Ashish Patel (a.k.a. Ash Kumar), et al. v. Jeh Johnson, et al. (W.D. Wash., filed Feb. 05, 2015)
In September and October 2013, Mr. Patel submitted requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State (DOS) respectively, seeking “any and all records” under his name. Mr. Patel sought the information in order to obtain records from an incident at the U.S.-Canada border in 2012 which potentially affected his later application for a U.S. visa.
In general, the FOIA statute requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 business days. After waiting more than three months for DHS and DOS to produce his records, Mr. Patel filed a lawsuit in January 2014 seeking a court order forcing DHS and DOS to conduct a search and produce records related to his request. Nearly one year after filing, DHS and DOS finally produced the documents. Mr. Patel and DHS/DOS subsequently settled the case and jointly moved to dismiss it.