UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
_____ CIVIL ACTION
THOMAS STALCUP )
) COMPLAINT AND REQUEST
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION )
SAFETY BOARD ) FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
The plaintiff, THOMAS STALCUP (Chair of Flight 800
Independent Researchers Organization) at all times relevant to the allegations
of this Complaint, has been a resident of the Town of
2. The defendant, the NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD, is an
agency of the of the
3. Subject matter jurisdiction exists pursuant to 5 USC § 552(a)(4)(B) which grants a
district court of the
1) On or about July 20, 2004, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (hereinafter, FOIA), plaintiff Stalcup requested from defendant NTSB the following records in two separate requests (request for debris data copied in a through d below and a request for sonar data copied in e and f below):
a) Electronic copies of any and all debris field databases, including but not limited to Excel spread sheet(s) and MS Access database(s).
b) Full quality, electronic reproductions of all salvage and/or debris field maps ever produced during the investigation.
c) All information, including the complete chain of custody, divers notes and logs, and forensic analyses, reports and documents of any and all wreckage found in the circled area, labeled “A” in section four, Fig. 4 of my 2002 petition to the NTSB. Please note that the Navy salvage map lists wreckage “recovered (confirmed)” in this area, which is approximately ½ mile due south of TWA Flight 800’s last transponder return.
d) Any and all radar analyses, conclusions, reports, memos, or other communications related radar targets apparently related to wreckage exiting the airframe at speeds in excess of 400 mph (relative to the airframe).
e) Full quality copies of any and all sonar recordings from ten minutes before the crash until ten minutes after the crash.
f) All information, reports, communications, documents, and/or any other material related to the analysis of any sonar recording from the time of and within ten minutes of the crash.
The “petition to the NTSB” listed above in 1c was
described in the original FOIA request as follows: “In July 2002, I sent the
NTSB a petition for probable cause reconsideration of TWA Flight 800. In that petition, I requested an explanation
for FAA radar recordings of wreckage that exited the right side of the jetliner
at high speeds. Fig. 4 within section
four of the petition displays the radar data in question in a circled area,
labeled A. The circle is centered around a point approximately ½ mile due south of Flight
800’s last transponder return. The
petition, with all of its sections and figures, can be viewed at www.Flight800.org .” The NTSB received, and on
After not receiving any response from the NTSB
regarding the two FOIA requests for nearly three months, plaintiff Stalcup
appealed the NTSB’s effective denial of the requested
information on or about
The NTSB has not responded to either appeal as of the
date of this filing,
All of the data requested is of great importance to the
public understanding of the crash of TWA Flight 800. The debris field
data may help determine exactly where and when in the chain of custody several
wreckage items effectively vanished from the investigation. One piece in particular landed closer to
CLAIM I: REQUEST FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF ENJOINING DEFENDANT NTSB FROM ACTING IN BAD FAITH BY FAILING TO RELEASE RECORDS DESCRIBED IN THE PLAINTIFF’S REQUESTS FOR SPECIFIC RECORDS.
1) The plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 4 of this Complaint as though fully set forth herein.
2) U.S.C. § 552 (a)(3) requires that governmental agencies “upon any request . . . shall make the records promptly available to any person.”
3) Defendant NTSB acted in bad faith by not responding, within twenty days, to plaintiff’s appeal of its failure to send him the requested documents. Such action violated 5 U.S.C. § 552(f)(6)(A)(ii), causing harm to the plaintiff.
4) Plaintiff Stalcup, who has exhausted his administrative remedies, is entitled to judicial review of this claim pursuant to 5 USC § 552(a)(4)(B).
WHEREFORE, the plaintiff requests that this court:
1. enjoin defendant NTSB from acting in bad faith and order it to conduct a good faith, adequate search of its records in response to the plaintiff’s request and to release to the plaintiff all requested records located during the course of this search;
2. require the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s litigation costs and expenses; and
3. award such other relief as this Court deems just, equitable and appropriate
DATED: July 12, 2000 Respectively submitted,