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Sherven v. FBI, No. 23-03923, 2024 WL 551655 (D.D.C. Feb. 9, 2024) (Contreras, J.)


Sherven v. FBI, No. 23-03923, 2024 WL 551655 (D.D.C. Feb. 9, 2024) (Contreras, J.)

Re:  Plaintiff’s allegations that the FBI is preventing plaintiff from submitting requests

Disposition:  Dismissing plaintiff’s case

  • Procedural Requirements, Proper FOIA Requests; Litigation Considerations, Jurisdiction:  The court relates that, “[a]llegedly, ‘whenever the Plaintiff clicks the button to submit a request’ via the FBI’s website, ‘it takes him to a page where he has to fill out his email,’ but [i]n the email there is a link that takes the Plaintiff back to the page where the Plaintiff’s email was entered.’”  “Plaintiff surmises that the FBI is ‘deliberately misdirecting’ him.”  The court finds that “FOIA jurisdiction extends to claims arising from an agency’s improper withholding of records requested in accordance with agency rules.”  “An ‘agency’s disclosure obligations are triggered by its receipt of a request that reasonably describes the requested records and is made in accordance with published rules stating the time, place, fees (if any), and procedures to be followed.’”  “Nothing suggests that Plaintiff has complied with the Department of Justice’s ‘Requirements for making requests’ under the FOIA . . .which instruct a requester to ‘write directly to the FOIA office of the component,’ here the FBI, and include the option of submitting a request by U.S. mail.”
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Jurisdiction
Procedural Requirements, Proper FOIA Requests
Updated March 4, 2024