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Case TitleSTEIN v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2013cv00571
Date Filed2013-04-26
Date Closed2016-07-19
JudgeJudge Tanya S. Chutkan
PlaintiffJEFFREY STEIN
DefendantDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Opinion/Order [41]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Tanya Chutkan has ruled that the Department of Justice properly withheld various records requested by Jeffrey Stein in six different FOIA requests, but that the FBI has not justified its invocation of Exemption 7(D) (confidential sources) to withhold records found in journalist Christopher Hitchens' FBI file pertaining to a background check of Hitchens for a White House press pass. Although the subject matter of the requests was not related, Stein brought suit challenging various exemption claims related to all six requests. Stein requested work processing unit case evaluation forms relating to FBI FOIA processors, manuals and reference materials for the FBI's Automated Case Support and FOIA Document Processing System, three legal monographs from the Civil Division related to litigating specific topics, the USABook FOIA Topic Page, FBI records on Hitchens, and records related to an incident in Australia involving a visit to Gwyneth Todd by an undercover FBI agent; Stein requested records on the Todd incident jointly with Todd and provided the appropriate Privacy Act waiver. By the time Stein consolidated the actions, he no longer challenged the search for any of the requested records, but contended that various exemption claims were improper. The FBI withheld its WPU Case Evaluation Forms under Exemption 2 (internal processes and procedures), indicating that they were personnel records kept in the personnel files of FBI FOIA processors and were used to evaluate and correct their performance. While Stein argued the forms reflected on the process in which the FBI's FOIA operations were conducted, Chutkan agreed the records were personnel records under Milner. She noted that "there is no evidence. . .that the WPU Case Evaluation Forms are used as some kind of broad 'quality assurance measure'. . .as opposed to simply being used for evaluating the performance of individual employees. Indeed, the forms themselves suggest that they are not used to improve the FBI's FOIA process, generally, but are instead employee-specific." The FBI withheld portions of its ACS manual under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). Stein argued the withheld portions of the manual on ACS, which is the search engine used by the FBI to search its Central Records System, did not qualify as law enforcement methods or techniques. Chutkan pointed out that "the ACS Basic Reference Guide need not provide step-by-step instructions for potential law-breakers in order to fall within the scope of the exemption; it is enough that it provides 'information that could increase the risks that a law will be violated or that past violators will escape legal consequences.' The FBI has demonstrated how the release of the ACS Basic Reference Guide might create a risk of circumvention of law. . ." Chutkan found the three Civil Division legal monographs were protected by Exemption 5 (attorney work-product privilege). She indicated that "if not for their potential to be useful to government attorneys in anticipated, foreseeable future litigation, these monographs�"none of which have been 'disclosed outside the federal executive branch'�"would have no practical reason for existing." EOUSA had responded to Stein's request for the USABook FOIA Topic Page by providing him a redacted list of 23 links to non-public sites. Stein argued EOUSA had interpreted his request too narrowly and that what he really wanted was a copy of the FOIA Topic Page itself. Chutkan agreed with Stein. She observed that "if there is no practical reason to distinguish between [internal and public] classes of documents from a user's point of view, there should be no practical reason to distinguish between them from a FOIA requester's point of view." The FBI withheld a number of pages from Hitchens' file under Exemption 7(D) (confidential sources). Stein argued the information from the sources, which had been supplied by a foreign government pertaining to a prior national security investigation involving Hitchens, did not qualify for protection once it was incorporated into the background investigation. Relying on the Supreme Court's ruling in FBI v. Abramson, 456 U.S. 615 (1982), in which the Court found that records created for law enforcement purposes did not lose their law enforcement status when subsequently incorporated in non-law enforcement files, Chutkan noted that "because the FBI has demonstrated that the 29 pages of records over which it asserts exemption (b)(7)(D) were originally compiled for law enforcement purposes, those records remain protected by the exemption even if the background checks for which they were re-compiled do not constitute 'law enforcement purposes'. . ." But she found the FBI had not justified its claim that the records were provided with an implicit assurance of confidentiality. She indicated that "while the court is mindful that there may be circumstance in which an implied assurance of confidentiality can be inferred from the context and surroundings in which the information was imparted, the FBI has not provided the court with enough evidence to permit it to draw such an inference here." Stein had requested a fee waiver for the records he had requested jointly with Todd. The agency denied the fee waiver and told Stein he would need to pay $72.00 in advance before the agency would proceed. Stein refused to pay and the agency closed the request. Chutkan found Stein had not shown a sufficient public interest in the records to overcome the agency's decision to deny his fee waiver request.
