Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleCITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2005cv02078
Date Filed2005-10-24
Date Closed2009-09-29
JudgeJudge Emmet G. Sullivan
PlaintiffCITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON
Case DescriptionCitizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Justice for records concerning the government's proposed penalty for the tobacco litigation. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, CREW filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [16]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Emmet Sullivan has allowed Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to depose several officials at the Justice Department concerning why the agency took so long to expedite the organization's July 2005 FOIA requests concerning the government's proposed penalties in litigation against the tobacco industry. CREW made requests to the Office of Information and Privacy and the Civil Division, asking for expedited processing and a fee waiver. The Civil Division granted expedited processing for the request it received, but OIP denied expedition for the request sent directly to its office. CREW appealed OIP's denial to the Office of Public Affairs, which subsequently granted the expedition request. As to the fee waiver request, the Civil Division quickly denied the request and CREW appealed the denial to OIP. In January 2006, OIP denied the fee waiver request pertaining to the FOIA request it had received and also affirmed the Civil Division's denial of a fee waiver for the request sent to that office. CREW told Sullivan that there was sufficient evidence of bad faith on the part of the agency to justify further discovery as to why it took so long to process the expedited request. CREW made three specific allegations " that OIP had failed to explain why it took nearly five months to exhaust the statutory grant of two free hours of search time, that OIP had taken far too long to resolve its fee waiver request, and that agency statistics on response times for expedited processing indicated that Justice had taken substantially longer than the average processing time for such requests. The agency responded that the delay was caused by CREW's failure to narrow its broad request; its unwillingness to commit to pay fees, which was estimated to be more than $90,000 for the Civil Division's search; that all responsive records located so far were protected by exemptions; and that CREW was really trying to attack the agency's handling of the tobacco litigation. Saying that he was "troubled" by all the allegations raised by CREW, Sullivan indicated that he would allow the organization to depose four Justice Department officials for a total of five hours. He then turned to an explanation of his decision, starting first with questions concerning why the search took so long. He noted that OIP had sent the request to three offices, that the Office of the Attorney General had indicated on Sept. 16 that it had completed its search by finding no records, that the Office of the Assistant Attorney General reported it had found no records on Nov. 1, and that the Office of the Deputy Attorney General also reported finding no records by Dec. 22. However, CREW was not told of the results until Jan. 16. Sullivan observed that "the Court is troubled by the fact that a mere two hour search that started in August took several months to complete, and why the government waited until mid-January, 2006, to advise plaintiff of the results of the search, especially since CREW's FOIA request were granted expedited processing." He said the agency had not provided a sufficient answer and that, further, the agency instead blamed CREW by explaining that "an interim response advising plaintiff of the status of its FOIA requests would have been provided earlier, but for the fact that plaintiff filed this instant action and resources had to be reallocated to defend the lawsuit." Sullivan responded by noting that "the Court is not persuaded that plaintiff's requests, which were granted expedited processing, were handled in such a manner, nor was the plaintiff advised of the progress of its requests in a time sensitive manner. Because the government has not provided any evidence to show that the two hours of free search time were handled in an expedited manner, the Court finds that a sufficient question has been raised as to the propriety of its conduct to warrant limited discovery." CREW then introduced statistics from the agency's annual FOIA reports on average response times for expedited processing, which ranged from a high of 136 days to a low of 9 days, depending on the office. Pointing out that CREW's fee waiver request was denied by the Civil Division 210 days after receipt of the request and by OIP 206 days after receipt, Sullivan observed that "the time periods for processing