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Case TitleTamayo et al v. United States Department of Justice et al
DistrictSouthern District of Florida
CityMiami
Case Number1:2007cv21299
Date Filed2007-05-18
Date Closed2010-06-18
JudgeJudge Adalberto Jordan
PlaintiffJuan Tamayo
PlaintiffMiami Herald Media Company publisher of The Miami Herald
DefendantUnited States Department of Justice
DefendantUnited States Department of Navy
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Opinion/Order [29]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Florida has ruled that Juan Tamayo, a reporter for the Miami Herald, is not entitled to discovery concerning documents pertaining to Alberto Coll, a department chair at the U.S. Naval College who pled guilty in 2005 to making false statements. Tamayo requested all records from the Department of Justice and the Navy concerning Coll's investigation and prosecution that were not contained in the public court record. The agencies denied access on the basis of law enforcement and privacy. Tamayo then filed suit and submitted 13 discovery requests concerning Coll's plea, his conviction, and what federal position he held. He also asked that specific documents be authenticated and that the government admit that it had records responsive to his FOIA request. Noting that discovery was rare in an FOIA suit, the court rejected Tamayo's claim that the discovery requests were limited, pointing out instead that "the issues involved are fundamentally legal ones. . .Plaintiffs argue that any privacy interests that could have been protected by not providing the documents are largely moot based upon what is now known in the public record." But the court indicated that "a review of the pending discovery requests shows that, if answered, they shed very little light on how these legal issues should be resolved. Many of the requests seek to authenticate specific documents that Plaintiffs rely upon." Observing that discovery in an FOIA suit usually pertained to the scope of the search for responsive records, the court said that "in fact, in this case, searches were not conducted because Plaintiff Tamayo provided no basis upon which the agencies could determine that disclosure of the requested records could not reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Thus, to the extent the agencies' legal position is deemed meritless, Plaintiffs may then be able to make an argument that FOIA discovery may be required. But at this point that showing cannot be made." Saying that the agencies probably could have answered Tamayo's questions without drawing attention to the issue, the court nevertheless noted that "the Court cannot force Defendants to abandon their legally sustainable overall objection that such discovery tools are not appropriate in FOIA actions, at least based upon the showing of necessity that has been made here." The court concluded that "Plaintiffs, at this point, have not shown that discovery is materially required to address the issued raised in the pending summary judgment motion."
Issues: Litigation - Discovery
Opinion/Order [44]
Opinion/Order [49]
Opinion/Order [51]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2007-05-181COMPLAINT against United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy Filing fee $ 350. Receipt#: 959938, filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company.(vjk) (Entered: 05/21/2007)
2007-05-182Summons Issued as to United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (vjk) (Entered: 05/21/2007)
2007-05-243ORDER OF RECUSAL. Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga recused. Case reassigned to Judge Adalberto Jordan for all further proceedingsSigned by Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga on 5/22/2007.(jc) (Entered: 05/24/2007)
2007-06-044SUMMONS Returned Executed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. United States Department of Justice/US Attorney, Southern, Florida served on 5/24/2007, answer due 6/13/2007. (hd) (Entered: 06/04/2007)
2007-06-225ANSWER to Complaint by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy.(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 06/22/2007)
2007-07-126Order Requiring Joint Scheduling Report, Joint Scheduling Report due by 7/18/2007.Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 07/11/2007.(bs) (Entered: 07/12/2007)
2007-07-137Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Scheduling Report by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order on Motion for Extension of Time)(Watson, Robert) (Entered: 07/13/2007)
2007-08-038ORDER granting 7 Motion for Extension of Time to File. Scheduling report to be filed no later than 8/8/07.Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 8/2/07. (lk) (Entered: 08/03/2007)
2007-08-079SCHEDULING REPORT- Rule 26(f). (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 08/07/2007)
2007-08-1610ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres for Discovery,Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 8/16/07.(lh) (Entered: 08/17/2007)
