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Case TitleArgus Leader Media v. United States Department of Agriculture
DistrictDistrict of South Dakota
CitySouthern Division
Case Number4:2011cv04121
Date Filed2011-08-26
Date Closed2016-11-30
JudgeU.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier
PlaintiffArgus Leader Media
doing business as Argus Leader
DefendantUnited States Department of Agriculture
AppealEighth Circuit 12-3765
AppealEighth Circuit 17-1346
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Opinion/Order [38]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in South Dakota has ruled that 7 U.S.C. § 2018(c) is an Exemption 3 statute that protects redemption data, which includes the amount of money qualified stores are reimbursed for participating in the federal food stamp program. The Argus Leader submitted a request to the Food and Nutrition Service for information about the food stamp program, including the amounts reimbursed to specific stores. The agency provided some of the information, but withheld the redemption data under § 2018(c). Noting that whether or not § 2108(c) qualified as an Exemption 3 statute had never been litigated before, the court indicated that "the only time that it is acceptable to release information under the statute is if it is either for administrative or enforcement purposes or to investigate criminal activity. That restriction and the statutory language that discusses safeguarding or punishment for releasing information is the type of language that, on its face, is indicative of a withholding statute." The newspaper contended that the redemption data did not qualify under the statutory provision. The court disagreed, pointing out that the information required to be submitted by stores accepting food stamps "allows the government to determine if the applicant qualifies or continues to qualify for participation in the [food stamp] program. This type of information, especially to determine if a retailer continues to qualify for [food stamp] participation, includes the amount of income (redemption data) each retailer derives from [the program] and the federal government." The court concluded that "under the plain language of § 2018, not only is the statute a withholding statute, but Congress intended to exempt redemption data from disclosure."
Issues: Exemption 3 - Statutory prohibition of disclosure
Opinion/Order [80]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in South Dakota has ruled that food stamp redemption data showing the yearly redemption amounts paid to each participating store is not protected by either Exemption 4 (confidential business information) or Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). In a case that was remanded by the Eighth Circuit after the appeals court found that a provision of the statute implementing the food stamp program did not qualify as an Exemption 3 statute, rather than disclose the data to the Argus Leader Media, the Food and Nutrition Service published a request in the Federal Register asking food stamp retailers whether they thought redemption data should be disclosed. Of the potential 321,988 retailers contacted, only 323 responded. Of those responding, 73 percent opposed disclosure of the data. Based on the results, FNS followed up with fifteen food stamp retailers who provided affidavits stating that disclosure could cause competitive harm. The agency then claimed the data was protected by Exemption 4 and Exemption 6. The court noted that in Madel v. Dept of Justice, 784 F.3d 448 (8th Cir. 2015), the most recent Eighth Circuit ruling involving Exemption 4, the court made clear that an Exemption 4 claim required an agency to "provide affidavits which justify the claimed exclusion of each document by correlating the purpose of the exemption with the actual portion of the document which is alleged to be exempt." The court found FNS had not done so here. The court pointed out that "because USDA received a small percentage of responses from [food stamp] retailers, there is evidence that supports the inference that the majority of retailers are not concerned about any competitive harm that might stem from the disclosure of individual store data." Turning to the privacy exemption claim, the court observed that "disclosure of individual store redemption data does not disclose individual finances because the data would not disclose what percentage of the retailer's sales are credited to [food stamps] or how much the retailer profits after deducting expenses. Additionally, a reasonable fact-finder could conclude that there is no threat of competitive harm with the disclosure of individual store data."
