Raher v. BOP
In 2008, as part of a law-school research project, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), seeking documents concerning a series of privately-operated prisons which hold "criminal aliens." The BOP denied my request for a fee waiver and the Department of Justice refused to act on my appeal. Due to the government's unwillingness to properly handle my request, I filed suit on May 13, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.
Selected documents from the case (Raher v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, No. 09-CV-526) are available below.
On September 2, 2010, the court ordered the BOP to produce detailed descriptions of the documents it has withheld, along with explanations of why such documents exempt from FOIA disclosure. The BOP filed its supplemental evidence on November 5, 2010. I filed my response on January 28.
On November 3, the court allowed private prison operator GEO Group, Inc. to intervene in the lawsuit. On November 22, I filed an amended complaint which includes two claims against GEO under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court dismissed the § 1983 claims on February 2, 2011.
On May 24, the court granted summary judgment on most of my FOIA claims. As to the pricing information, the court denied summary judgment, saying a trial is necessary to resolve disputed issues of material fact.
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