plaintiff's fee waiver requests exceed the median processing time reflected in the statistics for years 2000 to 2004. Thus, the time periods for actually producing responsive documents would greatly exceed the median time for processing expedited FOIA requests." The government responded to Sullivan's concerns by claiming the requests were "atypical," but, Sullivan noted, "when the court inquired of the government how it can be sure that this case is 'atypical,' the government admitted that it did not know. In fact, the government counsel conceded that she had not even looked at the statistics because she considered them to be largely irrelevant." Sullivan pointed out that he found "the government's dismissive view of the statistical evidence troubling. The crux of the government's argument is that there is nothing unusual or out of the ordinary in the amount of time it has taken to process CREW's two FOIA requests. However, its own annual statistics submitted to Congress belie that argument. The statistics clearly show that the time it has taken the government to process CREW's two expedited requests has been much longer than the average period of time it has taken to process expedited requests during the past five years. The Court does not find such evidence irrelevant. To the contrary, the evidence is quite relevant and informative as to what constitutes the average or ordinary period of time for processing expedited requests." He added that "when the Court inquired as to what makes CREW's requests extraordinary compared to the FOIA requests cited in DOJ's reports, the government could not provide an adequate response. In fact, the government has not presented any comparative evidence at all to demonstrate the extraordinary nature of CREW's requests, including no evidence as to the number of responsive documents involved in the FOIA requests cited in its annual statistical reports to Congress. . . The government's own statistics indicate that the processing of CREW's requests has been anything but ordinary and normal, and the paucity of evidence proffered by the government to show otherwise raises a question as to whether the government has been diligent and expeditious in complying with its FOIA obligations." Turning to the fee waiver question, Sullivan observed that the government again blamed CREW for the delay because it refused to commit to fees above two hours of free search time. Sullivan, however, noting that the agency took nearly seven months to deny CREW's fee waiver request, indicated that "the government can hardly fault CREW for failing to pay and holding up the search process when it actually held up the process by not adjudicating CREW's fee waiver request and appeal in an expeditious manner. After all, the cost of continuing the search was over $90,000, and as already recognized, CREW is a non-profit organization." Sullivan was also skeptical about the government's claim that the OIP attorney handling the appeal of the Civil Division's denial of CREW's fee waiver request was swamped with other FOIA-related work. He noted that "the government does not specify exactly how many other fee waiver appeals the senior counsel was handling and how many of those appeals involved requests that were granted expedited processing." He added that "the Court is not persuaded by the government's argument that CREW is to blame for the delay for not paying up front for its FOIA requests. The ball was in the government's court with regard to CREW's fee waiver requests and it was the government that took seven months to decide the fee waiver issue." As a rule, discovery is not granted in FOIA cases and Sullivan's decision to do so makes this case unusual for that aspect alone. But, in the inside baseball world of FOIA, this case is also interesting because CREW's attorney is Anne Weisman, who for a number of years was the Justice Department attorney responsible for much of the government's FOIA litigation. As a result of her experience within the government, Weisman is likely to know quite a bit about how requests are actually processed and brings a unique perspective to litigating such cases against her former agency.
Issues: Litigation - Discovery, Expedited processing
