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Case TitleCENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY v. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2006cv01644
Date Filed2006-09-25
Date Closed2007-08-27
JudgeJudge Ellen S. Huvelle
PlaintiffCENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY
DefendantFEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
DefendantCTIA-THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION
DefendantNATIONAL CABLE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION
DefendantAT&T INC.
DefendantUNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION
DefendantVERIZON
DefendantWIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Opinion/Order [45]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle has ruled that the FCC properly withheld most of the information contained on Form 477s submitted by telecommunications companies providing broadband internet service under Exemption 4 (confidential business information) and Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). The information had been requested by the Center for Public Integrity and the organization argued that the FCC could provide much of the allegedly confidential information by replacing it with numerical ranges or by indicating whether the deleted responses were zero or greater than zero. Huvelle agreed with the agency that such a response would require the agency to create a record. She noted that "the FCC would have to replace the redacted numbers with new numbers, which the FCC itself would have to select. Because agencies are not required to created new records to satisfy FOIA requests, the Court is without authority to require the FCC to adopt plaintiff's proposal for the disclosure of modified data from Parts I-III." Huvelle also found that disclosure of zip code data could cause competitive harm. She pointed out that "because some entities are assigned 'unique' zip codes, disclosure of zip code data would in some instances reveal the presence of an actual business relationship between a filer [of Form 477] and a particular entity. Such information. . . could 'improve [a] competitor's ability to draw inferences about a filer's overall financial and competitive position' and assist competitors in 'designing specific competing offers to target [the identified] customer.'"
Issues: Exemption 6 - Invasion of privacy, Exemption 4 - Competitive harm
Opinion/Order [51]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle has declined to reconsider her decision concerning the competitive nature of zip code information submitted to the FCC by telecommunications providers. Huvelle had earlier ruled that competitors could use the zip code information provided on Form 477s to better understand a competitor's market and possibly undercut that competitor's price. The Center for Public Integrity asked her to reconsider after introducing evidence suggesting that redaction of unique zip codes from the database could be done easily without providing sensitive information. But Huvelle disagreed with the Center's contention that this information constituted new evidence and pointed out that "plaintiff's basic argument essentially amounts to an argument that this Court has already addressed and rejected �" that no competitive harm would be caused by requiring the disclosure of the ZIP code data with the technology type redacted. This alone provides a sufficient basis for denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration." She noted that "the competitive harm does not arise from the competitor's ability to view each year's filing in isolation. Rather, it is the competitor's ability to view trends for a particular filer over time that would provide it with information about the filer's business strategy and its financial health. Because plaintiff has not offered anything other than its own assessment that the disclosure of the redacted data is 'manifestly unlikely to cause competitive harm,' its motion for reconsideration will be denied for this reason as well."
Issues: Exemption 4 - Competitive harm
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2006-09-251COMPLAINT against FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (Filing fee $ 350) filed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY.(tg, ) (Entered: 09/26/2006)
2006-09-252LCvR 7.1 - CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY (tg, ) (Entered: 09/26/2006)
2006-09-25Summons (3) Issued as to FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (tg, ) (Entered: 09/26/2006)
2006-10-023SUMMONS Returned Executed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION served on 9/25/2006, answer due 10/25/2006. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Declaration of Service as to U.S. Attorney# 2 Exhibit Service by Mail on Defendant FCC# 3 Exhibit Service by Mail on Attorney General)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 10/02/2006)
2006-10-034SUMMONS Returned Executed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION served on 9/29/2006, answer due 10/30/2006., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION served on 9/29/2006, answer due 10/30/2006. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Service by Mail on Defendant FCC)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 10/03/2006)
