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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)


FOIA Requests & Responses

FOIA Complaints Filed

FOIA Documents Received

Recent Legal Actions


Leonard Peltier's Legal Team Continues to Pursue Various
Government Agencies to Procure Documents Withheld:

The government still is admittedly withholding approximately 100 thousand more pages of documents, which are being aggressively pursued by the legal team. After attempting for over a year to amicably acquire these documents which are being withheld by various government agencies concerning Leonard's case, Peltier Attorneys Michael Kuzma and Barry Bachrach filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) complaint in the United States District Court for Massachusetts against the Executive Office of United States Attorneys on November 1, 2002 to require them to produce documents being withheld. Michael Kuzma, Barry Bachrach, Bruce Ellison and Carl Nadler have also filed FOIA complaints against the FBI and CIA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C., respectively.

With respect to the documents sought from the U.S. Attorneys, the legal team will receive documents from the U.S. Attorney's Office from North Dakota on February 6, 2003, as well as additional documents. The legal team has filed motions to require the CIA and FBI to produce so-called Vaughn indices. These indices will require the FBI and CIA to identify the documents being withheld and the reasons for their withholding the documents. A motion is scheduled in the FBI case in Minneapolis for March 4, 2003, to determine whether and how soon the FBI will be required to file a Vaughn Index. We anticipate that these indices will be very revealing and demonstrate what the government has been concealing all these years.

In addition, Barry Bachrach and Michael Kuzma have issued FOIA requests to 35 FBI field offices, which had not previously been served with FOIA requests. The legal team expects to find pertinent information in these documents unless they have not been destroyed or concealed by the agencies.

Action Needed!

You Can Help!

The legal team suggests a letter writing campaign to write letters to the editors of local newspapers to help support efforts in acquiring these documents. Click here for more information on this action.


Legal Actions: FOIA Complaints Filed


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A FOIA Complaint was Filed Friday, Nov. 15, 2002 in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota against the FBI.

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On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2002, a FOIA Complaint was filed in Washington, DC against the CIA.

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Another FOIA Complaint Filed Friday, Nov. 1, 2002 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Executive Office of United States Attorneys (EOUSA).


FOIA Requests, Responses and Appeals


In August and October of last year and January and April of this year, Michael Kuzma, Esq. sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on behalf of Mr. Leonard Peltier to various field offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). The field offices forwarded these requests to the FBI Headquarters and they were assigned number 949659-001. Thereafter, Mr. Loren Shaver, Paralegal Supervisor, FBI, contacted counsel for Mr. Peltier to discuss these FOIA requests. Mr. Shaver asserted that there were too many documents to produce and registered several other untenable reasons for not complying with the requests. The parties were unable to resolve the issues. In response to requests, the FBI submitted to Mr. Kuzma a 16-page summary on August 2, 2002 and a one-page summary on August 23, 2002. We are treating this response by the FBI as a denial of Mr. Peltier’s FOIA requests to produce documents and this letter, therefore, serves as an appeal of the FBI’s refusal to produce the requested documents. The grounds for this appeal are [stipulated]. [See FOIA Appeal to U.S. Department of Justice for details.]

Subject of Correspondence

Date

FBI Objects to Request for Hearing

Letter from U.S. Department of Justice to the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson, U.S. District Court, St. Paul, MN. Regarding Leonard Peltier v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Civil Action No. 02-4328 (DWF/SRN), objecting to Plaintiff's request for hearing and list of issues

May 22, 2003

Peltier Attorney Confirmation of Hearing Date

Letter from Peltier Attorney, Barry Bachrach, to the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson, U.S. District Court, St. Paul, MN. Regarding Leonard Peltier v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Civil Action No. 02-4328 (DWF/SRN), confirming a Hearing Date of June 12, 2003 (3:30 PM), that is a continuation of the Hearing held March 4, 2003.

May 20, 2003

Response
Appeal Denial

FOIA Denial of Appeal from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Information and Privacy to Peltier Attoney, Michael Kuzma, regarding failure of FBI Buffalo Field Office to respond to request for access to records concerning Leonard Peltier.

