Sai v. TSA, No. 1:14-cv-00403 (D. D.C.) [FOIA #1]

Full case documents | Documents obtained | Other TSA litigation

Help wanted! Support me on patreon or with Bitcoin / PayPal. Share (& please email me a link). US citizens, contact your senator/rep and ask them to rein in the TSA. Any potential pro bono counsel and amici, please email me.

After having been harassed many times at the hands of the TSA, I made Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)1 / Privacy Act requests for a variety of documents related to two of the times the TSA violated my civil rights (and their own rules), TSA's policies, and a wide variety of other issues of public interest.

Unfortunately, the TSA doesn't obey Federal law, which requires a response to FOIA requests within 20 days. So I sued to force them to respond.



  1. Sai v. TSA, 54 F. Supp. 3d 5 (D.D.C. July 7, 2014), ECF No. 34, 42
    • Agency delay alone is not enough to grant a preliminary injunction.
  2. ECF No. 74, FR # TBD (Aug. 19, 2015)
    • TSA's rejection of two of my requests because I had signed them electronically rather than by hand was OK (and therefore deprived me of standing), even though they had never told me they wanted a hand signature, and I had immediately challenged their claim that my request was incomplete. (p. 6-9)
    • TSA's refusal to even consider my request for documents related to my Rehabilitation Act complaints to be a request was unreasonable, and TSA must respond to it. (p. 14-15)
  3. ECF No. 93, 155 F. Supp. 3d (Jan. 6, 2016)
    • The district court doesn't have jurisdiction, and/or it isn't yet presented, to compel service of 49 USC 46110(a)/46105(b) orders related to SSI withholdings, because TSA hasn't yet given their Vaughn index / declarations (p. 3-6)
    • I can't yet get costs back, because (a) it's not clear whether I'll get any records from the request whose status as a request I won, and (b) I can't yet prove whether or not TSA would have released the 3k+ pages of records to me without litigation (p. 6-9)
    • I can't supplement my complaint to include the 14 requests filed and exhausted since I started this lawsuit, because it wouldn't make this lawsuit finish faster, and my interest in avoiding extra fees is irrelevant (p. 10-12)


  1. Complaint (complaint, answer)
  2. TSA motion for summary judgment (motion, Statement of Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue, Memorandum in Support, Declaration of Regina McCoy (with exhibits), Declaration of Douglas Blair, Proposed Order)

Next update: August 8 opposition / cross motion. September 7 TSA reply / cross opposition. October 7 cross reply.

FOIA / PA requests currently in the case

Note: some responses have been redacted (by me) to remove some private information about myself. Some have also been redacted by the TSA; those redactions are labeled with the codes of their claimed exemptions.

I've annotated the list with the particularly interesting pages.

  1. 2013-01-26 TSA13-0375/2013-TSFO-00485/TSA13-0414/2013-TSPA-00368: Documents related to 2013-01-01 BOS incident
  2. 2013-02-15 #1 2013-TSFO-01088: Documents related to 2012-06-27 LGA incident
  3. 2013-02-15 #2 2013-TSFO-01088: Documents related to 2010-12-25 ORD incident
  4. 2013-02-21 TSA13-0424/2013-TSFO-01096: "any contract/agreement with other agencies regarding surveillance, or maintenance of surveillance footage, at Logan airport"
  5. 2013-03-15 TSA13-0488/2013-TSPA-00339/2013-TSFO-01179: Documents related to 2013-03-01 SFO incident
  6. 2013-03-16 TSA13-0494/2013-TSFO-00239: All TSA policies & procedures
  7. 2013-11-23: All documents related to both incidents & the TSA's unlawfully withheld response to my Rehabilitation Act grievance
  8. 2014-01-18 2014-TSPA-00188: Documents regarding/mentioning me or my requests
  9. 2014-02-02 2014-TSPA-00189: Documents related to 2014-01-24 RIC incident

FOIA/PA requests not currently in this case

  1. 2014-01-18 (resubmitted 2015-08-22) self 2014-TSPA-00188
  2. 2014-02-02 (resubmitted 2015-08-22) RIC events 2014-TSPA-00189
  3. 2014-07-17 training materials etc. 2014-TSFO-00464
  4. 2014-07-24 TSA complaints 2014-TSFO-00488
  5. 2014-07-25 TSA FOIA and Privacy Act requests and responses no number assigned
  6. 2014-07-30 my travel records 2014-TSPA-00485 2014-HQFO-00679 (DHS) 2014-HQAP-0082 (DHS)
  7. 2014-08-20 CAS contracts 2014-TSFO-00533
    Same request made directly to SFO (re. contracts with TSA or Covenant, and communications about me, the medical liquids incident, and training):
  8. 2014-08-25 SFO surveillance contracts 2014-TSFO-00534
  9. 2015-05-30 Consolidated User Guide no number assigned
  10. 2015-05-30 self 2015-TSFO-00336
  11. 2015-06-03 49 USC 46110 orders 2015-TSFO-00251 2014-HQAP-00082 (DHS) 2014-HQFO-00082 (DHS)
  12. 2015-06-06 military deployment at mass transit locations no number assigned
  13. 2015-06-16 CHIP, RIOT, CCSS, & CCTV 2015-HQFO-00523 (DHS); no TSA number assigned; TSA denied for scope, refused to issue determination or process appeal
  14. 2015-08-25 TSA documents "unperfected" req. 2015-0252 TSA denied for scope, refused to issue determination or process appeal

  1. If you're not familiar with the Freedom of Information Act, I highly recommend a read through the Deparment of Justice's guide to the FOIA as well as the less-technical Congressional guide. If you're planning to sue, get a copy of EPIC's guide to FOIA litigation.