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Case TitleSAE PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2007cv00866
Date Filed2007-05-09
Date Closed2008-08-25
JudgeJudge James Robertson
PlaintiffSAE PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Case DescriptionSAE Productions submitted a number of FOIA requests to the FBI. In response to SAE Productions' requests, the FBI indicated that it had no records. SAE Productions filed administrative appeals of those no records responses, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, SAE Productions filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [20]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge James Robertson has ruled that the FBI conducted an adequate search for records pertaining to FBI participation in a program called the Partnership for Prevention and Community Service Initiative and other programs designed to educate participants about Islam. SAE Productions, which produces documentaries and articles relating to terrorism, requested the information. The company complained that it received no records concerning the cost of FBI participation in the programs. Robertson, however, noted that attendance at the programs was free and there was no reason to believe that local FBI agents would have submitted travel vouchers for driving to a seminar in Cleveland. Based on a newspaper report, SAE claimed that the FBI had considered providing $1 million in funding for the Partnership program, but had later rescinded the offer. SAE argued that there should be some records reflecting the agency's funding decision. Robertson responded that "if the coverage that plaintiff has submitted is accurate, it is conceivable that there might be additional, undisclosed documentation on the [Partnership] initiative. But it is well-established that the conceivable existence of other documents is not enough to defeat a motion for summary judgment." SAE asserted that federal regulations required that the agency's funding decision-making be documented. Robertson dismissed the claim as irrelevant, noting that "plaintiff does not explain how the hypothetical relevance of any of the regulations it cites informs the reasonableness of the FBI's searches. Importantly, plaintiff does not argue that the applicability of one or another set of regulations would mean that the FBI should have searched additional records systems that would be likely to contain responsive materials."
Issues: Adequacy - Search
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2007-05-091COMPLAINT against FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ( Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 4616004126) filed by SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(lc, ) (Entered: 05/10/2007)
2007-05-092LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC. (lc, ) (Entered: 05/10/2007)
2007-05-09SUMMONS (3) Issued as to FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (lc, ) (Entered: 05/10/2007)
2007-05-293NOTICE of Appearance by Diane M. Sullivan on behalf of FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 05/29/2007)
2007-06-134ANSWER to Complaint by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. Related document: 1 Complaint filed by SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC..(Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 06/13/2007)
2007-06-225ORDER that defendant may have 30 days from the date of this order within which to file a dispositive motion or, in the alternative, to file a report setting forth a document production schedule. Signed by Judge James Robertson on June 22, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 06/22/2007)
2007-07-206MOTION for Extension of Time to file a dispositive motion by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 07/20/2007)
2007-07-307ORDER granting 6 Motion for Extension of Time. Signed by Judge James Robertson on 7/27/2007. (alr, ) (Entered: 07/30/2007)
2007-09-248Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file a dispositive motion by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 09/24/2007)
2007-09-25MINUTE ORDER granting defendant's consented motion for extension of time 8 to November 7, 2007. Signed by Judge James Robertson on September 25, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 09/25/2007)
2007-11-029Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file a dispositive motion by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 11/02/2007)
2007-11-09MINUTE ORDER granting defendant's consented motion for extension of time 9 to November 28, 2007. No further extensions will be granted. Signed by Judge James Robertson on November 9, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 11/09/2007)
2007-11-2810MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Declaration of David M. Hardy# 2 Exhibit Hardy Decl., Exhibit A - U# 3 Exhibit Hardy Decl., Exhibit V - NN# 4 Exhibit Hardy Decl., Exhibit OO, Part 1# 5 Exhibit Hardy Decl., Exhibit OO, Part 2# 6 Exhibit Hardy Decl., Exhibit OO, Part 3)(Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 11/28/2007)
2007-12-1211Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment by SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Zaid, Mark) (Entered: 12/12/2007)
2007-12-1312NOTICE of Appearance by Bradley P. Moss on behalf of SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC. (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 12/13/2007)
2007-12-13MINUTE ORDER granting plaintiff's consented motion for extension of time 11 to December 27, 2007. Signed by Judge James Robertson on December 13, 2007. (MT) (Entered: 12/13/2007)
2008-01-0113Memorandum in opposition to re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Moss Rule 56 (f) Declaration# 2 Exhibit 2 - GulfNews.com Article# 3 Exhibit 3 - FBI Letters# 4 Exhibit 4 - AAI Article# 5 Exhibit 5 - NYT Article# 6 Exhibit 6 - FBI Budget Document# 7 Exhibit 7 - FBI Documents# 8 Text of Proposed Order)(Zaid, Mark) (Entered: 01/01/2008)
2008-01-0114MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment by SAE PRODUCTIONS, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Zaid, Mark) (Entered: 01/01/2008)
2008-01-03MINUTE ORDER granting plaintiff's motion for extension of time 14 . Signed by Judge James Robertson on January 3, 2008. (MT) (Entered: 01/03/2008)
2008-01-1715ENTERED IN ERROR.....Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Sullivan, Diane) Modified on 1/18/2008 (lc, ). (Entered: 01/17/2008)
2008-01-18NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: re 15 Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment was entered in error because only the first page of the document was filed and counsel was instructed to refile said pleading. (lc, ) (Entered: 01/18/2008)
2008-01-2216Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 01/22/2008)
2008-01-24MINUTE ORDER granting defendant's motion for extension of time 16 to February 28, 2008. Signed by Judge James Robertson on January 24, 2008. (MT) (Entered: 01/24/2008)
2008-02-2117Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 02/21/2008)
2008-02-2518ORDER granting 17 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Signed by Judge Richard J. Leon on 2/22/2008. (alr, ) (Entered: 02/26/2008)
2008-03-1419REPLY to opposition to motion re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Second Declaration of David M. Hardy)(Sullivan, Diane) (Entered: 03/14/2008)
2008-08-2520MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge James Robertson on August 25, 2008. (MT) (Entered: 08/25/2008)
2008-08-2521ORDER granting motion for summary judgment 10 . Signed by Judge James Robertson on August 25, 2008. (MT) (Entered: 08/25/2008)
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by FOIA Project Staff