Opinion/Order [59]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Emmet Sullivan has ruled that CREW is entitled to a fee waiver for its request to the Justice Department pertaining to the government's decision to reduce the monetary penalty request in its litigation against the tobacco industry. Justice took the position that the fee waiver provision applied only to disclosable records and that because most of the responsive records were "virtually inherently protected" by various privileges, the amount of disclosable information would be negligible. Sullivan rejected the agency's premise and noted instead that "fee-waiver requests are evaluated based on the face of the request, not on the possibility of eventual exemption from disclosure. Exceptions to this standard of review are made only where information is 'patently exempt' on the face of the request. Because the requested information was not patently exempt from disclosure, CREW's request should have been evaluated on its face. The DOJ's failure to do so was improper, as it based its rejection of CREW's request on the likelihood of later exemptions, a factor not controlling under the terms of FOIA." DOJ had told CREW that its request was too "ephemeral" to contribute to public understanding. But Sullivan indicated that "given the well-publicized nature of and interest in the reduction of fees in the tobacco litigation, an interest that formed the basis of CREW's request, the contention that information on this issue would inform the public understanding is not such a bare allegation as to warrant rejection by this Court. Moreover, the information was not already publicly available, as made clear by DOJ's claims of eligibility for exemption." DOJ cited "the presence of the term 'disclosure' in FOIA's fee-waiver provision for its argument that only materials actually disclosed are relevant for purposes of fee-waiver eligibility." But Sullivan noted that "the Court finds this interpretation to be incompatible with prior case law at best and disingenuous at worst." To accept DOJ's interpretation would create "a rule never before articulated and [would ignore] the [existing] case law standing for the opposite proposition." He added that "the Court, however, is not persuaded that 'disclosure' in the statute speaks to anything other than a necessary assessment of whether or not the request seeks documents that, if disclosed, would be in the public interest." Sullivan acknowledged the 'patently exempt' exception, but pointed out that "the patently exempt standard sets a high bar for denial of a fee waiver, and the DOJ has not advanced any arguments that CREW's request ought to be excluded as patently exempt under any of the three privileges it deems applicable." Sullivan explained that, since judicial review of a fee waiver denial was based on the administrative record, allowing the agency to base its denial on future exemption claims would deprive requesters of "the opportunity to challenge an actual decision by the DOJ to withhold specific information." He added that "basing eligibility for a fee waiver on likely exemption from disclosure would improperly invert the burden of proof, putting the burden on the plaintiff to prove the validity of its request for documents when the burden should rest with the agency." Sullivan observed that "refusing a fee waiver on grounds of potential ineligibility for disclosure would force CREW to make a payment before the claimed exemptions were ever tested in court. The Court is troubled by the potential deterrent effect that result could have with regard to requesters like CREW 'testing the bounds of FOIA exemptions,' and by the consequent ability of the agency to obtain results based on assertions of privilege that have not yet been tried. While some records may be withheld lawfully under FOIA, the determination of what will actually be disclosed is not properly part of the initial inquiry into whether a fee waiver is applicable." DOJ supported its conclusion that CREW's request was ephemeral by pointing out that the public interest group had failed to cite a D.C. Circuit decision in the tobacco litigation limiting the agency's ability to seek certain remedies and instead basing its request on allegations made in the media. Rejecting that argument, Sullivan indicated that "CREW limited its request to documents surrounding the tobacco litigation, a particular agency action. Moreover, CREW supported its specific request for information by reference to news reports casting doubt on the propriety of the reduction in penalties. By justifying its desire to know about the penalty reduction in that way, CREW did more than make 'bare assertions of malfeasance.'" He observed that "there is no bright-line test or a sufficient showing of informative value. However, given CREW's specific motives and goals, the Court is satisfied that it has made its request with enough specificity to show informative value to the public." Noting both the public nature of the tobacco litigation and the lack of public access to these records, Sullivan indicated that "the Court is persuaded that the significance of any additional information is likely to be high, regardless of whether the documents uncover any wrongdoing." Finally, Sullivan rejected DOJ's claim that it could require CREW to submit an advance payment because the fees were estimated at more than $250. He pointed out that "however, that requirement is one to which a fee waiver logically applies. Therefore, the up-front fee must be waived upon meeting other requirements for a fee waiver."
