MPD emails mentioning "Project Veritas", January 14-February 1, 2017: 2nd attempt

Christopher Schiano filed this request with the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

2019-FOIA-02923

Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Christopher Schiano

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any email, sent or received by any employee of the Metropolitan Police Department between the dates of January 14, 2017 and February 1, 2017 which contains any mention of the group "Project Veritas".

Additionally, I am willing to pay fees in the event that there are charges associated with the processing of this request.

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,

Christopher Schiano

From: Metropolitan Police Department

Dear Christopher Schiano, Request Number 2019-FOIA-02923 has been assigned to the request you submitted. In all future correspondence regarding this request, please reference request number 2019-FOIA-02923.For ease of reference, we ask that you have your FOIA Request Number available when you contact the FOIA office. (https://dc.gov/node/818962) Regards,
DC Government

From: Metropolitan Police Department

Dear Mr. Schiano, This office is in receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Your FOIA request number is 2019-FOIA-02923 and your assigned FOIA Robert Eckert. If you have any questions regarding your request, please contact the assigned FOIA Specialist at (202) 727-3721.  For ease of reference, we ask that you have your FOIA Request Number available when you contact our office. Regards, Latrina Crumlin Staff Assistant Metropolitan Police Department 300 Indiana Avenue, Rm 4153 Washington,DC 20001

From: Metropolitan Police Department

August 3, 2021

Christopher Schiano
Department MR 67548
411A Highland Avenue
Somerville, Massachusetts 02144
Phone: 617-299-1832
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

RE: FOIA Request No.: 2019-FOIA-02923

Dear Mr. Schiano:

This concerns your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for: "Any email, sent or received by any employee of the Metropolitan Police Department between the dates of January 14, 2017 and February 1, 2017 which contains any mention of the group "Project Veritas"."

The description of this FOIA request was such that we are not able to perform a reasonable search. The FOIA specifies that a FOIA request must reasonably describe specific records sought, such that agency staff familiar with the records may reasonably ascertain exactly which records are being requested, and to locate them. The courts have recognized that the legislative history of the FOIA indicates that a description of a requested record is sufficient if it enables a professional agency employee familiar with the subject area to locate the record with a "reasonable amount of effort." Courts have also found that requests that are so broad and sweeping that they lack specificity are not reasonably described.

This FOIA request asks for all e-mails that contain a certain phrase or keyword, and while it describes a category of records, it lacks specificity as to particular, specific documents and may produce a large volume of materials that are not related to a specific subject matter at issue. Processing such documents that may produced in an initial search for such a request may take an inordinate amount of FOIA processing time. The processing of FOIA requests is a very a time- and labor-intensive process, and requires locating tentatively responsive records; reviewing to identify material that is responsive and for material that may be exempt from release under the FOIA; coordinating and consulting with components and agencies which may have an interest in the disposition of the records, and the completion of further administrative processing and review. The courts have said that the FOIA was not intended to reduce government agencies to be investigators or to perform research on behalf of requesters. Again, the FOIA does not require agencies to conduct "unreasonably burdensome" searches for records.

Please note that the District of Columbia (DC) FOIA, DC Code §§ 2-531-539, provides that while a person has the right to request access to existing records, it does not require agencies to do research, analyze data, answer written questions, or create records to respond to a FOIA request.

Therefore, upon further review of your FOIA request, we find this FOIA request does not meet the standard of reasonableness such as to enable the MPD to perform both a reasonable and adequate search for responsive records. Therefore, we are closing our file on this FOIA request. This does not affect your ability to submit a new FOIA request, in the future, on this or other subject matter. However, we strongly advise that a significantly more refined and limited description be provided for any future FOIA request(s) such that it is as specific as possible relative to (a) particular document(s), along with, if at all possible, the author and recipient, date, specific subject matter, and content, in order to allow a reasonable search to be completed.

Please know that, under D.C. Official Code § 2-537 and 1 DCMR § 412, you have the right to appeal this letter to the Mayor or to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. If you elect to appeal to the Mayor, your appeal must be in writing and contain "Freedom of Information Act Appeal" or "FOIA Appeal" in the subject line of the letter as well on the outside of the envelope. The appeal must include (1) a copy of the original request; (2) a copy of any written denial; (3) a statement of the circumstances, reasons, and/or arguments advanced in support of disclosure; and (4) a daytime telephone number, an e-mail and/or U.S. mailing address at which you can be reached.

The appeal must be mailed to: The Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel, FOIA Appeal, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 407, Washington, D.C. 20004. Electronic versions of the same information can instead be e-mailed to The Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel at foia.appeals@dc.gov<mailto:foia.appeals@dc.gov>. Further, a copy of all appeal materials must be forwarded to the Freedom of Information Officer of the involved agency, or to the agency head of that agency, if there is no designated Freedom of Information Officer there. Failure to follow these administrative steps will result in delay in the processing and commencement of a response to your appeal to the Mayor.

Sincerely,

Bob Eckert

FOIA Specialist

Freedom of Information Act Office

Metropolitan Police Department

District of Columbia

Robert.eckert@dc.gov<mailto:Robert.eckert@dc.gov>

"Excellence is transferable."

From: Metropolitan Police Department

This is an automated message from the DC Government FOIA system. Dear Christopher Schiano, The status for your request is below. Please log into https://foia-dc.gov/palMain.aspx and go to Request Status. If you have any questions regarding the status of your request, please contact the agency's FOIA office that you had submitted your FOIA request to. You can communicate directly with the FOIA office by clicking on Inbox, search the request number, and then click Compose Message. OR, visit to see a list DC Government FOIA Office’s/officer’s contact information and have your Request ID ready. (https://dc.gov/node/818962) Contact FOIA Office Request status: Closed Request ID: 2019-FOIA-02923 Description: To Whom It May Concern:Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:Any email, sent or received by any employee of the Metropolitan Police Department between the dates of January 14, 2017 and February 1, 2017 which contains any mention of the group "Project Veritas".Additionally, I am willing to pay fees in the event that there are charges associated with the processing of this request.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,Christopher Schiano (Date Range for Record Search: From 01/14/2017 To 02/01/2017) Regards,
DC Government FOIA Portal

From: Christopher Schiano

My request (Request ID: 2019-FOIA-02923) has been improperly denied by the MPD. It is reasonable for the department to respond to my request by conducting a simple keyword query search in MPD email databases within the specified time period. Many departments across the USA routinely comply with this exact format of request. I request that MPD advise me of the estimated costs for conducting this email database search in order to fulfill their duty to let me exercise my rights to view these newsworthy records of public concern.

Below is a copy of the text of my original request, filed on 2/14/2019.

Sincerely,
Christopher Schiano

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any email, sent or received by any employee of the Metropolitan Police Department between the dates of January 14, 2017 and February 1, 2017 which contains any mention of the group "Project Veritas".

Additionally, I am willing to pay fees in the event that there are charges associated with the processing of this request.

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,

Christopher Schiano

From: Metropolitan Police Department

Hello,

This Office adjudicates administrative FOIA appeals on behalf of the Mayor. We received the attached appeal based upon a FOIA decision (or lack of decision) issued by your agency. Please provide us with your response to the appeal within five (5) business days of this communication. Please include the following in your response:

(a) The justification for your decision not to grant review of records as requested;

(b) A Vaughn index of documents withheld, and an affidavit or declaration of a knowledgeable official or employee testifying to the decision to withhold documents; and

(c) A copy of the public record or records in dispute on the appeal; provided, that if the public record contains personal, sensitive, or confidential information, you may redact such information.

If no response is received, a final decision will be made on the record before us.

Please be advised that your agency's response may be shared with the requester when the final decision is issued. Therefore, please clearly mark any confidential information contained in your response.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel (MOLC)

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Suite 407

Washington, D.C. 20004

(202) 727-8812

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