|Submitted||Oct. 4, 2018|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
A copy of the FBI document referenced in the attached letter from the Bureau.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, AND Magazine, Unicorn Riot, and more. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and and the journalist non-profit, MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.
Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media.
Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.
As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.
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 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.
This is an automated reply to inform you that National Archives and Records Administration received your e-mail.
If this is a reference request regarding records in the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, you must contact our Textual Records Reference Division at email@example.com.
If this is a FOIA request, we are currently assessing your FOIA to determine which organization within NARA can best respond. Once your FOIA is properly routed, our goal is to provide you with a reply within 20 working days* that will either resolve your request or inform you of your FOIA case number and the current status. We will contact you at this e-mail address if we require more information in order to proceed.
*According to the FOIA the 20 working days begins when the FOIA is received by the appropriate component of the agency and is calculated excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays.
Dear Ms. Best,
I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information Act request of
October 5, 2018 for records in the custody of the National Archives and
Records Administration. Your request for serial 26 of FBI case file
100-HQ-457792 was received in this office on October 10th and assigned FOIA
tracking number RD 58902.
You cite Maryland's Public Information Act (PIA) in your request; please be
advised that the PIA covers only Maryland public agencies or officials (see
The National Archives holds the records of the federal government, and of
those records only those created by executive branch agencies are subject
to the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).
Please see the following link for more information:
Regardless, I have completed a line-by-line review of serial 26 in FBI case
file 100-HQ-457792 and released information to the greatest extent
possible. This serial has been redacted to protect the identities of
confidential sources per 5 USC 552 (b)(7)(D). A summary of the results of
my review is provided below:
Serial 26 of FBI file 100-HQ-457792: 3 total pages; 2 pages released in
full and 1 page released in redacted form.
I have attached a courtesy copy of serial 26 to this message for your
convenience as your request falls beneath the threshold at which we have to
Though it is moot in this instance, please be aware that records
transferred to the custody of the National Archives are exempt from the fee
and fee waiver provisions of the Freedom of Information Act because a fee
schedule was in effect prior to enactment. The applicable section states
that “nothing in this subparagraph shall supersede fees chargeable under a
statute specifically providing for setting the level of fees for particular
types of records” (5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(4)(A)(vi)). The relevant fee statute
authorizes the National Archives “to charge a fee for making or
authenticating copies or reproductions of materials transferred to the
Archivist’s custody.” (44 U.S.C. 2116(c)). The inability to grant the
requested fee waiver does not constitute a denial under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act.
This concludes the processing of your request. If you have questions
concerning my review, please contact me directly at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-837-2958.
If you are not satisfied with my action on this request, you have the right
to file an administrative appeal within ninety (90) calendar days from the
date of this letter. Appeals must be in writing and may be delivered by
regular U.S. mail or by e-mail. By filing an appeal, you preserve your
rights under the Freedom of Information Act and present the deciding agency
with an opportunity to review your request and reconsider its decision. If
you submit your appeal by regular mail, it should be addressed to the
Deputy Archivist of the United States (ND), National Archives and Records
Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 4200, College Park, Maryland
20740-6001. Both the letter and envelope should be clearly marked “FOIA
Appeal.” If you submit your appeal by e-mail, please send it to
email@example.com, addressed to the Deputy Archivist, with the words “FOIA
Appeal” in the subject line. If you exercise your right to appeal, please
explain why you believe this response does not meet the requirements of the
Freedom of Information Act. All communications concerning this request
should reference FOIA tracking number RD 58902.
If you would like the opportunity to discuss my response and attempt to
resolve your dispute without initiating the appeals process, you may
contact our FOIA Public Liaison for assistance:
Accessioned Executive Branch Records – Washington, DC Area
FOIA Requester Service Center: 301-837-3190
Acting FOIA Public Liaison: Britney Crawford
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500
College Park, MD 20740-6001
If you are unable to resolve your dispute through our Public Liaison, the
Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) is the federal FOIA
ombudsman. OGIS offers mediation services to help resolve disputes between
FOIA requesters and federal agencies. You may contact OGIS at the following
Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2510
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Special Access and FOIA Branch (RD-F)