Issues: Exemption 6 - Invasion of privacy, Exemption 4 - Competitive harm
Opinion/Order [127]
FOIA Project Annotation: After failing to convince the Eighth Circuit that data showing food stamp purchases at grocery stores was protected by Exemption 3 (other statutes), the Department of Agriculture has struck out once again in its attempt to claim the data was protected by Exemption 4 (confidential business information). Although the agency provided the district court in South Dakota plenty of industry affidavits testifying to the potential effects of disclosure on grocery stores' razor-thin profit margins, Judge Karen Schreier concluded the agency had not shown that data about food stamp purchases would cause competitive harm. Although food stamp purchase data could contribute to a number of analyzes of how the food stamp program works and whether or not it is effective, it has been the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that has carried the fight on this issue and Schreier's opinion is the newspaper's second victory. The Argus Leader requested data on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) administered by the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service, including yearly spending totals at individual retail locations. The agency provided some records, but withheld most of the data under Exemption 3 and Exemption 4. In her first ruling, Schreier upheld the agency's Exemption 3 claim. However, on appeal, the Eighth Circuit reversed, finding that 7 U.S.C. § 2018(c) did not apply to the data being withheld. The Eighth Circuit sent the case back to Schreier to consider whether Exemption 4 might apply. After reviewing affidavits from both sides on the issue of competitive harm, Schreier concluded the agency had not shown a likelihood of competitive harm from disclosure. The government provided testimony from Joey Hays, owner of Dyer Foods, a small supermarket chain headquartered in Dyer, Tennessee, said he would not disclose SNAP data because his competitors could use it against him. However, he admitted that SNAP data would not disclose a store's total profits, that most of his stores' business was already in plain sight, and that Wal-Mart had already saturated his market. Andrew Johnstone, associate general counsel for Sears Holdings Management, testified that profit margins in the grocery business were small, that disclosure of SNAP data could affect sales at K-Mart stores, and that landlords might not renew lease agreements for stores that had a large number of food stamp users. Peter Larkin, president of the National Grocers Association, testified that disclosing SNAP data might cause competitors to target areas with high SNAP volume, but admitted that disclosing SNAP data would not be the same as disclosing a store's profits or net sales. The government's last witness was Gwen Forman, senior vice president of marketing at Cumberland Farms. She testified that disclosure of SNAP data could allow competitors to gauge how successful a store's advertising strategy was, but admitted that SNAP data alone would not determine a store's future plans or business strategy. The Argus Leader's testimony was provided by Richard Volpe, an assistant professor in the Agribusiness Department at California Polytechnic State University. Volpe testified that an array of store data was already publicly available and that analyzing SNAP data over a period of years had limited value. Ryan Sougstad, associate professor of Business Administration at Augustana University, also testified. He noted that SNAP data for individual stores would be of limited value in making decisions about where to locate new stores. The government called Bruce Kondracki, vice president of Market Insights and Consumer Research at Dakota Worldwide Corporation, as a rebuttal witness. Kondracki testified that grocery stores use model forecasts to determine where to add new stores and that SNAP data could improve the accuracy of these models. The newspaper argued that the data did not meet the threshold for coverage by Exemption 4 because it had not been obtained from a person. The newspaper contended that "because SNAP is a government program, the requested SNAP data is obtained from inside the government. The government is giving SNAP benefits to qualifying households, and the government then tracks where the SNAP households are spending their benefits." The Argus Leader pointed out that "the government is essentially keeping data on its own spending." Schreier rejected the claim, noting that the Eighth Circuit had already ruled that the data came from third-party processors "who verify whether the SNAP household has available SNAP benefits and that the third-party processor submits the redemption data to the Food and Nutrition Service." Having found the data was obtained from a third-party, however, Schreier concluded that it was neither privileged nor confidential. She noted that competitive harm was defined as harm caused by the use of proprietary information by a competitor, not because information might be embarrassing and harmful to a company's reputation. She found the agency had shown that actual competition existed in the grocery industry. But she observed that much of the data about store operations was already public and pointed out that "while SNAP data may be beneficial, it would not add significant insights into the grocery industry." She added that "any potential competitive harm from release of the requested SNAP data is speculative at best." She found the government had not shown that SNAP data would have any effect on the decision where to locate a store. She indicated that "although a high volume of SNAP sales might encourage a competitor to enter [a] geographical market, an equally compelling conclusion is that the competitor may decide to stay away from that market. Another equally compelling conclusion is that SNAP sales will have no or little effect on a store's decision to expand into new sites" because of a variety of other factors. Finding the agency had not shown a likelihood of substantial competitive harm, she concluded that "the requested SNAP data does not provide. . .insights into store profitability. SNAP sales are merely a part of the store's total revenue. SNAP data does not disclose a store's profit margins, net income, or net worth."