Issues: Public Interest Fee Waiver - Shed light on government activities
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2005-10-241COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Filing fee $ 250) filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(td, ) (Entered: 10/25/2005)
2005-10-242LCvR 7.1 - CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON (td, ) (Entered: 10/25/2005)
2005-10-24SUMMONS (3)Issued as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (td, ) (Entered: 10/25/2005)
2005-11-173First MOTION for Extension of Time to Answer by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 11/17/2005)
2005-11-21MINUTE ORDER granting defendant's motion for extension of time to answer the complaint. It is hereby ordered that the defendant file its answer no later than December 9, 2005. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on November 21, 2005. (lcegs2) (Entered: 11/21/2005)
2005-11-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 12/9/2005. (clv, ) (Entered: 11/21/2005)
2005-12-084ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 12/08/2005)
2005-12-125ORDER Initial Conference set for 2/2/2006 10:00 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. Setting forth further instruction to counsel. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 12/12/05. (clv, ) (Entered: 12/12/2005)
2006-01-096Unopposed MOTION to Continue Initial Scheduling Conference by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 01/09/2006)
2006-01-11MINUTE ORDER granting 6 Defendant's Unopposed Motion to Continue Initial Scheduling Conference. The hearing currently scheduled for February 2, 2006, is hereby VACATED and is rescheduled for February 7, 2006, at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 24A. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on January 11, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 01/11/2006)
2006-01-12Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 2/7/2006 10:00 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (clv, ) (Entered: 01/12/2006)
2006-01-257STATUS REPORT Joint Report Pursuant to LcvR 16.3 by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Sloan, Melanie) (Entered: 01/25/2006)
2006-01-258Unopposed MOTION to Continue Initial Scheduling Conference by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 01/25/2006)
2006-01-26MINUTE ORDER granting 8 Unopposed Motion to Continue Hearing. It is hereby ordered that the Initial Status Conference now scheduled for February 7, 2006, is moved to February 9, 2006, at 12:00 PM in Courtroom 24A. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on January 26, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 01/26/2006)
2006-01-26Set/Reset Hearings: Initial Conference set for 2/9/2006 12:00 PM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (clv, ) (Entered: 01/26/2006)
2006-02-09Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan : Status Conference held on 2/9/2006. Motion for discovery due by 2/23/2006. Responses due by 3/9/2006 Replies due by 3/20/2006. Motion Hearing set for 4/6/2006 10:30 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (Court Reporter Elaine Merchant.) (clv, ) (Entered: 02/09/2006)
2006-02-239MOTION for Discovery and Supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibits to Motion for Discovery# 2 Exhibit Exhibits to Motion for Discovery# 3 Exhibit Exhibits to Motion for Discovery)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 02/23/2006)
2006-02-2410TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on 2/9/06 before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. Court Reporter: Elaine A. Merchant. The public may view the document in the Clerk's Office between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m, Monday through Friday. (td, ) (Entered: 03/01/2006)
2006-03-0711MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Plaintiff's Motion for Discovery by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 03/07/2006)
2006-03-0712Memorandum in opposition to re 11 Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Discovery filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 03/07/2006)
2006-03-08MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of defendant's Motion for Extension of Time and opposition thereto, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant's response to plaintiff's motion for discovery is due no later than March 13, 2006, at 12:00 PM. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 8, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 03/08/2006)
2006-03-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Responses due by 3/13/2006 (clv, ) (Entered: 03/09/2006)
2006-03-1013Memorandum in opposition to re 9 Plaintiff's Motion for Discovery filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2# 3 Exhibit 3# 4 Exhibit 4# 5 Exhibit 5# 6 Exhibit 6)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 03/10/2006)
2006-03-1514NOTICE of Change of Address by Anne L. Weismann (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 03/15/2006)
2006-03-1615REPLY to opposition to motion re 9 MOTION for Discovery and Supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 03/16/2006)
2006-04-06Minute Entry for Motion Hearing held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 4/6/06 : Motion for Discovery 9 by plaintiff CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, heard, argued and taken under advisement. (Court Reporter: Elaine Merchant) (kk) (Entered: 04/06/2006)