2007-08-1711SCHEDULING ORDER: Jury Trial set for 4/28/2008 in Miami Division before Judge Adalberto Jordan. Calendar Call set for 4/22/2008 09:00 AM in Miami Division before Judge Adalberto Jordan. Pretrial Stipulation due by 2/25/2008.Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 8/16/07.(lk) (Entered: 08/17/2007)
2007-08-1712CASE REFERRED to Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres for Discovery. (lk) (Entered: 08/17/2007)
2007-09-0513NOTICE by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy regarding Consent to Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 09/05/2007)
2007-09-0514NOTICE by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company Regarding Consent to Trial and Final Disposition by Magistrate Judge (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 09/05/2007)
2007-09-1415Joint MOTION Requesting Settlement Conference with Magistrate Judge in Lieu of Mediation by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order granting joint motion)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 09/14/2007)
2007-10-2616NOTICE by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy of Hearing (Fernandez, Carole) Modified text on 10/29/2007 (tp). See document number 17 for corrected entry (Entered: 10/26/2007)
2007-10-2617NOTICE of Hearing: Discovery Hearing set for 11/30/2007 02:30 PM in Miami Division before Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres. See document number 16 for image(tp) (Entered: 10/29/2007)
2007-10-2918NOTICE of Docket Correction and Instruction to Filer: re 16 Notice (Other) filed by United States Department of Justice,, United States Department of Navy, Error: Wrong Event Selected; Correction=Redocketed as Notice of Hearing. Instruction to Filer=In the future please select the proper Event -"Notice of Hearing" no need to refile (tp) (Entered: 10/29/2007)
2007-10-2919ORDER APPOINTING MEDIATOR: Peter R Palermo added, ORDER REFERRING CASE to Mediation. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 10/29/07.(lh) (Entered: 10/30/2007)
2007-11-2820ORDER cancelling 17 Notice of Hearing on Court's Discovery Calendar and directing the parties for briefing. Upon review of the discovery materials submitted in anticipation of the hearing previously scheduled for November 30th, the Court concludes that the pending issues should first be addressed through briefing on the legal issues raised by Plaintiff's request for admissions. There is a concern that a discovery dispute should not be the forum by which the exemption issues raised by the complaint and answer should be adjudicated. On the other hand, the admissions requested may shorten the time necessary for that adjudication, for which an order compelling responses may be appropriate. Therefore, as the Defendant has the burden in this matter, it is Ordered to file within ten days its memorandum in support of its objections. Plaintiff shall file its response memorandum ten days thereafter. No reply will be necessary. Upon review of the parties' written positions, the Court will determine if a hearing is still necessary or if the matter can be addressed on the papers. Docket Order Signed by Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres on 11/28/2007.(EGT) (Entered: 11/28/2007)
2007-12-1121MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support of Defendants' Objection to Plaintiffs' Requests for Admission by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 12/11/2007)
2007-12-2022RESPONSE to 21 Memorandum of Law filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Watson, Robert) (Entered: 12/20/2007)
2007-12-2023Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 12/20/2007)
2008-01-0924Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Mediate by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 01/09/2008)
2008-01-2325Amended MOTION for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery Unopposed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 01/23/2008)
2008-01-2326Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Pre-Trial Motions by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 01/23/2008)
2008-01-2527MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. Responses due by 2/8/2008 (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of John W. Kornmeier# 2 Affidavit of Commander James A. Protin)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 01/25/2008)
2008-02-0428RESPONSE in Opposition re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Ponce, Scott) (Entered: 02/04/2008)
2008-02-1329DISCOVERY ORDER related to pending admissions requests. Signed by Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres on 02/13/2008.(EGT) (Entered: 02/13/2008)
2008-02-1430REPLY to Response to Motion re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 02/14/2008)
2008-02-2031ORDER granting 24 Motion for Extension of Time to Mediate, granting 25 Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery, denying 26 Motion for Extension of Time to File. Mediation Deadline 4/15/2008. Discovery shall be completed no later than 3/15/08.Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 2/20/08. (lk) (Entered: 02/20/2008)
