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scott hodes
I'm a Washington D.C. based FOIA attorney
Recent Activity
The U.S. District Court recently ruled (in a case I brought) against disclosure of certain information in the private collection contracts the IRS has made with four companies. Peter Reilly has written about the case and the underlying issues in... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The FOIA blog
Politico has this on NPR's victory over FEMA on certain information pertaining to FEMA's flood program. FEMA was trying to argue that the information was protected pursuant to FOIA exemption 6 as its release would violate the privacy of private... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2017 at The FOIA blog
Politico has this on the FBI's request to stay processing for 17 years; the Court gave them 3 years to finish processing. What the FBI seems to be doing is saying on all large requests they will process 500 pages... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at The FOIA blog
Government Executive reports that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has issued a report on the IRS's retention of emails that are responsive to FOIA requests. The report states that the IRS should improve its retention policy for these... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at The FOIA blog
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently heard an appeal of a decision that wanted to get it to distinguish between types of wells when it comes to Exemption 9. However, the Court found that it makes... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at The FOIA blog
Attorney fees have been awarded in a case brought by STS Energy Partners against the FERC. What is interesting in the case, is that the court found the documents had a public interest but that they also commercially benefited the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at The FOIA blog
Its a rather slow time of year for FOIA news (outside of the splashy items of a partisan nature). Here's a roundup of some smaller FOIA items. FOIA Hall of Fame Nominees sought: The Newseum Institute is seeking nominations for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2015 at The FOIA blog
Acting Department of Justice Chief FOIA Officer Stuart Delery has touted the importance of FOIA training according to the Department of Justice. While the post points readers to the DOJ's FOIA training, other excellent sources of training are available. For... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2015 at The FOIA blog
The New York Times has this story on the Army's Surgeon General becoming involved with the FOIA process on a request it made for concussion data. The Times reports that the Surgeon General urged delaying the FOIA release so that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2015 at The FOIA blog
The FOIA community loses two of its best today. Fred Sadler of the FDA and Will Kammer of the DOD have decided to retire after lengthy careers. Both Fred and Will have been dedicated FOIA professionals seeking what is best... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at The FOIA blog
The Washington Post has this long article on former CIA staffer Jeffrey Scudder who made a number of FOIA requests to his agency and then had his long career ended by the agency. The government claims the two are not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at The FOIA blog
Judge James R. Spencer of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled against the Department of Labor in a case where the agency had tried to use Exemptions 5 and 7E to withhold portions of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at The FOIA blog
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on February 20, 2013 on whether the State of Virginia's requirement that only citizens of the state may may request under the Virginia FOIA is legal. Virginia filed its Brief defending its position... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2013 at The FOIA blog
The Blog of the Legal Times reports that the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has issued an opinion setting forth guidelines for when attorney fees may be granted in D.C. FOIA litigation. D.C. FOIA follows case precedent from the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2012 at The FOIA blog
The FOIA Project reports that a study of FOIA lawsuits reveals that the 30 percent of all FOIA litigation is filed against the Department of Justice even though the agency only accounts for 10 percent of all FOIA requests. The... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2012 at The FOIA blog
Journalist Theo Karantsalis has won an appeal of a Secret Service FOIA request for information as to what manufacturers of printers use secret coded technology that burns the printer's serial number onto the printed pages. This allows law enforcement to... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2012 at The FOIA blog
A number of non-profits have sent a letter to Tony West, the Acting Associate Attorney General asking him to clarify issues raised by the Department of Justice's recent System of Records modifications in which it classified certain records maintained by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2012 at The FOIA blog
The Department of Justice has announced that it will hold a Sunshine Week event on March 12, 2012 to commerate the third anniversary of Attorney General Holder's FOIA Guidelines. The public is invited. In a perfect world, the Attorney General... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2012 at The FOIA blog
Justin Elliot writes about how the U.S. secrecy system is out of control and basically ignores directives from the President to be transparent in this offering in Elliot cites a number of examples how the bureaucracy moves slowly to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at The FOIA blog
The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) has requested that the National Archives and the CIA release some 50,000 pages relating to President John F. Kennedy's assassination that remain withheld in full from the public, as well as an undisclosed... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2012 at The FOIA blog
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has remanded a case against the United States Trade Representative because it found that the government's declarations failed to provide enough information to warrant the finding of summary judgment granted by the district court.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2011 at The FOIA blog
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press writes about the recent decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia finding that White House Visitor Logs are agency records subject to the FOIA. This decision is no surprise... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2011 at The FOIA blog
United States District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Gladys Kessler has told the FBI that it may not use new exemptions to withhold material it originally protected pursuant to Exemption 2 when it originally withheld the material prior... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2011 at The FOIA blog
Is the one put out by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration. It can be found here. The blog not only describes issues worked on by OGIS but gives... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2011 at The FOIA blog
The American Society for Access Professionals is holding a FOIA/PA workshop from September 19-21 in Chicago. Registration information can be found here. I'll be there and I am scheduled to run a few of the sessions. Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2011 at The FOIA blog