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Case TitlePHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2006cv01392
Date Filed2006-08-07
Date Closed2007-03-26
JudgeJudge John D. Bates
PlaintiffPHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE
Case DescriptionThe Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine submitted FOIA requests to the FDA, the EPA, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for records concerning the activities of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods. PCRM also requested a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. The EPA provided records responsive to the request. The NIH denied PCRM's request for a fee waiver and PCRM filed an administrative appeal of the denial. After hearing nothing further from the agency, PCRM filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Opinion/Order [25]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge John Bates has ruled that the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine should be granted a fee waiver by the Department of Health and Human Services for its request concerning the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods and its alleged lack of action taken in exploring alternatives to the use of animals in testing. In rejecting the Committee's fee waiver request, the agency decided that it had failed to show that disclosure would significantly contribute to an understanding of government activities or operations and that the organization had failed to show how it could disseminate the information broadly. Bates, however, disagreed with the agency's conclusion, noting that "PCRM describes a specific statutory mandate that allegedly has not been satisfied by ICCVAM and explains how and why the information it requests will shed light on the alleged lack of progress " that is, by supposedly revealing that ICCVAM has selected representatives who do not fully endorse ICCVAM's goals. PCRM explains elsewhere in its letter that ICCVAM does not meet in public and that many internal documents are not publicly available. It follows, then, that disclosure of the documents would make a significant contribution to public understanding of any lack of progress by ICCVAM in satisfying the legal duty described." Distinguishing the case from others in which a court had ruled that the description of the public interest was inadequate, Bates pointed out that "in contrast, PCRM's description of a specific problem " the composition of ICCVAM's membership " and its impact on ICCVAM's ability to fulfill a specific statutory mandate to 'reduce, refine, or replace the use of animals in testing' satisfies the 'reasonably specific' standard, which is 'all that FOIA requires.'" Bates then indicated that "PCRM sufficiently demonstrates its ability to disseminate the requested information among the public through the publication of its free quarterly newsletter that is received by its 120,000 person membership, as well as through its intention to send out press releases to the 'entire media spectrum.'" He added that "PCRM is a non-profit organization that intends to disseminate the information among the public through press releases to the 'entire media spectrum,' as well as through its regular publication. Indeed, HHS recognized PCRM's demonstrated ability to generate such press releases in background documents supporting its analysis of PCRM's fee waiver request."
Issues: Public Interest Fee Waiver - Dissemination
Opinion/Order [26]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2006-08-071COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Filing fee $ 350) filed by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE.(lc, ) (Entered: 08/08/2006)
2006-08-072LCvR 7.1 - CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE (lc, ) (Entered: 08/08/2006)
2006-08-07SUMMONS (3) Issued as to DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (lc, ) (Entered: 08/08/2006)
2006-08-093RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on Attorney General. Date of Service Upon Attorney General 08/09/2006. (Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 08/09/2006)
2006-08-094SUMMONS Returned Executed by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES served on 8/9/2006, answer due 9/11/2006. (Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 08/09/2006)
2006-08-095RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the US Attorney. (Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 08/09/2006)
2006-09-136ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. Related document: 1 Complaint filed by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE,.(Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 09/13/2006)
2006-09-147ORDER: Proposed briefing schedule shall be filed by not later than 10/13/2006. See text of Order for details. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 9/14/2006. (CK) (Entered: 09/14/2006)
2006-09-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Proposed briefing schedule due by 10/13/2006. (CK) (Entered: 09/14/2006)
2006-10-138MEET AND CONFER STATEMENT. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 10/13/2006)
2006-10-139SCHEDULING ORDER. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/13/2006. (CK) (Entered: 10/13/2006)
2006-10-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Administrative record due by 10/16/2006. Plaintiff's summary judgment motion due by 11/6/2006. Defendant's response and cross-motion for summary judgment due by 12/6/2006. Plaintiff's reply and opposition due 1/5/2007. Defendant's reply due by 1/19/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/13/2006)
2006-10-2010ADMINISTRATIVE RECORD by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 10/20/2006)
2006-10-2011Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File the Administrative Record by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 10/20/2006)
2006-10-23MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 11 defendant's consent motion for extension of time, nunc pro tunc, to file the administrative record, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that the time for defendant to file the administrative record is extended, nunc pro tunc, to October 20, 2006. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/23/2006. (CK) (Entered: 10/23/2006)
2006-11-0612MOTION for Summary Judgment by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Points and Authorities # 2 Declaration of John J. Pippin # 3 Plaintiff's Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is no Genuine Issue# 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Kinburn, Daniel) Modified on 11/7/2006 (lc, ). (Entered: 11/06/2006)
2006-12-0513Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 12/05/2006)
2006-12-08MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 13 defendant?s consent motion for extension of time to file defendant's opposition to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant?s response to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by not later than December 13, 2006. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 12/8/2006. (CK) (Entered: 12/08/2006)
2006-12-1314Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Defendant's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 12/13/2006)
2006-12-14MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 14 defendant's consent motion for extension of time to respond to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and file cross-motion for summary judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's response and cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by not later than December 18, 2006. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 12/14/2006. (CK) (Entered: 12/14/2006)
2006-12-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's response to dispositive motion and cross-motion for summary judgment due by 12/18/2006. (CK) (Entered: 12/14/2006)
2006-12-1815Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 12/18/2006)
2006-12-22MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 15 defendant's consent motion for extension of time to file defendant's opposition to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's response to plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by not later than December 22, 2006. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 12/22/2006. (CK) (Entered: 12/22/2006)
2006-12-2216MOTION for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 12/22/2006)
2006-12-2217Memorandum in opposition to re 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 12/22/2006)
