Dennis v. Central Intelligence Agency


New York Law Journal


Judge John Gleeson

Dennis alleged she did not receive information about herself from the CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Homeland Security within 20 days as required by the Freedom of Information Act. Administrative appeals are pending. The CIA's July 13, 2012, letter stated that processing delays made it unlikely it could respond within 20 days. Similarly, Justice's June 5 letter on the DEA's behalf stated that Dennis would be informed of a decision on her appeal "as soon as we can." DHS's responsive Aug. 8 letter noted her request was overly broad, and that it must be resubmitted. Combining Dennis's pro se actions to compel compliance with her requests, the court dismissed Dennis's three complaints for failure to state a claim. Citing Sussman v. U.S. Department of Justice, the court noted that under the act an interim response informing the plaintiff that the agency is in the process of addressing her inquiry is sufficient to satisfy the requirement that the agency reply within the statutory 20-day period. Thus, to the extent Dennis argued that she constructively exhausted her administrative remedies because the CIA and DEA failed to decide her appeal within 20 days, her argument failed.

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