2006-06-0116ORDER granting 9 Plaintiff's Motion for Discovery. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on June 1, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 06/01/2006)
2006-06-05CASE REFERRED to Magistrate Judge Alan Kay to supervise the taking of depositions and resolve any issues. (jsc) (Entered: 06/06/2006)
2006-06-29Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Alan Kay: In Chambers Conference held on 6/14/2006. (lckay1, ) (Entered: 06/29/2006)
2006-06-3017MOTION for Protective Order Regarding Deposition, and Supporting Memorandum by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 06/30/2006)
2006-07-0518Memorandum in opposition to re 17 MOTION for Protective Order Regarding Deposition, and Supporting Memorandum filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit to Opposition to Motion for Protective Order# 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/05/2006)
2006-07-0719SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a Protective Order Regarding Depositions filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit F to Supplement to Plaintiff's Opposition)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/07/2006)
2006-07-1320REPLY to opposition to motion re 17 MOTION for Protective Order Regarding Deposition, and Supporting Memorandum filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1-5)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/13/2006)
2006-07-1721ORDER granting 17 Motion for Protective Order according to the terms of the Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge Alan Kay on 7/17/2006. (lckay1, ) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-1722MOTION for Reconsideration re 21 Order on Motion for Protective Order by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit A to Motion for Reconsideration# 2 Exhibit Exhibit B to Motion for Reconsideration)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-1723MOTION shorten time to respond re 22 MOTION for Reconsideration re 21 Order on Motion for Protective Order by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-17MINUTE ORDER. In view of plaintiff's motion to shorten time to respond to plaintiff's motion for reconsideration, defendant is directed to file its response to plaintiff's motion for reconsideration by no later than 6:00 p.m. this evening. Plaintiff's reply is due no later than 8:00 p.m. this evening. A hearing on plaintiff's motion will be held at 9:30 a.m. on July 18, 2006 in Courtroom 24A. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 17, 2006. (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-1724Memorandum in opposition to re 22 MOTION for Reconsideration re 21 Order on Motion for Protective Order filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-1725MOTION for Leave to File Four Minutes Out of Time by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-1726REPLY to opposition to motion re 22 MOTION for Reconsideration re 21 Order on Motion for Protective Order filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/17/2006)
2006-07-18MINUTE ORDER granting 25 Motion for Leave to File Four Minutes Out of Time. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 18, 2006. (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/18/2006)
2006-07-18Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan: Further Status Conference held on 7/18/2006. Status Conference set for 7/26/2006 10:00 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (Court Reporter Elaine Merchant.) (alr) (Entered: 07/19/2006)
2006-07-2027NOTICE of Apparent Violation of Court Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/20/2006)
2006-07-2028NOTICE of Apparent Violation of Court Order (Amended) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/20/2006)
2006-07-20MINUTE ORDER. Any party requesting reconsideration of Judge Kay's rulings made during the July 18-19, 2006 depositions concerning 1) the scope of the deposition; and 2) the use of two sets of internal DOJ documents, is directed to file a motion no later than 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 22, 2006. Responses are due Monday, July 24, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. Replies are due no later than 6:00 p.m. on July 24, 2006. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 20, 2006. (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/20/2006)
2006-07-2029RESPONSE to Notice of Apparent Violation of Court Order filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/20/2006)
2006-07-2130REPLY re 28 Notice (Other) of Apparent Violation of Court Order filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/21/2006)
2006-07-2231MOTION Reconsideration of Order of Judge Kay Limiting Scope of Examination and Motion to Compel re Order, by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibits A B and D to Motion to Reconsider Order of Judge Kay# 2 Exhibit Exhibit C to Motion to Reconsider Order of Judge Kay# 3 Text of Proposed Order Draft Order on Motion to Reconsider)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/22/2006)
2006-07-2232MOTION for Protective Order /Sealing Order and for Return of Federal Documents by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/22/2006)
