Case Flow Processing Guidance

Matthew Hoppock filed this request with the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2021-11337

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Matthew Hoppock


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

On December 1, 2020, the EOIR issued policy memo 21-05 regarding "enhanced case flow processing." Please produce the email messages to or from any ACIJ containing the phrase "case flow processing" between October 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

This request is intended to include the attachments to any such email messages.

If the responsive email message is in a thread, this request is also intended to include each email in the thread, whether they mention "case flow processing" or not.

This request is made on behalf of DocuFreedom Inc., a Kansas non-profit entity and is not for commercial purposes. I intend to publish the responsive records to the public without a fee and am working on writing about and/or reporting on the case flow processing memorandum.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Matthew Hoppock

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Dear Matthew Hoppock: This response acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) dated 12/29/2020 and received 12/29/2020.  Your request has been assigned control number 2021-11337. The FOIA requires an agency to respond within 20 working days after receipt of the request, and EOIR endeavors to meet this standard.  The FOIA permits a ten-day extension of this time period, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B), based on unusual circumstances.  Your request involves “unusual circumstances,” and EOIR is extending the time period to respond by an additional 10 working days because your request requires the collection of records from field offices, or involves a search, collection, and review of voluminous records, or requires consultation with another agency or two or more agency components. Please be advised that due to necessary operational changes as a result of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there may be significant delay in the processing of your request. EOIR FOIA requests are placed in one of three tracks. Track one is for those requests that seek and receive expedited processing pursuant to subsection (a)(6)(E) of the FOIA. Track two is for simple requests that do not involve voluminous records or lengthy consultations with other entities.  Track three is for complex requests that involve voluminous records and for which lengthy or numerous consultations are required, or those requests that may involve sensitive records.  Your request has been placed in track three for complex requests. If you have filed an application for a fee waiver, EOIR will address your request in a separate letter. Additionally, if you have requested expedited processing, EOIR will contact you in a separate letter. If you have any questions regarding unusual circumstances, you may contact the EOIR FOIA Service Center or FOIA Public Liaison at (703) 605-1297 to discuss reformulation or an alternative time frame to process your request, or for any further assistance regarding any aspect of your request. Additionally, you may contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration to inquire about the FOIA mediation services they offer.  The contact information for OGIS is as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001; e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at (202) 741-5770; toll free at (877) 684-6448; or facsimile at (202) 741-5769. Sincerely, FOIA Intake

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew,

I am processing your request for "enhanced case flow processing" e-mails from the ACIJs. However, over the last few years the number of ACIJs has doubled, to some 40 ACIJs. Each ACIJ e-mail account has to be searched individually, which is time consuming and burdensome. To expedite your request, I could pick a half dozen ACIJs to provide representative samples. Or, you could pick some representative ACIJs from the list here: https://www.justice.gov/eoir/acij-assignments. Please let me know if this would help.

Joseph Schaaf
Supervisory Attorney (FOIA)

From: Matthew Hoppock

Joseph, welcome back. I hope that you're doing well.

I'm fine with narrowing it down to these ACIJs: Daniel J. Daugherty. Scott D. Laurent, Charles P. Koutras, and Rodin Rooyani.

Thank you. Have a nice morning.

Matthew Hoppock

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Thank you Matthew, I will start working on this today.

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Dear Atty. Hoppock: This correspondence is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated 12/29/2020 to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in which you seek certain e-mail correspondence related to "case flow processing." A search was conducted and one or more records responsive to your request were located. We are granting partial access to the responsive record(s).  The documents will follow vis separate e-mail. ortions of the enclosed records have been redacted in accordance with FOIA Exemption 5, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5), which concerns certain inter- and intra-agency communications protected by the deliberative process privilege, the attorney work-product doctrine and/or the attorney-client privilege. Additionally, portions of the enclosed records have been redacted in accordance with FOIA Exemption 6, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6), which concerns material the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties. Finally, portions of the enclosed records have been redacted in accordance with FOIA Exemption 7E, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(E), which concerns records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes the release of which would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. FOIA Exemption 7E extends protection of information related to agency technology systems. See Levinthal v. FEC , 219 F.Supp.3d 1, 9 (D.D.C. 2016). For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c) (2006 & Supp. IV 2010).  This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA.  This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist. See http://www.justice.gov/oip/ foiapost/2012foiapost9.html. You may contact the EOIR FOIA Public Liaison by e-mail at EOIR.FOIARequests@USDOJ.GOV or by telephone number (703) 605-1297 for any further assistance and to discuss any aspect of your request.  Please reference the FOIA control number.  Additionally, you may contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration to inquire about the FOIA mediation services they offer.  The contact information for OGIS is as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001; e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at (202) 741-5770; toll free at (877) 684-6448; or facsimile at (202) 741-5769. If you are not satisfied with the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s determination in response to this request, you may administratively appeal by writing to the Director, Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice, 441 G Street, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20530, or you may submit an appeal through OIP’s FOIA STAR portal by creating an account following the instructions on OIP’s website: https://www.justice.gov/oip/submit-and-track-request-or-appeal. Your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted within 90 days of the date of this response to your request. If you submit your appeal by mail, both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

Sincerely,

Joseph Schaaf
Supervisory Attorney Advisor (FOIA)

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew, please see attached.

Note that the numerous attachments are not duplicated repeatedly. Please see ACIJ Rooyani's folder as the "lead" folder for most attachments.

Joseph Schaaf
Supervisory Attorney (FOIA)

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