Discussion in 'Leaks & Legal' started by MartinJDAnon, Jul 13, 2008.
long tiem been. Thinks they gots him.
Hired by OSA?
I smell Carmichael
Martin, you haven't posted in a while, but it is great that you are here giving advice and answering our questions. .
It is helpful and we can use all the help we can get. Thank You
The op of this thread has not chimed in since 2008. Chances of a resurgence of this thread is next to nil IMO.
Tikk is a lovely lovely competent lawyer who has been extremely generous with her time and knowledge when it comes to the WWP forum. Ask her, and you just might receive
(not that I disagree with the "lovely lovely" part)
Not that I'm insulted in the least but as subsequently noted, I'm a he. Appreciate the kind words by all though.
Yeah, I know better, sorry man. I've done it before and i might just do it again. My best friend for 20 years's nic is Tikk, and after a glass of wine every tikk is a 'she' to me =)
Thanks for all your insight here on WWP. I always enjoy your posts.
^^^^^ reported ^^^^^^
I am actually here, but due to a move from one state to another, I lost my original login information, so I had to set up a new account. Also with a switch in jobs, I had considerably less time to be on the forum, and it wasn't until today, that I actually managed to find them again. All the old links were down. Not sure how to convince you that I am MartinJDAnon, aside from saying that I am. Anyway, I am back, and here to answer your questions. I do appologize for the long absence.
The Legal Skeptic
You know the rules. Gotta post your tits. Otherwise, you're osaosaosa.
Welcome back brah!
we love you.
Dude, its been 3 years, that's like a million in anon years. Anyway if its you, welcome back. Otherwise, just welcome.
Take a lurk around the place, its changed some since '08.
And don't be surprised if you have re-earn lolyer cred. Members are encouraged to be skeptical, maybe especially of legal commentary words on the internet. But you should be cool with that since the word is right there in your name.
And Savi0r seems to approve. Phew, what a relief.
I know it has been three years. I switched jobs twice in that time period and moved twice as well. I have kind of fallen through the cracks of the net, and took up the mantle of Skeptic in regards to the Anti-Vaxers. I did go to Dragon*Con for the past two years and was at the Skeptics track where I had a chance to see the other Wise Beard Man, James Randi.
But I am back And ready to do what I can
well allrighty then, get to work
While I realize it will take some time to get my cred back, at least I still have my smilie :-D
Don't remember who gave me the link, but it suits me :-D
I got a stalled project possibly in need of advice to hit ya with for lack of better stuff to earn yer credit bak...
We did a dry run on an IRS FOIA Request earlier this year, for the finalized closing agreement w/ scientology (there's reason to believe the one leaked to the Wall Street Journal back in the day was an early draft) just to see what their 21st century reason for denying it was.
We Didnt get the expected reason... instead the hoopla given to deny it boiled down to closing agreements being exempt cuz includes confidential tax return info.
Personally - I care not what $$$$ values might be included in the actual signed agreement that was taken from "tax return info," but what i DO WANT to get my grubby lil hands on is the finalized version of all corporate entities & trust fund names rolled in under the signed version of the IRS v. Scientology closing agreement.
So I'm wondering in general - is FOIA filing for a redacted document a valid tactic to try on a 2nd request?
(More info related to these efforts listed under "IRS FOIA Requests" here: http://www.exposescientology.com/scientologyirs.html )
Also - finding an example of a IRS FOIA Request that we could follow for a 2nd filing, specifically asking for a redacted document has not come to light despite lots & lots of digging.
Any chance you (or any of our other much <3'd lawfags) got thoughts to offer us on ^^This stuff?
tl;dr : Asking for a redacted closing agreement that censors confidential tax return info but still leaves corporate/trust entity names intact - plausible or no - under IRS FOIA regs? (long shot plausible still counts as WTH cant-hurt2try)
O hai, lawlfag!
In the UK the next step would be an appeal to the Information Commissioner, does the US FOIA system not have a similar appeals process?
It does, but its a very limited "administrative appeal" process and the time limit is long past.
Also - we setup the original request up to easily appeal on the assumption we would get the exact same reason previously given in years past for denial - material solely originated from within the IRS.
