Communications regarding Ferguson civil rights investigation timing

Michael Morisy filed this request with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division of the United States of America.
Tracking # 15-00058-F
Status
Rejected
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Communications

From: Michael Morisy

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

A copy of communications received by the Department of Justice from state and local officials in Missouri that include any of the following words:

Ferguson
Michael Brown
Darren Wilson

I request responsive documents of qny format, including but not limited to email, memos, faxes, and letters.

I also request documents from the Department of Justice responding to these communications.

The existence of these communications was reported on by the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/22/us/ahead-of-ferguson-grand-jury-finding-officials-and-protest-leaders-set-rules-of-conduct.html?_r=1

Please limit this request to documents generated or received between Aug. 9, 2014 and the date that this request is processed.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Michael Morisy

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Mr. Morisy,

Please see the attached response to your FOIA request. Please note, your request has been assigned tracking number EMRUFOIA112314.
Thanks

MRU FOIA

From: MuckRock

Hello,

Per the attached communication, this request has been forwarded to your office for processing. Confirmation of receipt and an estimated date of completion would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much for your help.

From: Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Michael Morisy

Hi,

My request should not require a certificate of identity. Please reopen it. The only individuals documents were requested about were Michael Brown, who is deceased and thus has no privacy interest, and Darren Wilson, who was a government official acting in his official capacity and does not have any blanket privacy protections for documents including his name.

Please reopen and process this request.

Thank you,
Michael

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 23, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #15-00058-F.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 23, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #15-00058-F.

Thank you for your help.

From: Hermilla, Nelson (CRT)

Mr. Michael Morisy

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

MuckRock News
DEPT MR 14312
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Dear Mr. Morisy:

This is in further response to your inquiries on the status of your request. You have not provided a written consent from the subject police officer nor any other witnesses or individuals involved in the Ferguson matter per this office’s November 26, 2014 letter to you. We will be glad to re-open your request on receiving a written consent per this office’s request that you provide authorization.

In your recent email, you stated:

“My request should not require a certificate of identity. Please reopen it. The only individuals documents were requested about were Michael Brown, who is deceased and thus has no privacy interest, and Darren Wilson, who was a government official acting in his official capacity and does not have any blanket privacy protections for documents including his name.”

The Privacy Act, 5 USC 552a, imposes penalties for the unauthorized agency disclosure of records about individuals. Courts impose these penalties regarding the unauthorized release of law enforcement information about law enforcement officers. I encourage you to review the Department’s web posted guidance regarding the government’s obligations to protect individual privacy particularly in the context of allegations of wrongdoing.

You specifically requested:

“A copy of communications received by the Department of Justice from state and local officials in Missouri that include any of the following words:

Ferguson
Michael Brown
Darren Wilson

I request responsive documents of any format, including but not limited to email, memos, faxes, and letters. I also request documents from the Department of Justice responding to these communications.”

As you are likely aware, the records you have requested pertain to an open Civil Rights Division law enforcement proceeding. After careful consideration of the law enforcement information file related to your request, I have determined that access to any responsive records should be denied pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(A), since disclosure thereof could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings. I have further determined that certain information within these records that is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C.§ 552 (b)(7)(A) should also be denied pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5), since the records contain attorney work product and include intra-agency memoranda containing pre-decisional, deliberative material; and pursuant to 5 U.S.C.§ 552(b)(7)(C) since disclosure thereof could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

Should you wish to appeal my decision with respect to your request, you may do so by writing to the Director, Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice, 1425 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 11050, Washington, DC 20530. Your appeal must be received by OIP within sixty (60) days of the date of this letter in order to be considered timely. The envelope should be marked "FOI/PA Appeal". You may also submit your appeal via OIP’s electronic portal (at http://www.justice.gov/oip/efoia-portal.html). Following review by the Department, judicial review of the decision of the Attorney General is available in the United States District Court in the judicial district in which you reside, in which you have your principal place of business, or in the District of Columbia.

Please do not hesitate to contact me by calling 202-514-4210 if you have any questions regarding your request.

Sincerely,

Nelson D. Hermilla

Nelson D. Hermilla, Chief

Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts Branch
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530

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