Unpublished Decisions by the Attorney General

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




From: Matthew Hoppock

To Whom It May Concern:

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

According to the EOIR's list called "Cases Referred to the Attorney General" which is also called the "Attorney General Certification Chart," and which is believed to be located at https://eoirnet/sites/eoir/BIA/BIAWeb/Pages/Bookshelf.aspx, there are a series of decisions by the Attorney General, reviewing decisions by the BIA, which are unpublished.

I am requesting that you please produce the following in each case where the AG issued an unpublished decision after a case was referred following a BIA decision:

1. The BIA decision that preceded the AG's decision,
2. The referral papers, referring the case to the Attorney General,
3. The unpublished decision the Attorney General issued.
4. The decision of the BIA that followed the Attorney General's decision.

As of January 9, 2018 the list (which is available here: https://cdn.muckrock.com/foia_files/2020/10/09/04._Final_Response_10.9.2020.pdf) reflected five cases in which an unpublished decision was issued. Those five decisions are dated 2/13/2004, 4/29/2004, 12/1/2004, 1/18/2005, and 9/18/2008. However, for the purposes of this request I am asking for each unpublished decision from the AG, whether it is on the list or not. For example, the list the EOIR has produced is nearly two years old and has likely been updated since. Also, certain typographical errors give the appearance the list may be incomplete.

If you have any questions about this or if I can help you understand or narrow the request, please reach out to me by email.

I am submitting this request on behalf of a non-profit entity, DocuFreedom Inc. My purpose is in research the Attorney General's process for deciding referred cases in my role as a member of the news media, and I intend to write about the results in a forthcoming publication.

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.


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 10/09/2020 and received 10/09/2020.  Your request has been assigned control number 2021-00668. 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. 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

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Mr. Hoppock:

As you are aware, this request was aggregated with 2020-00663 by letter dated October 15, 2020 and is closed.


Shelley M. O’Hara
Attorney Advisor (FOIA)
(703) 605-0275