How-To: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) DHS/TSA/Federal Government and Not Take Any Shit (+FTCA Claim)

Disclaimer: This post is intended to show how *I* dealt with a FOIA situation with the federal government, and is not intended as legal advice. I am not an attorney, and I am certainly not your attorney.

I got my first reply to my FOIA request regarding my false arrest and detention in FLL, and noticed my claim number assigned was “TSA11-0859.” This leads me to believe that my request is #859 to the TSA for the year, which suprised me as incredibly small. So, I’d like to share how I filed my request in case you have something you’d like from the TSA and want to see how someone else went about requesting something.

I mailed in the request 3 days after being abused by Transportation Security Manager Alejandro Chamizo. Timing is important — if you wait more than a month, the security camera tapes are probably overwritten.

I received a reply back saying the request was received 16 days after I mailed it, that they might charge me fees, and that I needed to submit an affidavit affirming my identity since some of the records I requested can only be released to the person who is in the records (me).

My reply includes the affidavit (which next time, I would include with the original letter), a note that they received it only 4 days after I sent it according to the post office, and a request to waive the fees, hurry up, and don’t forget anything!

Corbett v. TSA – FOIA Request (Initial request)
Corbett v. TSA – FOIA Response 1 (Their response to me)
Corbett v. TSA – FOIA Reply 1 (My response to them)

Within the first document, you also get a look at my FTCA claim, which is necessary under most circumstances for suing the federal government (notable exception: constitutional violations). Since I’ll be claiming constitutional violations in addition to other (state-law) claims, I needed the FTCA claim.

Update: A reader claiming to be a TSA employee claims that he has reviewed the list of TSMs at FLL, and that Mr. Chamizo is not on it. For clarity, I was told by a uniformed TSA screener that the man was a TSM, and his clothing and demeanor seemed congruent with that. I will continue to update when I receive new information.

Update 2: Broward County has confirmed for me that Mr. Chamizo is NOT a county employee. Until I see evidence otherwise, I stand by my original statement of TSA TSM (or similar position).

6 thoughts on “How-To: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) DHS/TSA/Federal Government and Not Take Any Shit (+FTCA Claim)

Add yours

  1. Jon: Such a nice looking man and with such a lovely wife, I wonder why he had such an interest in fondling your butt and genitals. Maybe it was your hair….

  2. When all is said and done, if the Transportation Safety Administration refuses to stop their molesting, abusing, and thefts, then it is incumbent on the public-at-large to personally defend themselves against any activity by the TSA.

    I would stronlgy urge everyone who travels to keep a digital camera and a personal tape recorder, and specifically identify the name of every TSA agent they encounter in a commercial airport.

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