AILA Doc No. 13111458 | Dated November 14, 2013
On November 13, 2012, AILA, in conjunction with the American Immigration Council (AIC) and Public Citizen, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for all complaints made against immigration judges, records relating to those complaints, and an index of those requested records that constitute final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases.
On June 6, 2013, when no response had been received from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the three organizations filed a lawsuit. The complaint challenged EOIR’s refusal to disclose complaints alleging misconduct by immigration judges and records that would reveal whether the agency adequately investigates and resolves those complaints. (AILA Doc. No. 13060649.)
On October 31, 2013, the DOJ released the first set of documents pursuant to the FOIA request and accompanying lawsuit. Pursuant to a negotiated agreement, the information released by DOJ covers cases resolved on or after October 1, 2009. The first set of documents includes entries made in the Immigration Judge Complaint Database, which contain a brief summary of each complaint’s history.
From November 2013-June 2014, DOJ produced more detailed information about each complaint. The detailed information includes documents such as emails, letters, and decisions related to the complaint. The information is organized by the complaint numbers from the Immigration Judge Complaint Database entries. Due to the large volume of responsive records, the complaints are consolidated into zip files in batches of 100. Please note that the files are quite large and will take a few minutes to download. Please reference the Instructions for “unzipping” if you need assistance.
On December 24, 2014, the court granted EOIR’s motion for summary judgment on release of immigration judges names, saying that disclosure of the names, genders, and locations of the IJs mentioned in the complaints would encroach upon the IJs’ privacy interests. (AILA Doc. No. 14123040.) However, the judge granted AILA’s motion for summary judgment on the release of information redacted as non-responsive, concluding that the redacted information was responsive to AILA’s request and that EOIR must release any material withheld from the complaint records on that basis.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 13111458.