Issues: Exemption 4 - Competitive harm, Exemption 4 - Obtained from a person
Opinion/Order [193]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2011-08-261COMPLAINT filed by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Ex 1 - 2/1/11 Ellis ltr to Weatherly, # 2 Ex 2 - Undated ltr. from Weatherly to Ellis, # 3 Ex 3 - 2/25/11 ltr from Ellis to USDA)(DJP) (Entered: 08/26/2011)
2011-08-262CIVIL COVER SHEET (DJP) (Entered: 08/26/2011)
2011-08-263Summons Issued as to United States Department of Agriculture (handed five true copies to Attorney Arneson) (DJP) (Main Document 3 replaced on 8/29/2011) (DJP). (Entered: 08/26/2011)
2011-08-264Filing fee received: Fee Amount: $ 350, Receipt #: 23088. (DJP) (Entered: 08/26/2011)
2011-08-265CORPORATE Disclosure Statement by Plaintiffs Argus Leader Media, Gannett Company, Inc. identifying Corporate Parent Gannett Company, Inc. for Argus Leader Media.. (DJP) (Entered: 08/26/2011)
2011-08-296AFFIDAVIT of Service for Summons and Complaint served on Brendan Johnson, Thomas Vilsack, Eric H. Holder, Jr., Ramona E. Romero on August 26, 2011, filed by Argus Leader Media. (DJP) (Entered: 08/29/2011)
2011-09-297ANSWER to 1 Complaint by United States Department of Agriculture.(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 09/29/2011)
2011-09-308SCHEDULING Request. Proposed Schedule due by 10/31/2011. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on 9/30/2011. (KC) (Entered: 09/30/2011)
2011-10-249SCHEDULING PROPOSAL by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 10/24/2011)
2011-10-3110RESPONSE to 8 Scheduling Request filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 10/31/2011)
2012-01-2611SCHEDULING ORDER: Motions due by 3/15/2012. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on 1/26/2012. (KC) (Entered: 01/26/2012)
2012-03-0512MOTION for Discovery Vaughn Index by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 03/05/2012)
2012-03-1513MOTION to Continue Motion Deadline As to Exemption 4 by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Jennifer Weatherly)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1514MEMORANDUM in Support re 13 MOTION to Continue Motion Deadline As to Exemption 4 filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1515RESPONSE to Motion re 12 MOTION for Discovery Vaughn Index filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1516MOTION to Amend/Correct Answer by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1- Amended Answer)(Bengford, Stephanie) Modified to identify exhibit on 3/16/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1517MEMORANDUM in Support re 16 MOTION to Amend/Correct Answer filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1518MOTION for Summary Judgment by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1519AFFIDAVIT of Stephanie C. Bengford in Support re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) Modified title on 3/16/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1520AFFIDAVIT of Susan Modine in Support re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) Modified title on 3/16/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1521AFFIDAVIT of Andrea Gold in Support re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Bengford, Stephanie) Modified title and exhibit on 3/16/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1522STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS re 18 Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendant United States Department of Agriculture, Plaintiff Argus Leader Media filed by United States Department of Agriculture, Argus Leader Media. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1523MEMORANDUM in Support re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-1524(FILED IN ERROR) AFFIDAVIT of Jennifer Weatherly in Support re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) Modified title on 3/16/2012 (CMS). Modified on 3/19/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 03/15/2012)
2012-03-16NOTICE of Filing Error: Affidavit in Support of Motion 24 filed by Defendant United States Department of Agriculture FILED IN ERROR (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/16/2012)
2012-03-1625AFFIDAVIT of Jennifer N. Weatherly re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment. (Attachments: # 1 A: original request, # 2 B: request acknowledgement ltr, # 3 C: FW:FOIA request acknowledgement ltr, # 4 D: initial response, # 5 E: appeal response, # 6 F: Arnson ltr, # 7 G: Weatherly email)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/16/2012)