Issues: Exemption 7(E) - Investigative methods or techniques, Exemption 5 - Privileges - Attorney work-product privilege, Exemption 7(D) - Assurance of confidentiality - Implicit, Exemption 2 - Personnel practices, Public Interest Fee Waiver
Opinion/Order [65]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Tanya Chutkan has ruled that the FBI properly invoked Exemption 7(D) (confidential sources) in withholding some records concerning the late British journalist Christopher Hitchens, but that its claim that it properly closed a separate request submitted by journalist Jeffrey Stein because he had failed to pay assessed fees is still in dispute because the agency likely lost its ability to charge fees by missing the statutory deadlines. In an earlier decision involving Stein's requests, Chutkan had ruled that the FBI had not shown that information from foreign governments pertaining to Hitchens had been given with an implicit assurance of confidentiality. This time, the FBI explained that its Foreign Government Information Classification Guide presumed that if a foreign government requested that information it provided should be classified it was treated as being confidential. Finding this additional explanation satisfied the agency's burden, Chutkan noted that "plaintiff concedes that, based on this new evidence, the court must find that the information at issue [here] was provided under an implicit assurance of confidentiality." Stein had also requested records concerning a visit by FBI agents to Australian Gwyneth Todd's home. The FBI had previously denied Stein's request for a fee waiver and had indicated there were more than 10,000 pages of potentially responsive records. The agency estimated the fees at $290 and required Stein to pay a 25 percent partial payment of $72.50 within thirty days. As it began processing the records, the agency found the number of potential records actually was 20,000 pages and that the fee estimate would be increased to $610, requiring a $146.25 partial advance payment. When Stein and the FBI could not resolve the fee dispute, the agency closed the request after thirty days. The agency argued Stein had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies because had not paid the assessed fee estimate. Stein responded that the FBI had lost its ability to assess fees because it missed its statutory deadlines. The agency did not address Stein's allegation at all. Ruling in favor of Stein, Chutkan pointed out that "because Defendant has ignored Plaintiff's argument that the FBI's delay in responding to the FOIA request at issue [here] triggers § 552(a)(4)(A)(viii)'s prohibition on the assessment of duplication fees, the court will deem Defendant to have conceded the point."