2006-10-035RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on Attorney General., SUMMONS Returned Executed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION served on 9/28/2006, answer due 10/30/2006. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Service by Mail on Attorney General)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 10/03/2006)
2006-10-056NOTICE of Appearance by Wyneva Johnson on behalf of FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 10/05/2006)
2006-10-247Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to respond to Plaintiff's FOIA Complaint by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 10/24/2006)
2006-10-26ORDER granting 7 Defendant FCC's Motion for Extension of Time to File Responsive Pleading. FCC shall file its motion to dismiss by 11/30/06; Plaintiff shall file its opposition by 1/8/07; FCC shall file its reply by 1/24/07. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 10/26/2006. (ses) (Entered: 10/26/2006)
2006-11-308MOTION for Extension of Time to respond to Plaintiff's FOIA Complaint by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 11/30/2006)
2006-12-01ORDER granting 8 Defendant FCC's Motion for Extension of Time to File Responsive Pleading. FCC shall file its motion to dismiss by 1/8/07; Plaintiff shall file its opposition by 2/12/07; FCC shall file its reply by 2/28/07. FCC shall receive no further extensions of time to respond to the Complaint. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 12/1/2006. (ses) (Entered: 12/01/2006)
2007-01-089MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts # 2 Exhibit Plaintiff's FOIA request# 3 Exhibit WCB's Decision# 4 Exhibit Plaintiff's Administrative Appeal# 5 Exhibit FCC Public Notice# 6 Exhibit Form 477 and instructions# 7 Exhibit WCB's Decision in the ERS FOIA# 8 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 01/08/2007)
2007-01-0811UNOPPOSED MOTION for Leave to File A Brief Amicus Curiae by CTIA-THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum Supporting Motion# 2 Exhibit (Amicus Brief)# 3 Exhibit 1# 4 Exhibit 2# 5 Exhibit 3# 6 Text of Proposed Order)(jeb, ) (Entered: 01/10/2007)
2007-01-0812MOTION to Intervene by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order to Intervene# 2 Proposed Answer# 3 Proposed MSJ# 4 Statement of Facts# 5 Exhibit 1-AT&T declaration# 6 Exhibit 2-Verizon declaration# 7 Exhibit 3-NPTC declaration# 8 Exhibit 4-Stretch declaration# 9 Text of Proposed Order -MSJ# 10 AT&T corporate dosclosure# 11 UST corporate disclosure# 12 Verizon corporate disclosure)(lc, ) (Entered: 01/11/2007)
2007-01-0813NOTICE of Appearance by Colin Sullivan Stretch on behalf of AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON (lc, ) (Entered: 01/11/2007)
2007-01-0815MOTION to Intervene as a defendant by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL. (Attachments: # 1 Banks Declaration# 2 Diaz Declaration# 3 Exhibit A# 4 Exhibit B# 5 Exhibit C - 7.1 Certificate# 6 Exhibit D - Answer# 7 Natoli Declaration# 8 Exhibit E# 9 Exhibit F)(jf, ) (Entered: 01/23/2007)
2007-01-0816ADDITIONAL ATTACHMENT (Proposed Order) by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL 15 MOTION to Intervene filed by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL,. (jf, ) (Entered: 01/23/2007)
2007-01-0817NOTICE of Appearance by Michael Deuel Sullivan on behalf of WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL (jf, ) (Entered: 01/23/2007)
2007-01-0910ERRATA (Declaration of Alan I Feldman and Exhibits) by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 9 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION,. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Declaration of Alan I. Feldman# 2 Exhibit Plaintiff's FOIA request# 3 Exhibit WCB's Decision# 4 Exhibit Plaintiff's Adminstrative Appeal# 5 Exhibit FCC Public Notice# 6 Exhibit Form 477 and Instructions# 7 Exhibit WCB's Decision in ERS FOIA)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 01/09/2007)
2007-01-1214ERRATA by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON 12 MOTION to Intervene filed by UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION,, VERIZON,, AT&T INC.,. (Stretch, Colin) (Entered: 01/12/2007)
2007-01-17Case Reassigned to Judge Ellen S. Huvelle. Judge Rosemary M. Collyer no longer assigned to the case. (tg, ) (Entered: 01/18/2007)
2007-01-25MINUTE ORDER granting 11 the Unopposed Motion of CTIA - The Wireless Association for Leave to File a Brief Amicus Curiae, granting 12 the Unopposed Motion of AT&T Inc., Verizon, and the United States Telecom Association to Intervene, and granting 15 the Motion of the Wireless Communications Association International to Intervene as a Defendant. The Clerk of the Court is directed to file and docket the Amicus Brief submitted by CTIA with its motion for leave to file 11 , the Answer and Motion for Summary Judgment of Intervenor-Defendants AT&T Inc., Verizon, and the United States Telecom Association submitted with their motion to intervene 12 , and the Answer of Defendant-Intervenor Wireless Communications Association International submitted with its motion to intervene 15 . Counsel for the parties are directed to confer and jointly submit a proposed briefing schedule to the Court on or before February 5, 2007. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 1/25/2007. (KF) (Entered: 01/25/2007)
