District Court Rejects Preliminary Injunction to Force BCFP to Respond to FOIA Request
Weiner Brodsky Kider PC, JDSupra, Nov. 19, 2018
On November 1, 2018, the District Court for the District of Columbia denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to have the BCFP turn over documents related to a 2015 Civil Investigative Demand (CID) issued to a real estate website company. The Court refused the preliminary injunction request because it concluded that the plaintiff had failed to establish a likelihood of success on the merits, show irreparable harm, or demonstrate that the balance of hardship and the public interest weigh in favor of injunctive relief.
The plaintiff in this case is lead counsel in a class action, where he represents purchasers of the real estate website company securities that was subject to a BCFP CID in 2015. In the class action, the purchasers alleged the real estate company violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. However, that case was dismissed without prejudice with leave to amend. The judge in that case directed the purchasers to file a second amended complaint by November 16, 2018. As a result, the attorney submitted a FOIA request to the BCFP for records concerning the 2015 CID, but the Bureau did not provide the records within the 20-day statutory time frame set to respond to a FOIA request. The attorney asked the court in the current case to issue a preliminary injunction ordering the Bureau to release all responsive records to the FOIA request, as he argued that these documents were critical to supporting the allegations in the second amended complaint.
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[FOIA Advisor reported on the issuance of the decision discussed in this article, Baker v. CFPB, earlier this month.]