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Case TitleLONG et al v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2006cv00878
Date Filed2006-05-10
Date Closed2006-09-06
JudgeJudge Paul L. Friedman
PlaintiffSUSAN B. LONG Co-Director, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse
PlaintiffDAVID BURNHAM Co-Director, Transactional Records
PlaintiffLARRY KATZMAN Manager, Transactional Records Access Clearighouse
DefendantDEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Opinion/Order [7]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Paul Friedman has ruled that the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse is not entitled to expedited processing for its request for statistical information underlying the Department of Homeland Security's claims made in a petition for Supreme Court review concerning the number of aliens removed from the U.S. as a result of criminal records. After receiving no response to its first request, TRAC submitted a broader second request. It then filed suit, asking the court to force DHS to process both requests immediately. In support of its request for expedited processing, TRAC argued that the information was needed so that interested parties could use it in filing amicus briefs in the Supreme Court case, that immigration issues were a matter of significant public interest, and that the agency's failure to process the original request entitled the organization to expedited processing. Rejecting all three claims, Friedman noted that "plaintiffs cite only to a generalized need to have this information available for such persons who might want to file an amicus brief . . . [E]ven if plaintiffs had intended to file a brief or assist others who might wish to do so, the deadline for filing that [the] plaintiff specified in [its] affidavit has expired. Thus, it cannot be said that plaintiffs' request concerns 'a matter of current exigency' or that the consequences of DHS delaying a response 'would compromise a significant recognized interest.'" As to the information being important to the immigration debate, Friedman observed that "plaintiffs here, however, have failed to identify an imminent action indicating that the requested information will 'not retain its value if procured through the normal FOIA channels.'" He also rejected the claim that failure to process the request within the statutory time limits entitled TRAC to expedited processing. He noted that "the failure to meet these statutory deadlines " all too common, unfortunately, in view of the number of FOIA requests made to agencies and the limited resources available to deal with them " nevertheless does not constitute a 'compelling need' under the statute." Although it should not be part of the analysis of whether a request should be expedited, Friedman then went on to point out the effect expedition would have on other requesters. He noted that "to compel the agency to provide expedited processing would merely place plaintiffs' request ahead of others that are awaiting responses to their requests. Such a result would injure others who made their requests before the plaintiff or who have presented more meritorious applications for expedited processing."
Issues: Expedited processing - Compelling Need
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2006-05-101COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Filing fee $ 350) filed by SUSAN B. LONG, DAVID BURNHAM, LARRY KATZMAN.(td, ) (Entered: 05/11/2006)
2006-05-10SUMMONS (3) Issued as to DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (td, ) (Entered: 05/11/2006)
2006-05-102MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by SUSAN B. LONG, DAVID BURNHAM, LARRY KATZMAN. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order # 2 Exhibit A# 3 Exhibit B# 4 Exhibit C# 5 Exhibit D# 6 Exhibit E# 7 Exhibit F# 8 Exhibit G# 9 Exhibit H# 10 Exhibit J# 11 Exhibit K# 12 Exhibit L# 13 Exhibit M# 14 Exhibit N# 15 Exhibit O)(td, ) Additional attachment(s) added on 5/15/2006 (td, ). (Entered: 05/11/2006)
2006-05-113SUMMONS Returned Executed by SUSAN B. LONG, DAVID BURNHAM, LARRY KATZMAN. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 5/10/2006, answer due 6/9/2006. (Pemberton, Alan) (Entered: 05/11/2006)
2006-05-15NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: declaration of Larry Katzman and exhibit I were inadvertently omitted and added re 2 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (td, ) (Entered: 05/15/2006)
2006-05-174Memorandum in opposition to re 2 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 2)(Lin, Jean) (Entered: 05/17/2006)
2006-05-18NOTICE OF HEARING: Status Conference set for 5/31/2006 09:15 AM in Courtroom 29A before Judge Paul L. Friedman. (bm) (Entered: 05/18/2006)
2006-05-185Unopposed MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Roger A. Ford. :Address- Covington & Burling, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20004. Phone No. - 202 662 5277. Fax No. - 202 778 5277 by SUSAN B. LONG, DAVID BURNHAM, LARRY KATZMAN. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Certification of Roger A. Ford, Esq.# 2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Pemberton, Alan) (Entered: 05/18/2006)
2006-05-19MINUTE ORDER granting 5 plaintiffs' uncontested motion to admit Roger A. Ford pro hac vice. Signed by Judge Paul L. Friedman on May 19, 2006. (MA) (Entered: 05/19/2006)
2006-05-236REPLY to opposition to motion re 2 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by SUSAN B. LONG, DAVID BURNHAM, LARRY KATZMAN. (Pemberton, Alan) (Entered: 05/23/2006)
2006-05-26NOTICE OF HEARING: Status Conference reset for 6/5/2006 09:45 AM in Courtroom 29A before Judge Paul L. Friedman. (PLEASE NOTE: The Status Conference scheduled for 5/31/2006 has been rescheduled to the above NEW date and time.)(bm) (Entered: 05/26/2006)
2006-06-02NOTICE OF HEARING: Status Conference reset for 6/12/2006 09:45 AM in Courtroom 29A before Judge Paul L. Friedman. (PLEASE NOTE: The Status Conference presently scheduled for 6/5/2006 has been rescheduled to the above NEW date and time.)(bm) (Entered: 06/02/2006)
2006-06-06NOTICE OF HEARING: Status Conference reset for 6/14/2006 09:45 AM in Courtroom 29A before Judge Paul L. Friedman. (PLEASE NOTE: The Status Conference previously set for 6/12/2006 has been rescheduled to the above NEW date and time.)(bm) (Entered: 06/06/2006)
2006-06-14Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Paul L. Friedman : Status Conference held on 6/14/2006.: Court will rule on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction on the pleadings. (Counsel: Plaintiff - Alan Pemberton, Roger Ford; Defense - Elizabeth Goitein for Jean Lin, Mr. Riley from the Agency) (Court Reporter Linda L. Russo.) (bm) (Entered: 06/14/2006)
2006-06-287MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying 2 plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Signed by Judge Paul L. Friedman on June 28, 2006. (MA) Modified on 7/7/2006 (bm). (Entered: 06/28/2006)
2006-08-228ORDER that defendant shall file a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, a motion for summary judgment on or before October 23, 2006. Signed by Judge Paul L. Friedman on 8/22/06. (lcplf2) (Entered: 08/22/2006)
2006-08-22Set Deadline: Defendant's motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary judgment due by 10/23/2006. (mm) (Entered: 08/28/2006)
2006-09-069NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by all plaintiffs (Pemberton, Alan) (Entered: 09/06/2006)
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by FOIA Project Staff