2007-01-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint proposed briefing schedule due by 2/5/2007. (gdf) (Entered: 01/31/2007)
2007-01-2521AMICUS BRIEF by CTIA-THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION. (jf, ) (Entered: 01/31/2007)
2007-01-2523ANSWER to Complaint by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. Related document: 1 Complaint filed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY,.(jf, ) (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2524MOTION for Summary Judgment by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts# 2 Exhibit 1# 3 Exhibit 2# 4 Exhibit 3# 5 Exhibit 4# 6 Text of Proposed Order)(jf, ) Modified on 2/16/2007 (jf, ). (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2525LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by AT&T INC. (jf, ) (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2526LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION (jf, ) (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2527LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by VERIZON (jf, ) (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2528ANSWER to Complaint by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL. Related document: 1 Complaint filed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY,.(jf, ) (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2529LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL (jf, ) (Entered: 02/16/2007)
2007-01-2618MOTION for Leave to File a Brief Amicus Curiae by NATIONAL CABLE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Amicus Brief# 2 Exhibit Disclosure Statement# 3 Text of Proposed Order)(nmw, ) (Entered: 01/26/2007)
2007-01-26MINUTE ORDER granting 18 the Unopposed Motion of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) for Leave to File a Brief Amicus Curiae. The Clerk of the Court is directed to docket and file the proposed amicus brief submitted by the NCTA with its motion. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 1/26/2007. (KF) (Entered: 01/26/2007)
2007-01-2619AMICUS BRIEF by NATIONAL CABLE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION. (jf, ) (Entered: 01/29/2007)
2007-01-2620LCvR 7.1 - CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by NATIONAL CABLE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION (jf, ) (Entered: 01/29/2007)
2007-02-0522Consent MOTION for Order to Set Briefing Schedule by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 02/05/2007)
2007-02-06MINUTE ORDER granting 22 plaintiff's Consent Motion for Scheduling Order. Defendant-intervenor Wireless Communications Association International shall file a motion for summary judgment on or before February 20, 2007. Plaintiff shall file an opposition to the motions for summary jugment and a cross-motion for summary judgment on or before March 27, 2007. Defendant shall file a reply and opposition to cross-motion on or before April 17, 2007. Defendant-intervenors and amici may file a reply and/or opposition to cross-motion on or before April 24, 2007. Plaintiff shall file a reply on or before May 15, 2007. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 2/5/2007. (KF) (Entered: 02/06/2007)
2007-02-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 2/20/2007. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross Motions due by 3/27/2007. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment and Response to Cross Motions due by 4/17/2007. Defendant-intervenors and amici may file reply and/or opposition to cross motion by 4/24/2007. Reply to Cross Motions due by 5/15/2007. (gdf) (Entered: 02/06/2007)
2007-02-2030MOTION for Summary Judgment by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Memorandum of Points and Authorities# 2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Sullivan, Michael) (Entered: 02/20/2007)
2007-03-2731Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 9 MOTION for Summary Judgment and to File Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 03/27/2007)
2007-03-27MINUTE ORDER granting 31 plaintiff's Consent Motion for Enlargement of Time in Which to File Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff shall file its opposition to the motions for summary judgment and a cross-motion for summary judgment on or before April 3, 2007. Defendant shall file a reply and opposition to cross-motion on or before April 24, 2007. Defendant-intervenors and amici may file a reply and/or opposition to cross motion on or before May 1, 2007. Plaintiff shall file a reply on or before May 22, 2007. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 3/27/2007. (KF) (Entered: 03/27/2007)
2007-03-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Cross Motions due by 4/3/2007.,Response to Cross Motions due by 4/24/2007. Defendant-intervenor and amici reply and/or oppposition to cross motion due by 5/1/07.Plaintiff's reply to Cross Motions due by 5/22/2007. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/3/2007. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/24/2007. (gdf, ) (Entered: 04/03/2007)
2007-04-0332Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts # 2 Exhibit Declaration of Brendan McGarry# 3 Exhibit 2# 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 04/04/2007)
2007-04-0333Memorandum in opposition to re 30 MOTION for Summary Judgment, 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. (Please see Document No. 32 for scanned images). (nmw, ) (Entered: 04/16/2007)
2007-04-2434Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment, 32 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 04/24/2007)
2007-04-24MINUTE ORDER granting 34 Defendant Federal Communications Commission's Unopposed Motion for Enlargement of Time. Defendant shall file its reply in support of motion for summary judgment and opposition to plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment on or before May 15, 2007. Defendant intervenors and amici shall file an opposition to plaintiff's cross-motion on or before May 22, 2007. Plaintiff shall file a reply on or before June 12, 2007. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on 4/24/2007. (KF) (Entered: 04/24/2007)
2007-04-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Response to Cross Motions due by 5/15/2007.,Reply to Cross Motions due by 6/12/2007.,Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/15/2007. Defendant Intervenors and amici shall file an opposition to plaintiff's cross motion due by 5/22/07. (gdf) (Entered: 04/25/2007)
2007-05-1535Memorandum in opposition to re 32 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) Modified on 5/16/2007 (jf, ). (Entered: 05/15/2007)
2007-05-1636REPLY to opposition to motion re 9 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 05/16/2007)
2007-05-2237Memorandum in opposition to re 32 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. (Attachments: # 1 Response to Statement of Facts# 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Stretch, Colin) (Entered: 05/22/2007)
2007-05-2238REPLY to opposition to motion re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Stretch, Colin) (Entered: 05/22/2007)
2007-05-2239Memorandum in opposition to re 32 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sullivan, Michael) (Entered: 05/22/2007)
2007-05-2240REPLY to opposition to motion re 30 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sullivan, Michael) (Entered: 05/22/2007)
2007-06-1241REPLY to opposition to motion re 32 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Kaye Declaration)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 06/12/2007)
2007-08-0642ORDER directing the government to file a supplemental affidavit and a response to plaintiff's reply on or before August 14, 2007. No continuances shall be granted. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on August 6, 2007. (lcesh1) (Entered: 08/06/2007)
2007-08-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Supplemental affidavit and a response to plaintiff's reply due by 8/14/2007. (gdf) (Entered: 08/07/2007)
2007-08-1443RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re 42 Order filed by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit 1)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 08/14/2007)
2007-08-1444RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re 42 Order filed by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. (Stretch, Colin) (Entered: 08/14/2007)
2007-08-2745MEMORANDUM OPINION re 9 , 24 , 30 , and 32 Motions for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on August 27, 2007. (lcesh1) (Entered: 08/27/2007)
2007-08-2746ORDER granting 30 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 32 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 9 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 24 Motion for Summary Judgment. The FCC shall make the required disclosures within sixty days from the date of this Order. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on August 27, 2007. (lcesh1) (Entered: 08/27/2007)
2007-09-1147MOTION to Alter Judgment by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Ben Welsh# 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Smith, Peter) (Entered: 09/11/2007)
2007-09-2548Memorandum in opposition to re 47 MOTION to Alter Judgment filed by FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 09/25/2007)
2007-09-2549Memorandum in opposition to re 47 MOTION to Alter Judgment filed by AT&T INC., UNITED STATES TELECOM ASSOCIATION, VERIZON. (Stretch, Colin) (Entered: 09/25/2007)
2007-10-0550REPLY to opposition to motion re 47 MOTION to Alter Judgment filed by CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY. (Smith, Peter) (Entered: 10/05/2007)
2007-10-1851MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying 47 plaintiff's motion to alter or amend the judgment. Signed by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle on October 18, 2007. (lcesh1) (Entered: 10/18/2007)
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by FOIA Project Staff