2012-04-1226ORDER granting 13 Motion to Continue Briefing Deadline as to Exemption 4 for good cause shown. The court will consider Exemption 3 first and then schedule a new deadline regarding Exemption 4, if necessary. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on April 12, 2012. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 04/12/2012)
2012-04-1227TEXT ORDER granting 16 Motion to Amend/Correct of the United States Department of Agriculture for good cause shown and because Argus Leader Media has not objected and time for objections has expired. United States Department of Agriculture may file its amended answer by April 20, 2012. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on April 12, 2012. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 04/12/2012)
2012-04-1328Amended ANSWER to 1 Complaint by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 04/13/2012)
2012-04-2629MOTION to Extend Time to Respond re 18 Motion for Summary Judgment by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of Jon Arneson(Arneson, Jon) Modified event type/text on 4/27/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 04/26/2012)
2012-05-0730TEXT ORDER granting 29 Motion to Extend. Deadline for filing responsive brief is extended to May 23, 2012. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on 5/7/2012. (KC) (Entered: 05/07/2012)
2012-05-0831STIPULATION Between Plaintiff and Defendant by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/08/2012)
2012-05-1132ORDER approving stipulation. Any claims in relation to disclosure of the FNS numbers are dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on 5/11/2012. (KC) (Entered: 05/11/2012)
2012-05-2333MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - 7 USC §2018, # 2 Exhibit B - 7 USC § 278.1, # 3 Exhibit C - SNAP Application for Stores)(Arneson, Jon) Modified to identify exhibits on 5/24/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 05/23/2012)
2012-05-2334STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS re 33 Memorandum in Opposition to Motion by Plaintiff Argus Leader Media filed by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Jon E. Arneson Declaration in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, # 2 Jonathan Ellis Declaration in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment)(Arneson, Jon) Modified on 5/24/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 05/23/2012)
2012-06-1135REPLY to 23 Memorandum in Support of Motion, 18 Motion for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/11/2012)
2012-06-1136DECLARATION of Susan Modine re 35 Reply. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/11/2012)
2012-06-1137DECLARATION of Jennifer Weatherly re 35 Reply. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Letter dated 08.05.2010, # 2 Exhibit 2 - response dated 08.31.2010)(Bengford, Stephanie) Modified on 6/12/2012 (CMS). (Entered: 06/11/2012)
2012-09-2738ORDER denying 12 Motion for Discovery; granting 18 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on 9/27/2012. (KC) (Entered: 09/27/2012)
2012-09-2739JUDGMENT in favor of United States Department of Agriculture against Argus Leader Media. Signed by Chief Judge Karen E. Schreier on 9/27/2012. (KC) (Entered: 09/27/2012)
2012-11-2040NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 38 Order on Motion for Discovery, Order on Motion for Summary Judgment by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement Form A)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 11/20/2012)
2012-11-20USCA Appeal Fees received $ 455 receipt number 27622 re 40 Notice of Appeal filed by Argus Leader Media (DJP) (Entered: 11/20/2012)
2012-11-2041TRANSMITTAL of Notice of Appeal to 8th Circuit Court of Appeals re 40 Notice of Appeal (CMS) (Entered: 11/20/2012)
2012-11-2142USCA Case Number 12-3765 for 40 Notice of Appeal filed by Argus Leader Media. (CMS) (Entered: 11/21/2012)
2012-11-2143ORDER of USCA/ BRIEFING SCHEDULE as to 40 Notice of Appeal filed by Argus Leader Media. (CMS) (Entered: 11/21/2012)
2014-01-2844OPINION of USCA re: reversing and remanding for further proceedings consistent with this opinion as to 40 Notice of Appeal filed by Argus Leader Media (CMS) (Entered: 01/28/2014)
2014-01-2845JUDGMENT of USCA reversing and remanding for further proceedings consistent with opinion as to 40 Notice of Appeal filed by Argus Leader Media (CMS) Modified on 1/28/2014 (CMS). (Entered: 01/28/2014)
2014-03-2546MANDATE from 8th Circuit COA reversing and remanding the decision of the District Court as to 40 Notice of Appeal filed by Argus Leader Media (TAL) (Entered: 03/27/2014)
2014-04-0147SCHEDULING ORDER: Motions due by 6/30/2014. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 4/1/2014. (KC) (Entered: 04/01/2014)
2014-06-1748MOTION to Extend re 47 Scheduling Order by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/17/2014)
