Q. I made three FOIA requests to the U.S. Attorney's Office that prosecuted me in a criminal case. I currently have a motion before the Court complaining and objecting to the defendant's document submission. This was submitted seven months ago or more. The case has been languishing for almost three years now. What can I do about this when the Court seems disinterested or worse? Is there a motion that would remedy all this and bring it to an end that gives me the documents I asked for?
A. I have reviewed the docket sheet from your case. Although it is not entirely clear which motions are still pending, but I would note that it is not uncommon for a court to take one year to issue a decision. The ultimate "weapon" for a dissatisfied federal litigant would be a petition for a writ of mandamus, which is essentially a lawsuit against the district court judge. See Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. I am not suggesting that you file (or not file) such a petition; I just wanted to make you aware of it.