Skip to main content

Open Soc'y Justice Initiative v. CIA, No. 19-234, 2019 WL 3561889 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 6, 2019) (Engelmayer, J.)


Open Soc'y Justice Initiative v. CIA, No. 19-234, 2019 WL 3561889 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 6, 2019) (Engelmayer, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

Disposition:  Denying defendants' motion for reconsideration of monthly processing rates

  • Litigation Considerations:  "[T]he information presently before the Court, including the new facts contained in the State Department's submissions in support of reconsideration, reinforces the judgment that a 5,000-page-per-month review pace is merited."  "The Court finds this processing rate 'practicable' within the meaning of FOIA."  "The Court was aware when it originally ordered a 5,000-page-per-month processing rate that this directive would require the State Department either to divert resources from other FOIA requests or to mobilize additional resources."  "The Court's Order – which fell between the parties' competing proposals, albeit imposing a numeric target closer to the 7,500-page monthly target urged by [plaintiff] than to the 300-page monthly target urged by the State Department – reflected a thoughtful attempt to balance the competing interests at hand, as FOIA case law requires."  "As the Court has recognized at every conference in this case, the instant FOIA request concerns a matter of exceptional public importance and obvious and unusual time-sensitivity."  "As the record in this case reflects, these request-specific interests have driven the Court's judgment that a heightened commitment of resources is warranted for this particular FOIA request."  "The Court has found that there is paramount public importance and urgency to [plaintiff's] request for records bearing on the information known to the federal agencies regarding Khashoggi's disappearance."  'The Court reiterates that assessment here."  The court finds similarly regarding DOD and specifically notes that "[t]he Court is sensitive to the many important FOIA requests that DOD receives and that DOD's seemingly antiquated review capacities strain the ability of its personnel to attend manually to these requests."  "Nonetheless, DOD's decision to thus far deny itself the technologic capacity to speed its review cannot dictate the Court's assessment of the review pace that is 'practicable' under FOIA."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Updated January 7, 2022