When we didnt get ^^That expected reason - the original request was basically farked & there was no solid ground to argue on appeal. IOW, we were planning to appeal & set it up to be appealed... but they outsmarted us by giving a different reason for denial.
Thus we need to re-file from scratch using a completely different tactic for the request, so that it would have enough legs to stand on for taking it to the appeal level once it gets the initial request gets the knee jerk denial.
Yes, there's an administrative appeal phase which essentially is a more formal version of the original request, backed up with a memorandum containing legal argument. There is an art to these things. Since denial of the administrative appeal, which is the usual result, triggers the requester's right to file a FOIA lawsuit, one doesn't necessarily want to lay all one's cards on the table in the administrative appeal.
However, one also must raise anything likely to figure in the federal lawsuit, or risk waiving the argument. Federal courts handling FOIA litigation generally only want to deal with arguments and claims that have been "administratively exhausted," meaning that one has already sought and been denied relief by the executive agency.
Generally, FOIA litigation is lean on discovery, because the main item one wants to discover is the documents that are the subject of the FOIA request. Some litigants, more devious than smart, try to issue silly subpoenas for the very documents that are the subject of the FOIA suit. I think you can guess how well this works.
Because of the nature of the action, litigation tends to be based on the administrative record below. Therefore, the administrative appeal should be a stripped down version of the formal memorandum you intend to use in federal court. The exception will be if you believe the agency is likely to act in good faith and seriously consider the appeal material. Then you want to put in anything that would convince the agency.
Personally, I believe that this material will only be uncovered if the IRS voluntarily releases it (unlikely), chooses to waive the usual rules (and Scientology would likely intervene with its own lawsuit since they routinely do FOIA requests for FOIA requests about them and yes you can do that and they do), or lose a FOIA lawsuit. I think any serious request for that investigation report and other documentation of the same nature should be planned as a potential FOIA lawsuit, with counsel involved from the very beginning.
I'll also note that counsel fees are part of a winning FOIA lawsuit if the denial of the request was "unreasonable." I doubt the IRS's refusal to turn over these documents under FOIA is "unreasonable," though, since it is pursuant to agency regulations. Even if they are legally wrong to withhold it, and there are good arguments they are, I would be surprised if it rises to the level of being "unreasonable."
Therefore, my opinion is that these documents are likely to be costly. I have contemplated pursuing them as a pro se attorney, but have not been unemployed long enough to whip my research on this issue into a convincing set of papers, so that I could get the ball rolling.
Oh, also, welcome back MartinJD.
^^This excellent response (thank you anon!!! <3), jives with everything I was told by a family lawfag before the first FOIA request was filed, with one small extension...
the "There is an art to these things" was also applied to the crafting the initial request as well, in the context of - this is the type of request we should fully expect up front to require an appeal.
Our intent was/is to feel out if there is any chance whatsoever of "likely to act in good faith and seriously consider the appeal material"
And since it doesnt cost anything (aside from paper/postage) to file the initial request & appeal, i took on this project because of this reasoning: You never know unless u try; WTH - can't hurt to try; and Even if we fail to get the dox, we'll at least reveal something useful (their reason for denying the request) that should help somebody else later on who is prepared to go lawsuit route.
So I'm still game to give it another go... and either try the possible alternative angle (also suggested by family lawfag with emphasis on "possible") of requesting a redacted version of the document, or any other angle somebody can come up with that makes for a plausible long shot worth trying under the WTH-cant-hurt reasoning.
That is - if someone can tell me whether or not a redacted document request is a plausible angle to pursue, and/or possibly find us an example of an IRS FOIA request for a redacted document that we can follow when drafting the 2nd request.
MartinDJanon never let questions go unanswered, and would atleast reply with "I dont know" or "I need to look into that" as soon he would see something posed to him in this thread.
You've been here several times since i posed a question and said nothing. And yes - i posed a really complicated question that i already knew the answer too, mainly to put your claim of being MartinDJanon to the test just to see how you would respond.
YHBT (You Have Been Trolled), and failed to measure up imo.
