Sai v. Smith et al., No. 3:16-cv-01024-JST (N.D. CA.) [SFO], No. 16-16702 (9th Cir.) [re appointment of counsel]

Full case documents: 3:16-cv-1024 N.D. CA. [SFO], 16-16702 (9th Cir.) [counsel] | Evidence | Other TSA litigation

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Filed Feb. 29, 2016, this case brings civil rights claims against TSA and individual TSA agents stemming from my abuse at SFO airport. See my complaint, TSA's unlawfully delayed response, my appeal, and their response (pending).

I am looking for potential class members. If you have been harmed by TSA's policy saying they can decide what is medical, refuse to screen or allow what they think are not "medical" liquids, and refuse to allow what they think is more than a "necessary amount", please fill out this form.

The court held that TSA "manifestly failed to comply with its obligation" to respond to my SFO grievance, constituting "agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed". Opinion, p. 13. "Defendants’ 2.75-year delay in responding to [my] SFO complaint is “unreasonable”", and "[i]t is difficult to envision the “rule of reason” that would permit an agency routinely to delay the processing of administrative complaints by a factor of five times the timetable set out in the agency’s governing regulations". Id., p. 30.

Therefore, the court in my Rehab Act case ordered them to respond to my complaint… nearly three years after I made it.

They took 1,036 days to respond to my SFO complaint, 764 days to respond to my BOS complaint, & 114 days to respond to the BOS appeal. By law, they have 180 days to respond to a complaint, and 30 days to respond to an appeal.

Their response, tl;dr: TSA admits that it did not follow its own policy as I read it, and "literal language of those documents could be read in that manner", but claims "that it is not an objectively reasonable understanding of TSA’s statements".

Why? Because they claim that somehow they are allowed to determine the amount "reasonably limited to the duration of travel" — and that "repacking the liquid, acquiring large bottles of liquid past the checkpoint, checking the liquid" would be reasonable "alternative accommodations".

Presumably, the unavoidable admission of fault is why they fought me in court for two years to not give me this document.

My appeal, tl;dr: My position is that TSA has no authority or capability to determine how much people "need" to bring with them, to limit it to how much is "needed", to require anyone to disclose medical info (such as the simple fact that an item is medical) about liquids that are not WEI, or to stop anyone at all from going through security with juice — even if they have no "medical need" and want to bring 5 gallons of it.

Their appeal response, tl;dr: they're sticking with their previous response.

Status: pending CM/ECF order and other initial filings

Next update: probably mid-March