2006-07-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Motions due by 7/22/2006. Responses due by 7/24/2006 Replies due by 7/24/2006. (clv, ) (Entered: 07/22/2006)
2006-07-24MINUTE ORDER. The Court requests that principle counsel for the parties place a conference call to chambers at 3:00 p.m. today. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 24, 2006. (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/24/2006)
2006-07-2433Memorandum in opposition to re 32 MOTION for Protective Order /Sealing Order and for Return of Federal Documents filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit # 2 Text of Proposed Order # 3 Certificate of Service)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/24/2006)
2006-07-2434Memorandum in opposition to re 31 MOTION Reconsideration of Order of Judge Kay Limiting Scope of Examination and Motion to Compel re Order, Opposition filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2 (FILED UNDEER SEAL) # 3 Exhibit 3)(Olson, Lisa) Modified on 7/26/2006 (zlc, ). (Entered: 07/24/2006)
2006-07-24Set/Reset Hearings: Telephone Conference set for 7/24/2006 03:00 PM in Chambers before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (adc) (Entered: 07/24/2006)
2006-07-24MINUTE ORDER. The motions hearing scheduled for July 25, 2006 is rescheduled to August 7, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. Replies to motions filed on July 22 are now due no later than July 27, 2006. The provision of the Court's order of June 1, 2006 that required a status report by July 31, 2006 is vacated. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 24, 2006. (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/24/2006)
2006-07-2535MOTION for Leave to File Under Seal Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a Protective/Sealing Order and For Return of Federal Documents by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) Modified on 7/25/2006 (tg, ). (Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a Protective/Sealing Order and Return of Federal Documents (unredacted version) LODGED UNDER SEAL). (Entered: 07/25/2006)
2006-07-2636ORDER granting 35 Motion for Leave to File . Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 7/25/06. (clv, ) (Entered: 07/26/2006)
2006-07-2639Memorandum in opposition to re 32 MOTION for Protective Order /Sealing Order and for Return of Federal Documents filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (SEALED; UNREDACTED VERSION) (jf, ) (Entered: 07/31/2006)
2006-07-2737REPLY to opposition to motion re 31 MOTION Reconsideration of Order of Judge Kay Limiting Scope of Examination and Motion to Compel re Order, filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 07/27/2006)
2006-07-2738REPLY to opposition to motion re 32 MOTION for Protective Order /Sealing Order and for Return of Federal Documents filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 1# 3 Exhibit 3)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 07/27/2006)
2006-08-03Set/Reset Hearings: Motion Hearing is now set for 8/16/2006 11:45 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. THE PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED MOTION HEARING DATE OF 8/7/06 IS VACATED DUE TO CHANGES IN THE COURT'S CALENDAR. (clv, ) (Entered: 08/03/2006)
2006-08-04MINUTE ORDER. In view of pressing family matters, the Court is not available for the Motion Hearing on 8/16/06 at 11:45 a.m. The Court requests that counsel for the parties confer and submit a joint status report with two mutually convenient dates and times in September. . Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/4/06. (clv, ) (Entered: 08/04/2006)
2006-08-0740STATUS REPORT (Joint) and Proposed Hearing Date by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 08/07/2006)
2006-08-16Set/Reset Hearings: Motion Hearing is now set for 9/8/2006 10:45 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (clv, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)
2006-09-08Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan : Motion Hearing held on 9/8/2006 and taken under advisement. Parties additional submissions due by 9/12/06. (Court Reporter WM. MCALLISTER.) (clv, ) (Entered: 09/08/2006)
2006-09-1141MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Daniel C. Roth. :Address- 1400 I St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. Phone No. - 202-408-5565. Fax No. - 202-588-5020 by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration Required by LCvR 83.2(d))(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 09/11/2006)
2006-09-11MINUTE ORDER granting 41 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on September 11, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 09/11/2006)
2006-09-1242SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for a Protective/Sealing Order filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 09/12/2006)
2006-09-1243MEMORANDUM by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 09/12/2006)
2006-10-0544MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting 22 plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of Judge Kay's Order Granting Defendant's Motion for a Protective Order; denying 32 defendant's Motion for Protective Order and Return of Federal Documents; and denying 31 plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of Judge Kay's Order Limiting the Scope of Examination. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on October 5, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 10/05/2006)