On his first full day in office, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum instructing agencies subject to FOIA to readopt a presumption of disclosure. This looked promising, and I thought it might increase the likelihood of shaking something loose from the IRS, but unfortunately, it really hasn't panned out and, if anything, executive agencies are even more tight-lipped than during Bush.
It is probably still worth citing, but it seems to be a dead letter so far.
I think it's a plausible option, but not much more likely to be granted than the full document. Personally, I wouldn't ask for a redacted document, but if they chose to disclose it redacted, it would be up to them and then one could decide where to go from there. I think it is more likely that if such a case goes to court that the judge would review the document in camera (without the other side getting to look at it) to decide if the IRS's claims of exemption were legitimate or not, and that the court might order partial disclosure, perhaps with redaction limited to those portions that reveal individual taxpayer information.
I think there is a good argument that 501(c)(3) organizations should have less protectable privacy interest in tax return information, because they do not pay taxes and are therefore subsidized by the rest of us. Further, they're already subject to increased disclosure requirements. Unfortunately for this argument, the regulations don't make an exception for nonprofits.
I did cite Obama's initiative in my first request, but like u say - seems to be dead letter/issue.
This is pretty much where my thoughts are, except I think asking for the redacted documented has some value strictly as an exploratory tactic for the sake of:
A) remind them there is an interest in exploring it further and dragging this gory skeleton out of closet. (We Do Not Forget. Here's there chance to show some sign of good faith that they dont like the situation either.)
B) calling their bluff so2speak, just to see what other reason they give for not releasing a redacted version. if somebody ever seriously wants to pursue this with a legal fight, it cant hurt for them to know what resistance lies ahead.
Our 1st FOIA request eliminated the blanket NO-U excuse always given in the past when the 2 IRS investigation files in their entirety are requested, because ultimately - its only the signed agreement that matters in the bigger scheme of things re: unraveling a loophole to get the tax exempt status yanked. Basically i seen it as: 75% srs bizness, 25% paper raid trolling.
And I sorta see this 2nd FOIA request as the inverse - 75% paper raid trolling, 25% srs bizness. with the main point being - give the IRS one last reasonable shot to atleast do something -- give up as much of the dox as they can, despite their hands being tied.
And if they refuse to play ball - well then the exploratory ground work recon we did will still give somebody willing to go the lawfare route a birds-eye view of what the playing field will look like.
But I need to find an example of a FOIA request for redacted document of similar nature... so I can put our 2nd Request together in a reasonable fashion.
Saddly, my own experience with FOIA relates mainly to the FDA and FCC. Having said that, I am also in the process of moving which is part of the reason for slow responses.
I have some connections at the IRS though, so I might see if there are some back channels I can use.
Hope this helps.
Oh, and I did reply to someone who sent a private message to verify who I was. I am hoping they got it.
Thks - it does help, i seen you lurking but saying nothing thus i started to apply tinfoil and go hmmmmm
The user Glenn Beck, who I have helped with their legal matter, helped me get back into my original account. As a result, I am back to my normal self!! w00t! Hey, being technilogically forgetfull is a pain at times.
Anyway, I am moving over the next two days so if I am slow to respond, I appologize.
Welcome back Martin.
Indeed... Welcome, and sorries for the hard time (blush) but somebody had to do it
I know, and I appreciate it And......I can't believe I am saying this......Thanks Glenn Beck! :-D
probably unnecessary information, especially attached to a user name
Congrats, much cleaner.
I just have to say that I was never able to get my old name back . Now, now I am not gonna cry to much about it, but still, sue? I mean really? Really?
I switched jobs and I skipped across the country. I did not go to any 'Con' shows nor did I meet James Randi. But I did read Water For Elephants
I prefer to not sue to be honest Wastes a whole bunch of my time when evil and wiley ways usually work
Hope you are all doing well. My move to the great NorthEast is basically done. I am now once again ensconced as a corporate schill (yay!) and will be joining some of the Protests on Boston in the New Year Went to a few in Philly a while back, so it will be interesting to see how Boston is different.
Anyway, I do check here about every other or third day at the moment.
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