May 26, 2022

New Data Analysis: FOIA Lawsuits Reach Highest Level Recorded in 25 Years

From The FOIA Project:

The latest available case-by-case records from the federal courts show that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits challenging the withholding of records have risen since President Trump assumed office. The number of recorded FOIA filings in April climbed to 63 – the highest level recorded for at least 25 years. And although the month is not complete, additional filings during May appear headed even higher with 60 new FOIA lawsuits already filed.

If the pace of FOIA filings during the first seven-plus months of this fiscal year continues at the same rate, FY 2017 will see upwards of 579 FOIA suits filed. This would be up from 512 such suits filed during the last fiscal year of the Obama Administration.

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More Info From TRAC:

Information sought included records on President Trump’s executive orders, warrant applications for conducting surveillance, actions by the new EPA administrator, internal agency communications concerning China at the State Department, operation of the CIA’s twitter account, and border searches conducted by the DHS. Other examples covered records on the missile attack on Syria, the raid in Yemen, eligibility for the Trusted Traveler Program, obligations to taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act, and the federal coal program.

These results are based on case-by-case court records compiled and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University for the FOIA Project.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.