2006-10-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 11/10/2006. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/1/2006. (clv, ) (Entered: 10/06/2006)
2006-11-0945MOTION for Summary Judgment Regarding Bad Faith Allegations by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding Bad Faith Allegations# 2 Exhibit 1# 3 Exhibit 2# 4 Exhibit 3# 5 Exhibit 4# 6 Exhibit 5# 7 Exhibit 6# 8 Exhibit 7)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 11/09/2006)
2006-11-0946Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A through G# 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 11/09/2006)
2006-12-0147Memorandum in opposition to re 45 MOTION for Summary Judgment Regarding Bad Faith Allegations filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit H)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 12/01/2006)
2006-12-0148Memorandum in opposition to re 46 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 )(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 12/01/2006)
2006-12-0849MOTION for Leave to File Reply in Support of Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Reply Memorandum# 2 Exhibit I# 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 12/08/2006)
2006-12-1950MOTION for Leave to File Reply/Surreply Regarding Permissible Relief, and Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Reply by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit proposed Reply/Surreply# 2 Exhibit proposed Order)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 12/19/2006)
2006-12-2051RESPONSE to Defendant's Motion for Leave to File Reply/Surreply Regarding Permissible Relief 50 filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Weismann, Anne). (Entered: 12/20/2006)
2006-12-27MINUTE ORDER granting 49 Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Reply, granting 50 Defendant's Motion for Leave to File Reply/Surreply. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on December 27, 2006. (lcegs2) (Entered: 12/27/2006)
2006-12-2752REPLY in support of 46 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (jf, ) (Entered: 12/28/2006)
2006-12-2753REPLY in support of 45 MOTION for Summary Judgment Regarding Bad Faith Allegations filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (jf, ) (Entered: 12/28/2006)
2006-12-2754SURREPLY to re 46 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (to view document, click on link # 53 ) (jf, ) (Entered: 12/28/2006)
2007-05-3055NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. Attorney Daniel C. Roth terminated. (Roth, Daniel) (Entered: 05/30/2007)
2008-03-31MINUTE ORDER. The parties are directed to brief the Court on Plaintiff's entitlement to a fee waiver under the Freedom of Information Act. The Court directs Plaintiff to file its motion by no later than May 15, 2008. Defendant's opposition shall be filed no later than June 16, 2008 and Plaintiff's reply in support of its motion shall be filed no later than June 30, 2008. Accordingly, the currently pending 45 46 motions are denied without prejudice to refiling pending resolution of the fee waiver issue. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 31, 2008. (lcegs2) (Entered: 03/31/2008)
2008-03-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Motions due by 5/15/2008. Responses due by 6/16/2008 Replies due by 6/30/2008. (clv, ) (Entered: 03/31/2008)
2008-05-1556MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment on the Issue of Plaintiff's Entitlement to a Fee Waiver by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit 1, 2, # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 05/15/2008)
2008-06-1657Memorandum in opposition to re 56 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment on the Issue of Plaintiff's Entitlement to a Fee Waiver filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Declaration of James M. Kovakas, # 2 Exhibit Declaration of Melanie Ann Pustay, # 3 Exhibit Excerpts from Deposition of Robert D. McCallum, Jr., # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 06/16/2008)
2008-06-3058REPLY to opposition to motion re 56 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment on the Issue of Plaintiff's Entitlement to a Fee Waiver filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 06/30/2008)
2009-03-1659MEMORANDUM AND OPINION granting motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff's entitlement to a fee waiver. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 16, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 03/16/2009)
2009-03-1660ORDER granting 56 motion for partial summary judgment on plaintiff's entitlement to a fee waiver. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 16, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 03/16/2009)
2009-04-17MINUTE ORDER directing the parties to file a joint status report, including a recommendation for further proceedings, by no later than May 4, 2009. In the event that counsel are unable to agree on a joint recommendation, each party shall file an individual recommendation by that time. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on April 17, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 04/17/2009)
2009-04-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 5/4/2009 (clv, ) (Entered: 04/17/2009)
