For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2006
David Burnham, TRAC (202) 518-9000
Scott Nelson, Public Citizen (202) 588-7724
Full Text of Order (PDF)
Opinion (PDF)
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Department of Justice Ordered to Release
Additional Information

Washington, D.C. -- A federal court has ruled that under the Freedom of Information Act the Justice Department must provide TRAC with additional information about the government's enforcement of the law. The September 8, 2006 ruling by Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia significantly expands the range of data that the DOJ is required to provide TRAC.

TRAC's continuing legal efforts to obtain the Justice Department information -- going back for a decade -- have involved numerous administrative requests and two separate court actions brought with the pro bono assistance of the Public Citizen Litigation Group.

Judge Friedman's ruling ordered the DOJ to turn over to TRAC various categories of information that it previously has withheld, including the following:

  • The names, file names and docket numbers in criminal cases where the defendant is a corporation or business.

  • The program category -- except for records relating to terrorism and anti-terrorism -- for each recommendation by an agency that an individual be prosecuted. (The department already provides TRAC with complete program category information about all matters that in one way or another have been have been disposed of or have resulted in prosecution.)

  • The "lead charge" involved in almost all criminal referrals from the agencies. (Once again, TRAC already obtains lead charge information about matters that have been disposed of or have resulted in a prosecution.)
The DOJ was ordered to start providing the additional information by November 1, 2006.