2014-06-1749MEMORANDUM in Support re 48 MOTION to Extend re 47 Scheduling Order filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/17/2014)
2014-06-1850ORDER granting 48 Motion to Extend. Motions due 10/30/2014. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 6/18/2014. (KC) (Entered: 06/18/2014)
2014-07-1751MOTION to Continue Discovery Deadlines by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 07/17/2014)
2014-07-1752MEMORANDUM in Support re 51 MOTION to Continue Discovery Deadlines filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 07/17/2014)
2014-07-1853ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY DEADLINES granting 51 Motion to Continue. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 7/18/14. (DJP) (Entered: 07/18/2014)
2014-10-1454MOTION to Continue Motion Deadline by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 10/14/2014)
2014-11-1155TEXT ORDER granting 54 Motion to Continue the deadline for filing motions for good cause shown and because no objections were filed. Motions due by 1/20/2015. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on November 11, 2014. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 11/11/2014)
2015-01-2056Second MOTION to Amend/Correct 7 Answer to Complaint by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit second amended answer)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2057MEMORANDUM in Support re 56 Second MOTION to Amend/Correct 7 Answer to Complaint filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2058MOTION for Summary Judgment by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2059DECLARATION of Andrea Gold re 58 MOTION for Summary Judgment . (Attachments: # 1 Ex. A - call transcript, # 2 Ex. B - email from FNS, # 3 Ex. C - declaration template, # 4 Ex. D1 - Barnes declaration, # 5 Ex. D2 - Bourne declaration, # 6 Ex. D3 - Buche declaration, # 7 Ex. D4 - Barbier declaration, # 8 Ex. D5 - Gresham declaration, # 9 Ex. D6 - Hays declaration, # 10 Ex. D7 - Champagne declaration, # 11 Ex. D8 - Forman declaration, # 12 Ex. D9 - LeBlanc declaration, # 13 Ex. D10 - Macks declaration, # 14 Ex. D11 - Larkin declaration, # 15 Ex. D12 - Snyder declaration, # 16 Ex. D13 - St. Germain declaration, # 17 Ex. D14 - Perret declaration, # 18 Ex. D15 - Zahar declaration, # 19 Ex. E - SNAP redemption chart, # 20 Ex. F FNS literature)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2060STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS re 58 Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendant United States Department of Agriculture filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2061MEMORANDUM in Support re 58 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2262MOTION to Extend Deadlines to file response to SJ motion and statement of material facts by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Arneson affidavit)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 01/22/2015)
2015-01-2363RESPONSE to Motion re 62 MOTION to Extend Deadlines to file response to SJ motion and statement of material facts filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/23/2015)
2015-01-2364ORDER granting 62 Motion to Extend Deadlines. Plaintiff's response due by 3/31/2015. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 1/23/2015. (KC) (Entered: 01/23/2015)
2015-02-0365SUPPLEMENT by Defendant United States Department of Agriculture re 59 Declaration,,, . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit C - email & declaration template)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 02/03/2015)
2015-02-0866RESPONSE to Motion re 56 Second MOTION to Amend/Correct 7 Answer to Complaint filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 02/08/2015)
2015-02-1267ORDER granting 56 Motion to Amend/Correct Answer for good cause shown and no objection by Argus Leader. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on February 12, 2015. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 02/12/2015)
2015-02-1868(FILED IN ERROR) Seconded Amended ANSWER to 1 Complaint by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) Modified on 2/20/2015 (SAT). (Entered: 02/18/2015)
2015-02-19NOTICE of Filing Error: 68 Answer to Complaint was filed in error and should be disregarded. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 02/19/2015)
2015-02-1969Second Amended ANSWER to 1 Complaint by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 02/19/2015)
2015-03-3170FILED IN ERROR - Second MOTION for Summary Judgment Response to Material Facts by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) Modified by editing docket text on 4/1/2015 (DLC). (Entered: 03/31/2015)
