(CN) – Plaintiffs are not retroactively entitled to attorney’s fees for Freedom of Information Act petitions filed before the OPEN Government Act was enacted in 2007, the D.C. Circuit ruled in a pair of recent decisions.
In one case, Judicial Watch sought records of communications between the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada congressional delegation over a federal land deal. When the search proved fruitless, Judicial Watch decided not to pursue the lawsuit, but reserved the right to request attorney’s fees.
In the other case, a man named John Davis filed a FOIA request for access to tape recordings made during an FBI investigation of a New Orleans mob boss. He sued the Justice Department when it failed to hand over some of the recordings.
“Congress did not make the Act retroactive,” Judge Thomas Griffith wrote, rejecting both plaintiffs’ bids for attorney’s fees.