May 19, 2003

Declaration

Declaration - From U.S. Department of Justice to the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson, U.S. District Court, St. Paul, MN. Regarding Leonard Peltier v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Civil Action No. 02-4328 (DWF/SRN) (Posted 5-25-03)

Mar 20, 2003

Letter Regarding Declaration

Letter Regarding Declaration - From U.S. Department of Justice to the Honorable Susan Richard Nelson, U.S. District Court, St. Paul, MN. Regarding Leonard Peltier v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Civil Action No. 02-4328 (DWF/SRN) (Posted 5-25-03)

Mar 20, 2003

Response

National Archives Response on Status of Allegation Regarding Destruction of FBI Field Office Files Relating to Leonard Peltier (Web Posted 5-25-03)

Feb 20, 2003

Response

New York City: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Dec 18, 2002

Response

Jacksonville, FL: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Dec 16, 2002

Response

Sacramento: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Dec 13, 2002

Response

Houston: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Dec 4, 2002

Response

Anchorage: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Nov 26, 2002

Response

U.S. Department of Justice, United States Parole Commission Response to FOIA Request

Nov 13, 2002

Appeal Denial

FOIA Denial of Appeal from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Information and Privacy

Oct 17, 2002

Response

U.S. Department of Justice, FBI - Washington, D.C., Response to FOIA Requests from Field Offices

Oct 1, 2002

Appeal

FOIA Appeal to U.S. Department of Justice
RE: FBI Request # 949659-001

Sept 19, 2002

Request

Special Request to FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. that a Directive is Issued to All Field Offices to Place a Moratorium on Destruction of Records Related to the Case of Leonard Peltier

Sept 10, 2002

Response

Pittsburgh, PA: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Apr 26, 2002

Response

National Security Agency, Central Security Service Response to FOIA Request Regarding PA Case: 41156

Jan 16, 2002

Response

Chicago: FBI Response to FOIA Request

Dec 27, 2001

Response

National Reconnaissance Office Response to FOIA Request

Dec 12, 2001

Response

Office of Attorney General - Pierre, South Dakota - Response to FOIA Request

Feb 12, 2001


A FOIA REQUEST resulted in the release of full audio tapes and documents from the July 9, 2002 Statutory Interim Parole Board Hearing for Leonard Peltier (Leavenworth, Ks)

Multimedia Room

Audio Recording: 2002 Parole Hearing

Click here to view documents and to listen to audio clips from the Statutory Interim Parole Board Hearing

MP3 Audio Format


FOIA Documents Recently Received


Issued

Type

Document

Subject

Declassification

8-27-73

Posted
5-15-03

FOIA Requests and Responses

United States Government Memorandum
(3 Pages)

American Indian Movement (AIM) Extremist Matter

1-23-84

8-28-73

 
Posted
5-15-03

FOIA Requests and Responses

U.S. Gov't Memorandum to the FBI Director from Wm. D. Ruckelshaus, Acting U.S. Deputy Attorney General
(2 Pages)

Activities of the FBI concerning the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee Facilities, Rapid City, South Dakota

?

8-30-73

 
Posted
5-15-03

FOIA Requests and Responses

AIRTEL Communication to FBI Director from SAC, Minneapolis
(7 Pages)

Activities of the FBI concerning the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee Facilities, Rapid City, South Dakota

8-8-84

7-2-75

Posted
4-30-03

FOIA Requests and Responses

Memorandum from W.R. Wannall to Mr. J.B. Adams

Supervisor Richard W. Held; IS-1 Section, Intelligence Division: Availability of Informants

1-10-95

7-16-75

Posted
4-30-03

FOIA Requests and Responses

Urgent Fugitive Alert

Leonard Peltier, AKA - Fugitive; Frank Black Horse, AKA - Fugitive: Fugitive subjects are prime suspects in RESMURS investigation.

9-6-79

 

 


Other Recent Legal Actions


Legal Team Update: January 30, 2003

Legal Team Summary: Leonard Peltier's Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Jan. 2003)

10th Circuit Summary Reply Brief - Printer Friendly

WORD File - 10th Circuit Summary Reply Brief

Summary Reply Brief filed on January 30, 2003 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

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Brief filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit