Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleAMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2006cv01770
Date Filed2006-10-17
Date Closed2007-09-28
JudgeJudge James Robertson
PlaintiffAMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE
Case DescriptionThe American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning 230 individuals detained under the October 2004 program to interdict potential terrorism related to the elections. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, the ADC filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantIMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
Complaint attachment 7
Complaint attachment 8
Complaint attachment 9
Opinion/Order [25]
FOIA Project Annotation: Upholding claims made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding), Judge James Robertson has admitted that the D.C. Circuit's decision in Center for National Security Studies v. Dept of Justice, 331 F.3d 918 (D.C. Cir. 2003), has resulted in infusing the national security deference normally seen under Exemption 1 (national security) into the law enforcement exemption. The case involved two requests by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee for information about the nationality, religion and gender of 237 individuals arrested because of immigration status violations during the time prior to the 2004 election and continuing through the 2005 inauguration. The Committee challenged an affidavit submitted by Assistant Secretary for Operations John Clark which claimed that disclosure of information pertaining to nationality and gender could reveal information about the agency's investigative priorities. The Committee submitted an affidavit from former CIA officer Vincent Cannistraro indicating that disclosure of the information would not provide any sensitive information. Rejecting the Committee's claim, Robertson noted that "Center for National Security Studies may have ratcheted up the degree of deference that must be accorded the executive, but it was clear long before that decision that the courts are not simply to use their own best judgment in a national security context. The test has never been whether the plaintiff, the plaintiff's declarant or the court 'personally agree[] in full with the [defendants'] evaluation of the danger[.]' The issue instead is whether the defendants' judgment 'objectively survives the test of reasonableness, good faith, specificity and plausibility' in this field of national security in which ICE has been given a special role by Congress. The Clark declaration satisfies this test with respect to plaintiff's requests for nationality and gender data. It does so by explaining in sufficient detail that some of the methods used by ICE to prioritize leads and target immigration status violators would be revealed by disclosing data on the gender and nationality of those arrested during the course of its October 2004 enforcement campaign." The Committee also challenged the adequacy of the search because the agency claimed it did not maintain data on religious affiliation. While Robertson agreed that Clark's specific statements concerning the religion data appeared conclusory, he found that taken as a whole the affidavit was sufficiently specific. He noted that "his explanation that ICE neither maintains data on arrestees' ethnicity or religion nor uniformly collects such information on race is sufficient " if not exactly to show the adequacy of the search, then to explain why a search would be futile and is unnecessary."
Issues: Exemption 7(A) - Interference with ongoing investigation
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2006-10-171COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 139343.)filed by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet # 2 Exhibit 1# 3 Exhibit 2# 4 Exhibit 3# 5 Exhibit 4# 6 Exhibit 5# 7 Exhibit 6# 8 Exhibit 7# 9 Exhibit 8)(lc, ) (Entered: 10/18/2006)
2006-10-172LCvR 7.1 - CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE (lc, ) (Entered: 10/18/2006)
2006-10-17SUMMONS (4) Issued as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (lc, ) (Entered: 10/18/2006)
2006-10-203ENTERED IN ERROR.....AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint Executed Upon U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on 10/18/06 by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 10/23/2006 (zlc, ). (Entered: 10/20/2006)
2006-10-204ENTERED IN ERROR.....AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint Executed Upon U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jeffrey Taylor on 10/18/06 by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 10/23/2006 (zlc, ). (Entered: 10/20/2006)
2006-10-205ENTERED IN ERROR.....AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint Executed Upon Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 10/18/06 by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 10/23/2006 (zlc, ). (Entered: 10/20/2006)
2006-10-206ENTERED IN ERROR.....AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint Executed Upon the Department of Homeland Security on 10/18/06 by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 10/23/2006 (zlc, ). (Entered: 10/20/2006)
2006-10-207RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on Attorney General. Date of Service Upon Attorney General 10/17/2006. (zlc, ) (Entered: 10/23/2006)
2006-10-208RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 10/17/2006, answer due 12/18/2006; IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT served on 10/17/2006, answer due 12/18/2006. (zlc, ) (Entered: 10/23/2006)