2007-01-0518Memorandum in opposition to re 16 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Statement of Material Facts filed by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 01/05/2007)
2007-01-0519REPLY to opposition to motion re 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE. (see docket entry #18 for document image). (lc, ) (Entered: 01/08/2007)
2007-01-1920Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 01/19/2007)
2007-01-22MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 20 defendant's consent motion for extension of time to file a reply in support of defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's reply in support of cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed by not later than January 26, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 1/22/2007. (CK) (Entered: 01/22/2007)
2007-01-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's reply in support of cross-motion for summary judgment due by 1/26/2007. (CK) (Entered: 01/22/2007)
2007-01-2621Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply in Support of 16 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) Modified on 1/29/2007 (zlc, ). (Entered: 01/26/2007)
2007-01-30MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 21 defendant's consent motion for extension of time to file reply brief in support of defendant's motion for summary judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's reply brief shall be filed by not later than February 2, 2007.Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 1/30/2007. (CK) (Entered: 01/30/2007)
2007-02-0222Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to 16 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) Modified on 2/5/2007 (zlc, ). (Entered: 02/02/2007)
2007-02-05MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 22 defendant's consent motion for extension of time to file reply brief in support of defendant's motion for summary judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's reply brief shall be filed by not later than February 5, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 2/5/2007. (CK) (Entered: 02/05/2007)
2007-02-0523REPLY to opposition to motion re 16 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 02/05/2007)
2007-02-0924MOTION for Hearing re 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment, 18 Memorandum in Opposition, by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE. (Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 02/09/2007)
2007-03-2625MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 3/26/2007. (CK) (Entered: 03/26/2007)
2007-03-2626ORDER granting in part and denying in part 12 plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, denying 16 defendant's motion for summary judgment, entering judgment in favor of plaintiff and against defendant on Claim One of the complaint, and dismissing Claim Two of the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 3/26/2007. See text of order for details.(CK) (Entered: 03/26/2007)
2007-04-0227Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Move for Attorneys' Fees by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 04/02/2007)
2007-04-02MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 27 plaintiff's consent motion for extension of time to file motion for attorneys' fees, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that plaintiff shall file its motion for attorneys' fees by not later than May 25, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 4/2/2007. (CK) (Entered: 04/02/2007)
2007-04-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees due by 5/25/2007. (CK) (Entered: 04/02/2007)
2007-04-0928MOTION to Alter Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 04/09/2007)
2007-04-1229Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Plaintiff's Opposition to 28 Defendants Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kinburn, Daniel) Modified on 4/13/2007 (lc, ). (Entered: 04/12/2007)
2007-04-13MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 29 plaintiff's motion for an extension of time to file an opposition to defendant's motion to alter or amend judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that plaintiff's shall file its opposition brief by not later than May 4, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 4/13/2007. (CK) (Entered: 04/13/2007)
2007-04-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's opposition to defendant's motion to alter or amend judgment due by 5/4/2007. (CK) (Entered: 04/13/2007)
2007-05-0430Memorandum in opposition to re 28 MOTION to Alter Judgment filed by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration of Daniel Kinburn in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment# 2 Exhibit Letter (January 5, 2007) from FDA to PCRM# 3 Exhibit Electronic message (January 11, 2007) from PCRM to Defendant's Counsel# 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 05/04/2007)
2007-05-1431REPLY to opposition to motion re 28 MOTION to Alter Judgment filed by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 05/14/2007)
2007-05-2532MOTION for Attorney Fees by PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Laffey Matrix# 2 Exhibit Itemization of Hours# 3 Exhibit Litigation Expenses# 4 Affidavit Daniel Kinburn# 5 Affidavit Mark Kennedy# 6 Affidavit Bernard J. DiMuro# 7 Text of Proposed Order)(Kinburn, Daniel) (Entered: 05/25/2007)
2007-06-0533Consent MOTION to Stay re 32 MOTION for Attorney Fees by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 06/05/2007)
2007-06-07MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of defendant's consent motion for stay of response to plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that the deadline for defendant's response is deferred pending further order of the Court. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 6/7/2007. (CK) (Entered: 06/07/2007)
2007-10-0334ORDER denying 28 defendant's motion to alter or amend the judgment. See text of order for details. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/3/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/03/2007)
2007-10-09MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that defendant's response to plaintiff's motion for attorneys fees shall be filed by not later than October 19, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/9/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/09/2007)
2007-10-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's response to plaintiff's motion for attorneys fees due by 10/19/2007 (CK) (Entered: 10/09/2007)
2007-10-1935Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiff's Petition for Attorney's Fees by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 10/19/2007)
2007-10-22MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 35 defendant's consent motion for extension of time to respond to plaintiff's petition for attorneys fees, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant shall file its response by not later than October 26, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/22/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/22/2007)
2007-10-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's response to plaintiff's petition for attorneys fees due by 10/26/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/22/2007)
2007-10-2636Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response to Plaintiff's Petition for Attorney's Fees by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 10/26/2007)
2007-10-29MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 36 defendant's consent motion for a further extension of time to respond to plaintiff's petition for attorney's fees, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's response shall be filed by not later than October 30, 2007. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/29/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/29/2007)
2007-10-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's response due by 10/30/2007 (CK) (Entered: 10/29/2007)
2007-10-3037RESPONSE to 32 Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Agreement of the Parties as to the Fees and Costs, together with Proposed Order by DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES re 32 MOTION for Attorney Fees (Haynes, Fred) Modified on 10/31/2007 (lc, ). (Entered: 10/30/2007)
2007-10-3038ORDER awarding plaintiff attorney's fees and costs. See text of order for details. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/30/2007. (CK) (Entered: 10/30/2007)
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