaneous case and production of evidence.  These fees may range anywhere from $700 including process service in Washington to $997 depending on motions that arise.  Not including attorneys fees, obligations could run higher if notice of appeal is required PLUS any case filed challenging Homeland Security’s act of Pursuit Lead Cabling.

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Church Publishing has created a new fund for donation deposited in a reference account earmarked for filing this U.S. District Court Complaint against Homeland Security.  Acknowledgement of the original Freedom of Information Act request made under paragraph (3) of 5 U.S.C. 552 August 11, 2014 can be viewed by clicking images below.

FOIA Request 2014-IAFO-0246

FOIA request for records acknowledged under 552(a)(3)(A)

FOIA Request 2014-IAFO-0246

FOIA request for records acknowledged under 552(a)(3)(A)

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