2015-03-3171FILED IN ERROR - Second MOTION for Summary Judgment Brief Opposing SJ#2 Motion by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex.Order 12600, # 2 Exhibit 7 C.F.R. §1.12, # 3 Exhibit Retailer Notices, # 4 Exhibit Fed. Reg. "RFI", # 5 Exhibit USDA Press Release, # 6 Exhibit Arneson Declaration, # 7 Exhibit Ellis Declaration)(Arneson, Jon) Modified by editing docket text on 4/1/2015 (DLC). (Entered: 03/31/2015)
2015-04-01NOTICE of Filing Error: 70 Motion for Summary Judgment, 71 Motion for Summary Judgment, was filed in error and should be disregarded. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 04/01/2015)
2015-04-0172STATEMENT OF Plaintiff's MATERIAL FACTS re 58 Motion for Summary Judgment, 60 Statement of Material Facts by Plaintiff Argus Leader Media filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 04/01/2015)
2015-04-0173MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 58 MOTION for Summary Judgment #2 filed by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex. Order 12600, # 2 Exhibit 7 C.F.R. §1.12, # 3 Exhibit Retailer Notices, # 4 Exhibit Fed.Register "RFI", # 5 Exhibit USDA Press Release, # 6 Exhibit Arneson Declaration, # 7 Exhibit Ellis Declaration)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 04/01/2015)
2015-04-1674MOTION to Continue Reply Deadline by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 04/16/2015)
2015-04-1675RESPONSE to Motion re 74 MOTION to Continue Reply Deadline filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 04/16/2015)
2015-04-1676ORDER granting 74 Motion to Continue. Reply due 6/1/2015. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 4/16/2015. (KC) (Entered: 04/16/2015)
2015-06-0177REPLY to 58 Motion for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/01/2015)
2015-06-0178DECLARATION of Andrea Gold re 58 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - 78 Fed. Reg. 11,967, # 2 Exhibit B- 7 C.F.R. 271.2, # 3 Exhibit C - Megan Luther FOIA Request)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/01/2015)
2015-06-0179RESPONSE to 72 Statement of Material Facts filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/01/2015)
2015-09-3080ORDER denying 58 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 9/30/15. (DJP) (Entered: 09/30/2015)
2015-10-3081SCHEDULING ORDER: Pretrial Conference set for 1/25/2016 at 01:30 PM in Sioux Falls Courtroom 2* before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier. Jury Trial set for 2/3/2016 at 09:00 AM in Sioux Falls Courtroom 2* before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 10/30/15. (SLW) (Entered: 10/30/2015)
2015-11-3082PROPOSED Schedule by Argus Leader Media (Attachments: # 1 Arneson declaration) (Arneson, Jon) Modified by editing docket text on 12/1/2015 (DLC). (Entered: 11/30/2015)
2015-12-0383PROPOSED Schedule by United States Department of Agriculture (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 12/03/2015)
2015-12-0384DECLARATION of Stephanie Bengford re 83 Proposed Schedule (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Emails 10/5 & 10/6, # 2 Exhibit B- Emails 10/5 & 10/6, # 3 Exhibit C - Email 10/7, # 4 Exhibit D - Email 10/7, # 5 Exhibit E - Emails 10/7, # 6 Exhibit F - Emails 10/7 & 10/5, # 7 Exhibit G - Emails 10/5, 10/7 & 10/8, # 8 Exhibit H - Emails 10/5, 10/7 & 10/8, # 9 Exhibit I - Emails 10/9, # 10 Exhibit J - Email 10/14, # 11 Exhibit K- Emails 10/14, # 12 Exhibit L - Emails 11/17, 11/18, 11/20, # 13 Exhibit M - Emails 11/17, 11/8 & 11/20, # 14 Exhibit N - Letter dated 10/8, # 15 Exhibit O - Resp to RFP 9/12/14, # 16 Exhibit P - Resp to RFP 10/14/15, # 17 Exhibit Q- Resp to Interrogatories 10/14/15) (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 12/03/2015)
2015-12-0785REPLY to 83 Proposed Schedule filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 12/07/2015)
2015-12-0886SCHEDULING ORDER: Discovery due by 4/28/2016. Court Trial set for 5/24/2016 at 09:00 AM in Sioux Falls Courtroom 2* before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 12/8/15. (SLW) (Entered: 12/09/2015)
2016-01-1587MOTION to Continue Pretrial Deadlines by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/15/2016)
2016-01-1988AMENDED SCHEDULING ORDER:( Pretrial Conference set for 5/19/2016 at 01:30 PM in Sioux Falls Courtroom 2* before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier., Court Trial set for 5/24/2016 at 09:00 AM in Sioux Falls Courtroom 2* before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.), Motions terminated: 87 MOTION to Continue Pretrial Deadlines filed by United States Department of Agriculture. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 1/19/16. (SLW) (Entered: 01/19/2016)
2016-02-1089First MOTION to Extend Deadlines Motion to correct discovery order by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 02/10/2016)
