On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Lawsuit Against EPA Moving to Next Phase

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA


__________________________________________

Mario Sanchez, pro se

Plaintiff,

v.

Environmental Protection Agency

Ariel Rios Building

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20460

Defendant.

MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT

Comes now Plaintiff pro se and requests the Court, pursuant to Rule 55(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for the entry of a judgment by default against the defendant. In support of this request, Plaintiff pro se relies upon the record in this case and the affidavit submitted therein.

STATEMENT OF PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND RELEVANT FACTS

  1. On September 20, 2009 Plaintiff pro se filed with this Court a Complaint For Declaratory And Injunctive Relief Under the Freedom of Information Act.
  2. The Defendant was properly served via US MAIL, and later via the United States Marshal Service on January 11, 2010 as ordered by this Court on October 21, 2009.
  3. In the aforementioned complaint the Plaintiff enumerated numerous environmental crimes that occurred on the City of Marco Island.
  4. In an attempt to ascertain the extent of the damage to the environment, and in an attempt to determine the health consequences to the residents of Marco Island caused by the environmental crimes, the Plaintiff issued on July 31, 2008 a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Defendant.
  5. By letter dated January 28, 2009 – five (5) months after the original FOIA request – the EPA produced some copies of newspaper clippings, several all black or nearly all black pages, and several redacted documents that appear to be emails authored by local homeowners.
  6. By the same letter of January 28, 2009, the EPA did not release or disclose any document or information internal to the EPA or any other federal agency.
  7. By the same letter of January 28, 2009, the EPA justified its refusal to release any internal EPA document or information, refused to release any relevant non internal EPA document or information, and justified the redacted emails and the black pages, claiming exemption under 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(2), (7)(C) and (7)(D).
  8. By letter dated February 27, 2009, Plaintiff administratively appealed the EPA's refusal to produce the requested information.
  9. By eight (8) letters dated from May 5, 2008 thru August 30, 2009, Plaintiff requested EPA's director and now current director Lisa Jackson to provide the requested information and to expedite the appeal.
  10. To date, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has ignored all eight (8) letters.
  11. By letter dated September 10, 2009 – thirteen (13) months since the plaintiff's original FOIA request, the EPA denied the appeal by again refusing to release any internal EPA document or information, any relevant non internal EPA document or information, claiming as an exemption in part that, though no law enforcement has taken place, those responsible and subject to the EPA's investigation "may be embarrassed" by the release of such information.
  12. To date, as of March 19, 2010 – twenty (20) months since the Plaintiff's FOIA request was served on the EPA – the EPA has refused to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.
  13. The purpose of providing this detail is to demonstrate to the Court the now nearly two-years that have passed, and the extensive and protracted efforts by the Plaintiff to obtain the information to which the Plaintiff and the residents of Marco Island are entitled to by law.



AUTHORITY

In light of the above detailed relevant facts, the Plaintiff has established a right to relief as required pursuant to Rule 55 (d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


REQUEST FOR JUDGMENT

Wherefore, the Plaintiff pro se respectfully requests that this Court:

  1. Declare that the Defendant's refusal to produce the requested information is unlawful;
  2. Declare that the public's right to know the health risks and environmental destruction resulting from the release and introduction of any contaminants into the air and waterways of Marco Island, Florida far surpasses the potential for "embarrassing" those responsible;
  3. Order Defendant to release to Plaintiff all documents, emails (with attachments), photographs, reports, and any and all documentation or information irrespective of form or media as related in any way to Marco Island, Florida from the periods January 1, 2005 thru the present;
  4. Order the Defendant to release the above noted information without obstruction, redaction and without censorship of any kind;
  5. Order the Defendant to release the above noted information without cost to the Plaintiff;
  6. Order the Defendant to release the above noted information within thirty (30) days of this order;
  7. Award Plaintiff any costs that were incurred in this action; and
  8. Grant such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.


Respectfully submitted,



Date: __March 19, 2010

1 Comments:

  • May the sunshine enlighten us all as you petition the court to reveal all discussions (especially internal) related to the handling of hazardous waste. Obviously, it is a sad day in America when you need to petition the court to obtain information that those who are entrusted to protect us are in fact refusing to release findings or discussions held by them.

    Continue the fight. Freedom rings.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, March 20, 2010 8:23:00 AM  

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