2008-02-2932Plaintiff's MOTION for clarification by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. Responses due by 3/14/2008 (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 02/29/2008)
2008-02-2933ORDER Settlement Conference set for 3/19/2008 09:30 AM in Miami Division before Magistrate Judge Peter R. Palermo.Signed by Magistrate Judge Peter R. Palermo on 02/29/08.(ds) (Entered: 02/29/2008)
2008-03-0534ORDER granting 32 Motion for Clarification, Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 3/5/08. (lh) (Entered: 03/05/2008)
2008-03-1335Plaintiff's MOTION for Summary Judgment by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. Responses due by 3/27/2008 (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 03/13/2008)
2008-03-1936Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Peter R. Palermo : Settlement Conference held on 3/19/2008.CASE DID NOT SETTLE. (ds) (Entered: 03/19/2008)
2008-03-2737RESPONSE in Opposition re 35 Plaintiff's MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 03/27/2008)
2008-04-0138ORDER Setting Hearing on Motion 35 Plaintiff's MOTION for Summary Judgment, and 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law : Motion Hearing set for 4/25/2008 02:30 PM in Miami Division before Judge Adalberto Jordan.Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 4/1/08.(lk) (Entered: 04/01/2008)
2008-04-0439REPLY to Response to Motion re 35 Plaintiff's MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 04/04/2008)
2008-04-0840Case Reassignment of Paired Magistrate Judge pursuant to Administrative Order 2008-09 to Judge Chris M. McAliley. (bs) (Entered: 04/08/2008)
2008-04-0841ORDER denying as moot 23 Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 4/8/08. (tp) (Entered: 04/08/2008)
2008-04-1042Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Pretrial Stipulation and to Comply with Other Pretrial Requirements , Joint MOTION for Clarification re 38 Order Setting Hearing on Motion, by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order granting motion)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 04/10/2008)
2008-04-1443CLERK'S NOTICE (vp)of discovery procedures in re Case Reassignment to Paired Magistrate Judge McAliley. (Entered: 04/14/2008)
2008-04-2844ORDER granting 42 Motion for Extension of Time to File, granting 42 Motion Clarification This case is removed from the trial calendar commencing 4/28/08 and the deadlines for filing pretrial stipulation and proposed jury instructions are cancelled. Deadlines for filing the joint pretrial stipulation and proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law will be rescheduled. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 4/25/08. (tp) (Entered: 04/28/2008)
2008-05-0145Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Adalberto Jordan: Motion Hearing held on 5/1/2008 re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law filed by United States Department of Justice,, United States Department of Navy,, 35 Plaintiff's MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. Order to follow. Court Reporter: Francine Salopek - phone number 305-523-5568 (mc1) (Entered: 05/01/2008)
2008-05-0546ORDER deferring ruling after all the submissions have been made on 35 Motion for Summary Judgment, deferring ruling on 27 Motion for Summary Judgment Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 5/5/08. (tp) (Entered: 05/05/2008)
2008-06-0247MOTION for Modification of Order and/or Enlargement of Time re 46 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment, by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, Vaughn index as to withheld Navy documents)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 06/02/2008)
2008-06-0648RESPONSE in Opposition re 47 MOTION for Modification of Order and/or Enlargement of Time re 46 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment, MOTION for Modification of Order and/or Enlargement of Time re 46 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment, filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Ponce, Scott) (Entered: 06/06/2008)
2008-06-1249ORDER granting in part 47 Motion for Modification of Order and/or for Enlargement of Time. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 6/12/08. (tp) (Entered: 06/12/2008)
2008-09-0250NOTICE by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy Regarding In Camera Production and Vaughn Index and Motion for Reconsideration (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 09/02/2008)
2008-09-2951ORDER denying without prejudice 35 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying without prejudice 27 Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs can file a supplemental memorandum by 10/3/08 and the government can reply by 10/17/08. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 9/29/08. (tp) (Entered: 09/29/2008)
2008-10-0252MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 50 Notice (Other) Supplemental Memorandum Regarding Second Vaughn Index of Documents Withheld by the Department of the Navy filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 10/02/2008)
2008-10-1753RESPONSE/REPLY to 52 Memorandum in Opposition filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 10/17/2008)
