Codefore Publishing

I want to access certain emails a Federal judge had with the FBI and a US attorney re: Grand Jury. My research tells me the appropriate place to get them is the Office Of Inspector General but maybe not. Does the request for all go to the OIG or to each separate agency? Why I think its the OIG is because they keep all Fed Gov emails. What do you think?

Jack R-W

You should send a request to the FBI, it’s their email system. However, I doubt you will get the records you are looking for.

Codefore Publishing

OK, The FBI system, but the Judges system is not the FBI system. So would not a request for the Judges Email via the main ‘ .gov ‘ system be appropriate and reveal emails sent and received?

Codefore Publishing

Its very clear that the Federal Government definitions of “records” includes emails, texts and any and all electronic means of communications both gov and personal. Yes the FBI will probably stall, redact, piss and moan about it, but the Federal Judge? Probably doent have his own email storage and uses OIG via Capstone and SMART, no?

Codefore Publishing

Knowing that there was communication with relevant subject matter is almost as important as knowing what the content is (for my purposes)

Michael Morisy

So federal judges are exempt from FOIA if they are where the records are stored, but if they emailed a non-exempt agency, or if you think those emails were previously compiled as part of an investigation, you can file a FOIA with that agency (such as the FBI or an Inspector General if you think they collected those emails). If the emails are about an ongoing case or something that would otherwise be privileged, going to be very tough to argue successfully for release.

Codefore Publishing

Yes, but according to the Inspector General any agency that received Federal money unless exempted, is required to keep documents for archiving, and Emails and texts and all forms of electronic transmissions are considered docs, and in some cases personal transmissions. Where do you find information that Federal Judges are excluded from the FOI?

Freedom of Information Act Exemptions

The Freedom of Information Act entitles the following exemptions on documents being requested by the public:

  1. Those documents properly classified as secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;

  2. Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices;

  3. Specifically exempted by other statutes;

  4. A trade secret or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information obtained from a person;

  5. A privileged inter-agency or intra-agency memorandum or letter;

  6. A personnel, medical, or similar file the release of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

  7. Compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which

  8. could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings,

  9. would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,

  10. could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,

  11. could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source,

  12. would disclose techniques, procedures, or guidelines for investigations or prosecutions, or

  13. could reasonably be expected to endanger an individual’s life or physical safety;

  14. Contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports about financial institutions that the SEC regulates or supervises; or

  15. And those documents containing exempt information about gas or oil wells.

Codefore Publishing

OK, so further research on accessing Federal court docs to include emails , texts etc: First, Federal Judges or the Judicial Branch of government has not been actually exempted from the Freedom on Information Statute. The Judicial Branch was not included with the other branches of government because the First Amendment grants access to all court documents. So requests for documents of Federal Courts should not cite anything from the FOI statutes. The 1s Amendment to the US constitution “Presumption of access” is the authority to access court documents. In addition the US Office Inspector General is responsible for keeping and granting requests for electronic email records. You can access the agencies under the FOI via the Inspector General, however as stated above, access Court Docs citing the First Amendment.

OIG

FOIA is a federal statute that allows persons to request federal agency records. Under the FOIA, a person has a right to obtain access to federal agency records except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure under specific FOIA exemptions or exclusions.

Our OIG has established a “multi-track” response system to facilitate the processing of FOIA requests based on their varying size and complexity. FOIA requests are placed in one of three tracks:

  • Track 1 is for requests that meet the standards for expedited processing under the FOIA.

Track 2 is for simple requests that do not involve voluminous records or lengthy consultations with other entities.

Track 3 is for requests that involve sensitive or voluminous records, or records for which lengthy or numerous consultations are required.

OIG looks forward to working together with FOIA requestors to continue responding effectively and efficiently to your FOIA requests.FOIA Public Liaison:

OIG Office of Counsel

PHONE: 202-254-4001

FAX: 202-254-4398

EMAIL: FOIA.OIG@OIG.DHS.GOV

MAILING ADDRESS:

245 Murray Lane SW

Mail Stop - 0305

Washington, D.C. 20528-0305

FOIA does not apply to Congress, the federal courts, private corporations or federally funded state agencies. Because the military court system was created through Department of Defense regulations and not by the U.S. Constitution, military branches often argue FOIA applies to military court records including court dockets, which can render access to those records very difficult given the delays that accompany most FOIA requests.6 Court documents are public because of a First Amendment-based right of access — which also applies to military courts documents.

Jack R-W

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. If you want FBI emails, ask the FBI. If you ask a federal judge for his emails and cite the first amendment, you will be ignored. If you ask the OIG for FBI emails, they will tell you to talk to the FBI.

Codefore Publishing

Your correct on one thing, the FBI is under the FOI statute, and I have learned since my last post that the OIG is not the place to go for either agencies. I must ask each agency direct because they are resposible for their own records. So I appoligize for the misleading information. But the Fed. Courts records are open via the 1st Amendment, The problem is I want to deviate from just asking for a court record on a criminal court case, i want the Judges emails and Court decisions and Secretary of State determination as to what the word records means (since the Clinton incidents) has classified emails, texts and other electronic transmissions as “Records”. So I ask you, if you want the information that I want from the Courts what authorization would you quote to support your request? FOI? Absolutely not, the courts are not in the FOI bubble.

Codefore Publishing

No doubt you can get most court records fairly easily. I have done this before, but I think maybe asking them for emails and texts might not be so easy,. Any history on this?

Jack R-W

The federal courts are not “open via the 1st Amendment”. You will not be getting any emails from any federal judges. Court decisions are normally available, but never emails.

Codefore Publishing

Well, we shall see, I asked for them anyway. One went out today to the Hawaii US Attorney’s office and the other to the Judge. I asked for communication between them. I understand we don’t have much to say about what they provide to us and what they don’t unless we want to go to court. The Feds now classify emails and texts the same as other documents, thanks to Hillary. The real answers I want from them is do they have the files or not, not really concerned whats in them yet. The skinny is someone is sitting on a Grand Jury affidavit, and now they are pointing fingers.

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