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Boundaoui v. FBI, No. 17-4782, 2020 WL 5658704 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 23, 2020) (Durkin, J.)


Boundaoui v. FBI, No. 17-4782, 2020 WL 5658704 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 23, 2020) (Durkin, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning anti-terrorism investigation "'Operation Vulgar Betrayal'" ("OVB") or "'265-CG-101942'" that began in 1995 and was closed in 2000

Disposition:  Denying plaintiff's show cause motions

  • Litigation Considerations:  The court relates that "Plaintiff argues that the Court should hold Defendants in contempt for failure to adequately search for documents responsive to Sections Two and Three of the FOIA Request, and for failure to produce them at the 3,500 pages per month rate set forth in the Court's September 2017 Order."  "[T]he Court declines to hold Defendants in contempt for their efforts, because Plaintiff has not shown that any violation of the Court's orders was 'significant,' or that Defendants 'failed to take steps to reasonabl[y] and diligently comply' with those orders, insofar as Sections Two and Three are overbroad and Defendants have nevertheless begun to process documents in good faith based on the clarification Plaintiff recently provided."  However, "[t]he Court . . . questions the FBI's decision not to notify Plaintiff in the first instance of its position that Sections Two and Three did not reasonably describe records for purposes of any search."  "Accordingly, notwithstanding that the September 2017 Order did not unambiguously require Defendants to provide them (let alone at an accelerated rate), and taking into account Plaintiff's representation that she has begun work on a second documentary concerning FBI surveillance, the Court directs Defendants to process the remainder of the approximately 41,250 pages that make up [a file that, "while not 'continuations of the work of' OVB, 'appear[ed] to share common subject matter with' OVB"] at a rate of 1,000 pages per month, beginning with the October 2020 production in this matter."
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Updated October 27, 2020