CREW sues CFPB for Mick Mulvaney communications with payday lender corporation
CREW and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have agreed to dismiss this lawsuit with prejudice. Read the stipulation of dismissal below.
CREW is suing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over their failure to produce records in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
On January 25, 2018, CREW submitted a FOIA request by email to the CFPB for two categories of records: (1) copies of all communications between Acting Director Mulvaney and anyone acting on behalf of World Acceptance Corporation from November 27, 2017 to the present, and (2) copies of all communications between then-Rep. Mulvaney and the CFPB that concern or mention in any way World Acceptance Corporation from January 1, 2011 through February 16, 2017.
CREW sought a waiver of fees associated with processing its request, explaining the requested records would contribute to a greater public understanding of the outside influences on the CFPB’s investigations and Acting Director Mulvaney’s possible role in securing the end of an investigation into one of his campaign contributors. As CREW explained, the public interest is at an apex when questions are raised about the motivations or and outside influences on an agency head like Acting Director Mulvaney who so radically changes the agency’s direction. CREW also requested that it be treated as a representative of the news media for purposes of search or review fees.
By letter sent by email on January 25, 2018, the CFPB confirmed receipt of CREW’s request and advised CREW its fee waiver request will be held in abeyance pending the quantification of responsive records. The CFPB also advised CREW the agency had determined CREW to be a media requester.
To date, the CFPB has neither provided CREW with a determination on its request nor provided CREW any information on the status of its request. CREW therefore has exhausted all applicable administrative remedies with respect to its January 25, 2018 FOIA request.
Therefore, CREW seeks declaratory relief that the CFPB is in violation of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(a), by refusing to provide CREW all responsive, non-exempt documents, and injunctive relief ordering the defendant CFPB to process and release to CREW immediately the requested records.