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Case TitleSOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE et al v. U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2004cv01446
Date Filed2004-08-25
Date Closed2005-11-09
JudgeJudge Henry H. Kennedy
PlaintiffSOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE
PlaintiffGREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS
DefendantU.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Opinion/Order [21]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Henry Kennedy has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management improperly denied the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance a fee waiver for its request concerning the impact of land policies on cultural resources. In denying the fee waiver, BLM told the Alliance that it had not provided enough evidence that it had expertise in the field of cultural resources that would allow it to disseminate the information and that so much information would be withheld under the Archeological Resources Protection Act that the remainder would not contribute significantly to public understanding. After reviewing a report that the Alliance had issued on this subject, Kennedy concluded that the group had shown sufficient expertise. He added that the agency had dropped the claim during litigation and so had thus conceded that the group did have adequate expertise. The agency claimed the information was "patently exempt" under the ARPA. But Kennedy observed that "it is not obvious that the site forms are exempt from disclosure, only that portions of the forms might be exempt. Neither FOIA nor the caselaw cited by BLM supports the denial of a fee waiver on the basis of contemplated partial redactions, as opposed to total withholding. Indeed, under the very statute BLM invokes to justify denial of the fee waiver, whether the site forms are redacted at all requires a discretionary determination. The court, therefore, does not accept BLM's reasoning that the site forms are patently exempt from disclosure." Kennedy noted that "it may well be open to debate whether certain entries on the site forms relate to 'nature and location' of the resource, and are thus subject to possible withholding. There can be no dispute, however, that BLM bears the burden of proving the validity of any decision to withhold records." Accusing the agency of hiding the ball by characterizing many of the data fields as being uninformative, Kennedy pointed out that "one of the areas of information most central to SUWA's request " impacts " does not concern nature or location at all. . .These entries, standing alone, would provide useful insight into the relative threats to cultural resources on public lands; if site forms show that a majority of resources are endangered by livestock grazing, for example, such information would help the public understand and respond to such a threat."
Issues: Public Interest Fee Waiver - Dissemination
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2004-08-251COMPLAINT against U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (Filing fee $ 150) filed by GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS, SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE.(jf, ) (Entered: 08/30/2004)
2004-08-25SUMMONS (3) Issued as to U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (jf, ) (Entered: 08/30/2004)
2004-09-152MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice by GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS, SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE. (Hawkes, Timothy) (Entered: 09/15/2004)
2004-09-153NOTICE of Appearance by Timothy Hawkes on behalf of GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS, SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE (Hawkes, Timothy) (Entered: 09/15/2004)
2004-09-154NOTICE by GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS, SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE Withdrawing Appearance of Timothy Hawkes (Hawkes, Timothy) (Entered: 09/15/2004)
2004-09-155SUMMONS Returned Executed by GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS, SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE. U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT served on 9/1/2004, answer due 10/1/2004. (Hawkes, Timothy) (Entered: 09/15/2004)
2004-09-166ATTORNEY APPEARANCE. (Stansel, James) (Entered: 09/16/2004)
2004-09-17Minute order granting 2 plaintiff's motion for leave to appear pro hac vice. Joro Walker and Michael Soules shall appear pro hac vice on behalf of plaintiff. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy on September 17, 2004. Official paperless order(FL, ) (Entered: 09/17/2004)
2004-09-297NOTICE of Appearance by John F. Henault Jr. on behalf of U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (Henault, John) (Entered: 09/29/2004)
2004-09-298Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Henault, John) (Entered: 09/29/2004)
2004-10-01Minute order granting 8 defendant's unopposed motion for an enlargement of time to respond to the complaint. Defendant has up to and including November 3, 2004, within which to answer, move, or otherwise respond to the complaint. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on October 1, 2004. Official paperless order (FL, ) (Entered: 10/01/2004)
2004-10-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 11/3/2004. (rew, ) (Entered: 10/04/2004)
2004-10-299Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Henault, John) (Entered: 10/29/2004)
2004-11-01Minute order granting 9 defendant's unopposed motion for an enlargement of time to respond to the complaint. Defendant has up to and including November 29, 2004, within which to answer, move, or otherwise respond plaintiffs'complaint. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on November 1, 2004. (FL, ) (Entered: 11/01/2004)