2009-05-0461STATUS REPORT and Proposed Further Proceedings by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 05/04/2009)
2009-05-07NOTICE TO THE PARTIES. Plaintiff is directed to submit a proposed order detailing the relief sought by plaintiff in 61 the joint status report and proposed further proceedings on May 4, 2009. The proposed order shall be filed with the Court by no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 8, 2009. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 7, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 05/07/2009)
2009-05-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 5/8/2009 (clv, ) (Entered: 05/07/2009)
2009-05-0862NOTICE of Filing by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON re 61 Status Report, Order, (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 05/08/2009)
2009-05-1163ORDER. The parties are directed to read this Order in its entirety upon receipt. Defendant's response shall be filed by no later than May 18, 2009. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 11, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 05/11/2009)
2009-05-12Set/Reset Deadlines: Responses due by 5/18/2009 Response to Show Cause due by 5/18/2009. (clv, ) (Entered: 05/12/2009)
2009-05-1864RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE re 63 Order. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 05/18/2009)
2009-05-1965MEMORANDUM re 64 Response to Order to Show Cause filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Weismann, Anne) (Entered: 05/19/2009)
2009-05-2066REPLY re 65 Memorandum Regarding Order to Show Cause filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 05/20/2009)
2009-05-21MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of defendant's response to the Court's order to show cause and the responses and replies thereto, the parties are directed to meet face to face by no later than June 8, 2009 in an effort to narrow plaintiff's request for documents and to agree on the scope of the search and a reasonable timeframe for conducting the search. The parties shall file a further status report informing the Court of their progress by no later than June 10, 2009 at noon. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 21, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 05/21/2009)
2009-05-26Set/Reset Deadlines: parties are to Meet face to face by 6/8/2009. Status Report due by 6/10/2009 (clv, ) (Entered: 05/26/2009)
2009-06-1067ENTERED IN ERROR.....STATUS REPORT by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Weismann, Anne) Modified on 6/10/2009 (jf, ). (Entered: 06/10/2009)
2009-06-1068STATUS REPORT (JOINT) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 06/10/2009)
2009-06-10NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: Document No. re 67 Status Report was entered in error at the request of counsel and will be refiled with corrected pleading.(jf, ) (Entered: 06/10/2009)
2009-06-1069NOTICE of Appearance by Scott Allan Hodes on behalf of CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON (Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 06/10/2009)
2009-06-12MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of 68 the joint status report submitted by the parties, this case is referred to the Honorable John M. Facciola for mediation and settlement purposes. The parties are directed to contact Judge Facciola's chambers at (202) 354-3130 to schedule an appointment to meet with him. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on June 12, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 06/12/2009)
2009-06-1270CASE REFERRED to Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola for Mediation and Settlement purposes. (ls, ) (Entered: 06/15/2009)
2009-06-15Set/Reset Hearings: Settlement Conference set for 6/23/2009 at 10:00 AM in Chambers before Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola. (SP, ) (Entered: 06/15/2009)
2009-06-1571ORDER re referral to Judge Facciola for settlement. Signed by Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola on 6/15/09. (SP, ) (Entered: 06/15/2009)
2009-06-23Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola: Settlement Conference held on 6/23/2009. A telephone status is scheduled for 6/30/2009 at 11:15. (SP, ) (Entered: 06/23/2009)
2009-06-30Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola: Telephone status on settlement held on 6/30/2009. (SP, ) Modified on 6/30/2009 (SP, ). (Entered: 06/30/2009)
2009-07-29MINUTE ORDER. The Court sua sponte stays all proceedings in this case through August 21, 2009. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 29, 2009. (lcegs4) (Entered: 07/29/2009)
2009-07-29Set/Reset Hearings: Settlement Conference set for 8/7/2009 at 10:00 AM in Chambers before Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola. (SP, ) (Entered: 07/29/2009)
2009-08-07Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola: Settlement Conference held on 8/7/2009. (SP, ) (Entered: 08/07/2009)
2009-09-2972ORDER attaching the results of an examination conducted by Magistrate Judge Facciola.. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 9/28/09. (clv, ) (Entered: 09/29/2009)
2009-09-2973ORDER dismissing this case with prejudice.. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 9/28/09. (clv, ) (Entered: 09/29/2009)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff
Skip to toolbar