2016-02-1190RESPONSE to Motion re 89 First MOTION to Extend Deadlines Motion to correct discovery order filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 02/11/2016)
2016-02-1291REPLY to Motion Response re 89 First MOTION to Extend Deadlines Motion to correct discovery order filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 02/12/2016)
2016-02-1292ORDER granting 89 Motion to Extend Deadlines. The court inadvertently made an error in designating the name of the party required to disclose reports in its prior order and wishes that the parties would have brought this to the court's attention earlier. As a result, the new deadlines are as follows: Defendant's deadline to disclose the identity of and reports from its retained expert is March 28, 2016 and Plaintiff's deadline to disclose the identity of and reports from its retained expert is April 28, 2016. All expert witness depositions must be completed by May 13, 2016. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on February 12, 2016. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 02/12/2016)
2016-04-2093MOTION Expedited Motion for Court Order by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 04/20/2016)
2016-04-2094ORDER granting 93 Motion. Defendant has the burden of proof and will put its case-in-chief on first. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on April 20, 2016. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 04/20/2016)
2016-05-1195Pretrial Submissions by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 05/11/2016)
2016-05-1196Pretrial Submissions by United States Department of Agriculture.(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/11/2016)
2016-05-1297MOTION for Attorney Robert Philip Charrow to be Admitted Pro Hac Vice (paid $100 PHV fee; receipt number 0869-2249909) by Robert Chorrow. (Clayton, William) (Entered: 05/12/2016)
2016-05-1298ORDER granting 97 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Robert Charrow. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 5/12/16. (DJP) (Entered: 05/12/2016)
2016-05-1699STIPULATION as to the Trial by United States Department of Agriculture (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/16/2016)
2016-05-17100Unopposed MOTION for Leave to Permit Pro Hac Vice Attorney to be present at the Governments counsel table during Mr. Johnstones testimony by Robert Charrow. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Clayton, William) Modified on 5/18/2016 (DJP). (Entered: 05/17/2016)
2016-05-17101MOTION for Protective Order by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/17/2016)
2016-05-17102MEMORANDUM in Support re 101 MOTION for Protective Order filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/17/2016)
2016-05-19103Protective Order. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 5/19/16. (DJP) (Entered: 05/19/2016)
2016-05-19104ORDER denying 100 Motion for Leave to allow pro hac vice counsel to appear without the presence of local counsel and to sit at Government counsel's table while a Sears' employee testifies. D.S.D. Civ. L.R 83.2.E requires local counsel to be present during all court proceedings when out of state counsel are admitted pro hac vice. Pro hac vice counsel, who represents a government witness, has not shown good cause as to why the local rule should not be applied in this case. Therefore, the motion is denied. Pro hac vice counsel also moves for permission to sit at the government counsel table during the testimony of his client, Mr. Johnstone. This court has conducted many trials where counsel for a witness sat in the public gallery area, which is directly behind the counsel tables. No problems have been evident or brought to the court's attention regarding this procedure. The court finds that pro hac vice counsel has not shown good cause as to why pro hac vice counsel could not adequately protect the interests of his client while seated in the public gallery. As a result, both motions are denied. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on May 11, 2016. (Schreier, Karen) (Entered: 05/19/2016)
2016-05-19105Pretrial Conference held on 5/19/2016 before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier (Court Reporter Jill Connelly) (MWT) (Entered: 05/19/2016)
2016-05-20106MOTION to Extend Time for Offering Expert Testimony by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Arneson declaration)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 05/20/2016)
2016-05-23107RESPONSE to Motion re 106 MOTION to Extend Time for Offering Expert Testimony filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/23/2016)
