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Immigration Law

H-1B FOIA Fight Nets $150K Settlement From USCIS: Rubman v. USCIS

Rubman v. USCIS, May 25, 2016, Joint Stipulation of Dismissal -"1. Defendants agree to continue processing their response to Mr. Rubman’s May 10, 2012, FOIA request, which is assigned USCIS case number COW2012000535, in good faith and in accordance with the parties’ prior agreement, and to complete processing of their response by July 29, 2016. If the defendants fail to act in good faith in making production in accordance with the parties’ prior agreement, Mr. Rubman may file a motion with the court pursuant to paragraph four of this agreement.  2. Defendants agree to respond to Mr. Rubman’s subsequent FOIA request, received by USCIS on February 10, 2015, and assigned USCIS case number COW2015000102, by August 15, 2016, and to waive any fees associated with this request. The parties agree that Mr. Rubman reserves the right to object to any redactions, omissions, or claims of exemption made by the Defendants with respect to this FOIA request, consistent with the DHS regulation at 6 C.F.R. § 5.9.  3. Defendants agree to pay Mr. Rubman $150,000 within 60 days of dismissal of this action in satisfaction of his request for attorney fees and costs, and Mr. Rubman further agrees that this Stipulation of Dismissal resolves all claims asserted or that could be asserted in this action and related to the FOIA request giving rise to this action, USCIS case number COW2012000535.  4. The parties agree that the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms stated above."

"Scott D. Pollock, an attorney representing Rubman, told Law360 on Thursday that the parties’ stipulation is “a long overdue resolution of an unnecessary controversy. It isn’t right that Rubman or the public has to struggle for over four years to receive agency records on such an import issue as the annual H-1B visa cap,” Pollock said. “We hope the terms of the settlement in Mr. Rubman’s favor will lead to more efficient and open disclosure practices by USCIS in the future.” - Law360, May 26, 2016.