2008-10-2354NOTICE of filing Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley's REVISED discovery procedures. (vp) (Entered: 10/23/2008)
2009-07-1455Plaintiff's MOTION Status Conference re 50 Notice (Other), 46 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment, 51 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment,,, by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) Modified relief on 7/15/2009 (tp). (Entered: 07/14/2009)
2009-07-1556Clerks Notice to Filer re 55 Motion for Status Conference. Filer Selected the Wrong Motion Relief(s) ; ERROR - The Filer selected the wrong motion relief(s) when docketing the motion. The correction was made by the Clerk. it is not necessary to refile this document but future motions filed must include applicable reliefs. (tp) (Entered: 07/15/2009)
2009-07-1757ORDER Setting Status Conference, granting 55 Motion for Hearing (status conference set for 7/31/2009). Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 7/17/2009. (cqs) (Entered: 07/17/2009)
2009-07-17Set Hearings: Evidentiary Hearing set for 7/31/2009 11:00 AM in Miami Division before Judge Adalberto Jordan. (cqs) (Entered: 07/17/2009)
2009-08-0358NOTICE by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy of Disclosure (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit redacted page)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 08/03/2009)
2009-08-2559NOTICE by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy of filing Memorandum of Law Regarding FOIA Exemptions 1, 2, 7(D) and 7(E) (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit of David M. Hardy)(Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 08/25/2009)
2009-08-2560MEMORANDUM OF LAW Regarding FOIA Exemptions 1, 2, 7(D) and 7(E) by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. DOCKETING CORRECTION SEE DE 59 FOR IMAGE (tp) (Entered: 08/26/2009)
2009-08-2661Clerks Notice to Filer re 59 Notice (Other). Wrong Event Selected ; ERROR - The Filer selected the wrong event. The document was re-docketed by the Clerk, see [de# 60]. It is not necessary to refile this document. (tp) (Entered: 08/26/2009)
2009-09-1562RESPONSE/REPLY to 60 Memorandum of Law, 59 Notice (Other) Regarding Additional FOIA Exemptions by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 09/15/2009)
2009-09-2563RESPONSE/REPLY to 60 Memorandum of Law by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 09/25/2009)
2010-01-0864Unopposed MOTION for Hearing Status Conference by Miami Herald Media Company, Juan Tamayo. (Watson, Robert) (Entered: 01/08/2010)
2010-04-0965ORDER Denying 50 Notice regarding in camera production, Vaughn index and motion for reconsideration,,, Denying w/o prejudice 64 Unopposed MOTION for Hearing Status Conference filed by Juan Tamayo, Miami Herald Media Company, Motions terminated: 64 . Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 4/9/2010. (lbc) (Entered: 04/09/2010)
2010-04-2166MOTION for Modification of Order re 65 Order, Terminate Motions,, by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Fernandez, Carole) Modified relief on 4/22/2010 (tp). (Entered: 04/21/2010)
2010-04-2267Clerks Notice to Filer re 66 Motion for Modification of Order. Filer Selected the Wrong Motion Relief(s) ; ERROR - The Filer selected the wrong motion relief(s) when docketing the motion. The correction was made by the Clerk. It is not necessary to refile this document but future motions filed must include applicable reliefs. (tp) (Entered: 04/22/2010)
2010-04-2368ORDER denying 66 Motion to Amend/Correct. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 4/23/2010. (lbc) (Entered: 04/23/2010)
2010-05-1769MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law (Supplemental Briefing) by Miami Herald Media Company, Juan Tamayo. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Vaughn Index (FBI documents))(Watson, Robert) Modified on 5/18/2010 (ls). (Entered: 05/17/2010)
2010-05-2770ORDER REACTIVATING 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment with incorporated memorandum of law filed by United States Department of Navy, United States Department of Justice. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 5/27/2010. (tp) (Entered: 05/27/2010)
2010-05-2871RESPONSE/REPLY to 69 Memorandum in Opposition, by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy. (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 05/28/2010)
2010-06-0272NOTICE by United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Navy re 71 Response/Reply (Other) of Correction (Fernandez, Carole) (Entered: 06/02/2010)
2010-06-1873Final JUDGMENT. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 6/18/2010. (lbc) (Entered: 06/18/2010)
2010-06-1874ORDER on Motions for Summary Judgment. Granting defendant's 27 motion for summary judgment. Denying 35 plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 6/18/2010. (lbc) (Entered: 06/18/2010)
2010-07-2275ORDER Directing Defendants to make Arrangements to Return the Records Produced to the Court to the appropriate Agencies by 8/6/2010. Signed by Judge Adalberto Jordan on 7/22/2010. (ls) (Entered: 07/22/2010)
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by FOIA Project Staff