2016-05-23108REPLY to Motion Response re 106 MOTION to Extend Time for Offering Expert Testimony filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 05/23/2016)
2016-05-24109NOTICE of Appearance by Chu-Yuan Hwang on behalf of United States Department of Agriculture. (Hwang, Chu-Yuan) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-24110NOTICE of Appearance by David K. Gaston on behalf of United States Department of Agriculture. (Gaston, David) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-24Court Trial began on 5/24/2016 before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier (Court Reporter Jill Connelly) (MWT) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-25111Court Trial completed on 5/25/2016 before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier (Court Reporter Jill Connelly) (MWT) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-25112Exhibit List by Argus Leader Media. Related document: 111 Court Trial - Completed.(MWT) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-25113Exhibit List by United States Department of Agriculture. Related document: 111 Court Trial - Completed.(MWT) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-06-09114MOTION to Extend Briefing Deadline by United States Department of Agriculture. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/09/2016)
2016-06-09115ORDER granting 114 Motion to Extend. All briefs should be filed by June 22, 2016. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 6/9/16. (DJP) (Entered: 06/09/2016)
2016-06-16116MOTION to Extend Deadlines by Argus Leader Media. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 06/16/2016)
2016-06-17117ORDER granting 116 Motion to Extend Deadlines. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 6/17/2016. (JLS) (Entered: 06/17/2016)
2016-06-19118PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings re 111 Court Trial - Testimony of Shelly Pierce and Andrea Gold - held on May 24 & 25, 2016 before Judge Karen E. Schreier. Court Reporter: Jill Connelly, Telephone number 605-330-6669. Transcript may be viewed at the Clerk's Office public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 7/11/2016. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 7/20/2016. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 9/19/2016. (Connelly, Jill) (Entered: 06/19/2016)
2016-06-19119PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings re 111 Court Trial - Testimony of Andrew Johnstone - held on May 24, 2016 before Judge Karen E. Schreier. Court Reporter: Jill Connelly, Telephone number 605-330-6669. Transcript may be viewed at the Clerk's Office public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 7/11/2016. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 7/20/2016. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 9/19/2016. (Connelly, Jill) (Entered: 06/19/2016)
2016-06-19120NOTICE of Filing of Official Transcripts re 111 Court Trial - 2 PARTIAL TRANSCRIPTS. The Court Reporter shall manually serve a hard copy of this Notice on all non-ECF counsel. (Connelly, Jill) (Entered: 06/19/2016)
2016-06-22121TRIAL BRIEF (Post) by United States Department of Agriculture.(Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 06/22/2016)
2016-06-28122PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings re 111 Court Trial - Closing Statements - held on 5-25-2016 before Judge Karen E. Schreier. Court Reporter: Jill Connelly, Telephone number 605-330-6669. Transcript may be viewed at the Clerk's Office public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 7/19/2016. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 7/29/2016. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 9/27/2016. (Connelly, Jill) (Entered: 06/28/2016)
2016-06-28123NOTICE of Filing of Official Transcript re 111 Court Trial - PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT - CLOSING STATEMENTS. The Court Reporter shall manually serve a hard copy of this Notice on all non-ECF counsel. (Connelly, Jill) (Entered: 06/28/2016)
2016-07-20124BRIEF by Plaintiff Argus Leader Media Post-Trial Responsive Brief (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 07/20/2016)
2016-07-26125REPLY to 124 Brief filed by United States Department of Agriculture. (Bengford, Stephanie) (Entered: 07/26/2016)
2016-07-28126RESPONSE to 125 Reply Clarifications filed by Argus Leader Media. (Arneson, Jon) (Entered: 07/28/2016)
2016-11-30127MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 11/30/16. (SLW) (Entered: 11/30/2016)
2016-11-30128JUDGMENT in favor of Argus Leader Media against United States Department of Agriculture. Signed by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on 11/30/16. (SLW) (Entered: 11/30/2016)
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