2004-11-02Set Deadlines: Answer due by 11/29/2004. (rew, ) (Entered: 11/02/2004)
2004-11-2310MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Henault, John) (Entered: 11/23/2004)
2004-12-04MINUTE ORDER granting 10 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer to January 14, 2005. (Kennedy, Henry) (Entered: 12/04/2004)
2004-12-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 1/14/2005. (rew, ) (Entered: 12/06/2004)
2005-01-1411MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Henault, John) (Entered: 01/14/2005)
2005-01-1412AFFIDAVIT of Shelly Smith in Support of Summary Judgment by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Attachment A to Smith Declaration)(Henault, John) (Entered: 01/14/2005)
2005-01-1413AFFIDAVIT of Robin Friedman in Support of Summary Judgment by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Attachment A to Friedman Declaration# 2 Exhibit Attachment B to Friedman Declaration# 3 Exhibit Attachment C to Friedman Declaration)(Henault, John) (Entered: 01/14/2005)
2005-01-2414MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Stansel, James) (Entered: 01/24/2005)
2005-01-25Minute order granting 14 plainitffs' unopposed motion for an extension of time. Plaintiffs have up to and including February 11, 2005, to respond to defendant's motion for summary judgment. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on January 25, 2005. Official paperless order (FL, ) (Entered: 01/25/2005)
2005-01-25Set Deadlines: Plaintiff's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/11/2005. (rew, ) (Entered: 01/25/2005)
2005-02-1015Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and Memo of Points & Authorities In Support Thereof by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Attachments: # 1 # 2 # 3 # 4 # 5 # 6 )(Stansel, James) (Entered: 02/10/2005)
2005-02-1016Memorandum in opposition to motion re 11 Summary Judgment filed by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Attachments: # 1 # 2 )(Stansel, James) (Entered: 02/10/2005)
2005-02-1817Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Consolidated Reply in Support of Summary Judgment and Opposition to Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Henault, John) (Entered: 02/18/2005)
2005-02-22Minute order granting defendant's unopposed motion for enlargement of time to file a consoldiated reply in support of summary judgment and opposition to plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment. Defendant has up to and including March 25, 2005, to file its consoldiated reply and opposition. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on February 22, 2005. (FL, ) (Entered: 02/22/2005)
2005-02-23Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 3/25/2005. (rew, ) (Entered: 02/23/2005)
2005-03-2418REPLY to opposition to motion re 11 Summary Judgment filed by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit March 23 Letter to J. Stansel# 2 Affidavit Second Declaration of Shelly Smith)(Henault, John) (Entered: 03/24/2005)
2005-03-2419Memorandum in opposition to motion re 15 Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit March 23 Letter to J. Stansel# 2 Affidavit Second Declaration of Shelly Smith)(Henault, John) (Entered: 03/24/2005)
2005-04-0420REPLY to opposition to motion re 15 Motion for Summary Judgment filed by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Attachments: # 1 Response to BLM's Supplemental Statement of Material Facts)(Stansel, James) (Entered: 04/04/2005)
2005-07-2521Memorandum Opinion. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on July 25, 2005. (FL, ) (Entered: 07/25/2005)
2005-07-2522Order re 11 and 15 that defendant shall grant Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance's request for a fee waiver, and shall accordingly process the entirety of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance's Freedom of Information Act requests without charge. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on July 25, 2005. (FL, ) (Entered: 07/25/2005)
2005-08-0823Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Documentation Supporting Fee Motion and Motion for Attorney's Fees, Expenses and Costs by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Stansel, James) (Entered: 08/08/2005)
2005-08-0824MOTION for Attorney Fees , Expenses and Costs by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Stansel, James) (Entered: 08/09/2005)
2005-08-09Minute order granting 23 plaintiffs' consent motion to extend time in which to file supporting documentation thereon. Plaintiffs shall have up to and including September 7, 2005, to file documentation in support of its motion for award of attorneys' fees, expenses, and costs. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on August 9, 2005. Official paperless order (FL, ) (Entered: 08/09/2005)
2005-09-0625Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Documentation Supporting Motion for Attorney's Fees by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Stansel, James) (Entered: 09/06/2005)
2005-09-07Minute order granting 25 plaintiffs' consent motion to extend the time to file documentation supporting its motion for attorney's fees. Plaintiffs have up to and including November 7, 2005, to file documentation supporting its motion for attorney's fees. Signed by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., on September 7, 2005. Official paperless order (FL, ) (Entered: 09/07/2005)
2005-11-0726STIPULATION re 24 MOTION for Attorney Fees , Expenses and Costs by SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE, GREAT OLD BROADS FOR WILDERNESS. (Stansel, James) (Entered: 11/07/2005)
2005-11-08MINUTE ORDER: The parties' Stipulation of Settlement of attorneys fees and costs (#26)is SO ORDERED and this action is Dismissed with Prejudice. (Kennedy, Henry) (Entered: 11/08/2005)
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by FOIA Project Staff
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