2006-10-23NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: re 5 Affidavit, 6 Affidavit, 4 Affidavit, 3 Affidavit were entered in error and have been refiled in the correct category by the Court. (zlc, ) (Entered: 10/23/2006)
2006-10-239RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the US Attorney. (Shumsky, Michael) (Entered: 10/23/2006)
2006-11-1610NOTICE of Appearance by Marcia Kay Sowles on behalf of all defendants (Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 11/16/2006)
2006-11-1611Defendants' ANSWER to Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. Related document: 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE,.(Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 11/16/2006)
2006-11-2012ORDER that defendants have 30 days from the date of this order within which to file a dispositive motion or, in the alternative, to file a document production schedule. Signed by Judge James Robertson on November 20, 2006. (MT) (Entered: 11/20/2006)
2006-12-1213Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 12/12/2006)
2007-01-12MINUTE ORDER granting defendants' motion for extension of time 13 to January 18, 2007. Signed by Judge James Robertson on January 12, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 01/12/2007)
2007-01-1814MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment# 2 Exhibit A -- Declaration of John P. Clark# 3 Exhibit B -- 9/11 Commission Report (cited pages)# 4 Statement of Facts Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue# 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 01/18/2007)
2007-01-2915Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Opposition to 14 Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 1/30/2007 (zlc, ). (Entered: 01/29/2007)
2007-01-31MINUTE ORDER granting plaintiff's unopposed motion for extension of time 15 to March 15, 2007. Signed by Judge James Robertson on January 31, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 01/31/2007)
2007-02-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 3/15/2007. (alr, ) (Entered: 02/06/2007)
2007-03-0816Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Shumsky, Michael) Additional attachment(s) added on 3/9/2007 (lc, ). (Entered: 03/08/2007)
2007-03-0817ENTERED IN ERROR.....ERRATA Providing A Proposed Order Granting Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE 16 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE,. (Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 3/9/2007 (lc, ). (Entered: 03/08/2007)
2007-03-09NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: re 17 Errata, was entered in error because it was not filed with a notice of errata, and the document has been added to docket entry 16 . (lc, ) (Entered: 03/09/2007)
2007-03-20MINUTE ORDER granting plaintiff's unopposed motion for extension of time 16 to April 15, 2007. Signed by Judge James Robertson on March 20, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 03/20/2007)
2007-04-1618Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and in Support of Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment# 2 Declaration of Vincent Cannistraro# 3 Response to Defendants' Statement of Facts# 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 4/17/2007 (lc, ). (Entered: 04/16/2007)
2007-04-1719ERRATA To Memorandum In Opposition to Defendants' Motion For Summary Judgment And In Support Of Plaintiff's Cross-Motion For Summary Judgment by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE 18 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Attachments: # 1 Corrected Memorandum In Opposition to Defendants' Motion For Summary Judgment And In Support Of Plaintiff's Cross-Motion For Summary Judgment# 2 Exhibit 1 (2004 ICE Annual Report)# 3 Exhibit 2 (Letter from G. Marshall to J. OQuinn, Jan. 18, 2007))(Shumsky, Michael) Modified on 4/18/2007 (lc, ). (Entered: 04/17/2007)
2007-04-1720Memorandum in opposition to re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Attachments: # 1 Errata Notice)(Shumsky, Michael) (Entered: 04/17/2007)
2007-04-2421Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Reply in Support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 04/24/2007)
2007-05-02MINUTE ORDER granting defendants' unopposed motion for extension of time 21 toJune 24, 2007. Signed by Judge James Robertson on May 2, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 05/02/2007)
2007-06-0422Memorandum in opposition to re 18 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue# 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 06/04/2007)
2007-06-0423REPLY to opposition to motion re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue# 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Sowles, Marcia) (Entered: 06/04/2007)
2007-06-1124REPLY to opposition to motion re 18 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN-ARAB ANTI DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Shumsky, Michael) (Entered: 06/11/2007)
2007-09-2825MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge James Robertson on September 28, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 09/28/2007)
2007-09-2826ORDER granting defendant's motion for summary judgment 14 ; denying plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment 18 . Signed by Judge James Robertson on September 28, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 09/28/2007)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff
Skip to toolbar