Issues: Exemption 7(D) - Assurance of confidentiality - Implicit, Fees - Advance Payment
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2013-04-261COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 0090-3297120) filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/26/2013)
2013-04-26Case Assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (md, ) (Entered: 04/26/2013)
2013-04-262ELECTRONIC SUMMONS Issued (3) as to DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons 2nd, # 2 Summons 3rd, # 3 Notice of Consent, # 4 Consent Form)(md, ) (Entered: 04/26/2013)
2013-05-033RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 5/3/2013, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/3/13., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/3/2013. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/2/2013.) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 05/03/2013)
2013-05-174NOTICE of Appearance by Claire M. Whitaker on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 05/17/2013)
2013-06-055Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 06/05/2013)
2013-06-07MINUTE ORDER granting 5 consent motion for extension of time. Defendant shall file its response to the complaint by no later than July 8, 2013. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on June 7, 2013. (lcegs4) (Entered: 06/07/2013)
2013-06-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 7/8/2013, (clv, ) (Entered: 06/10/2013)
2013-07-086Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 07/08/2013)
2013-07-10MINUTE ORDER granting 6 consent motion for extension of time. Defendant shall file its response to the Complaint by no later than July 22, 2013. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 10, 2013. (lcegs4) (Entered: 07/10/2013)
2013-07-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 7/22/2013, (clv, ) (Entered: 07/10/2013)
2013-07-227ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 07/22/2013)
2013-07-228ORDER FOR MEET AND CONFER REPORT. Attorney Meet and Confer Conference due 8/13/2013. Meet and Confer Statement due due 8/27/13. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 07/22/13. (mac) (Entered: 07/22/2013)
2013-08-279STATUS REPORT and Request for Bifurcated Briefing (Joint) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 08/27/2013)
2013-08-2710NOTICE of Clarification by JEFFREY STEIN re 9 Status Report (McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 08/27/2013)
2013-08-2711MOTION for Bifurcated Briefing by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (See Docket Entry 9 to view document) (jf, ) (Entered: 08/28/2013)
2013-08-28NOTICE OF ERROR re 9 Status Report; emailed to claire.whitaker@usdoj.gov, cc'd 3 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Two-part docket entry, 2. DO NOT REFILE-Counsel is reminded to docket all parts of their document(s) (jf, ) (Entered: 08/28/2013)
2013-09-04MINUTE ORDER. The Court has reviewed 9 the parties' joint status report, in which they request that briefing be bifurcated, with briefing on the First through Fifth Causes of Action proceeding separately from briefing on the Sixth Cause of Action. Upon consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file motions for summary judgment on the First through Fifth Cause of Action in accordance with the following schedule: Defendant's motion for summary judgment shall be filed no later than January 10, 2014. Plaintiff's opposition shall be filed no later than February 4, 2014. If plaintiff chooses to file a cross-motion, it shall be combined with the opposition and filed on the same date. Defendant's reply and, if applicable, combined opposition shall be filed no later than February 25, 2014. Plaintiff's reply, if applicable, shall be filed no later than March 11, 2014. It is further ORDERED that, with respect to the Sixth Cause of Action, the government shall file either a Motion for Summary Judgment or a Motion for an Open America Stay by no later than March 28, 2014. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on September 4, 2013. (lcegs4) (Entered: 09/04/2013)
2013-09-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Summary Judgment motion due by 1/10/2014. Plaintiff's Opposition or cross-motion due by 2/4/2014. Defendant's Reply due by 2/25/2014. Plaintiff's reply due by 3/11/2014. (mac) (Entered: 09/04/2013)
2013-09-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Government Summary Judgment motion due by 3/28/2014. (mac) (Entered: 09/04/2013)
2014-01-0712Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Extend Due Dates for Dispositive Motions by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 01/07/2014)
2014-01-08MINUTE ORDER granting the defendants' consent motion to amend the briefing schedule entered by the Court on September 4, 2013. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file motions for summary judgment on the First, Second, Third and Fifth Cause of Action in accordance with the following schedule: Defendants' motion for summary judgment shall be filed no later than February 10, 2014. Plaintiff's opposition shall be filed no later than March 4, 2014. If plaintiff chooses to file a cross-motion, it shall be combined with the opposition and filed on the same date. Defendants' reply and, if applicable, combined opposition shall be filed no later than March 28, 2014. Plaintiff's reply, if applicable, shall be filed no later than April 13, 2014. It is further ORDERED that, with respect to the Fourth and Sixth Causes of Action, the government shall file either a Motion for Summary Judgment or a Motion for an Open America Stay by no later than March 28, 2014. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on January 8, 2014. (lcegs4, ) (Entered: 01/08/2014)
2014-02-0713Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file dispositive motions by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 02/07/2014)
2014-02-12MINUTE ORDER granting 13 the defendant's consent motion to further amend the amended briefing schedule entered by the Court January 8, 2014. The parties shall file motions for summary judgment on the First, Second and Third Causes of action in accordance with the following schedule: defendant's motion for summary judgment shall be filed no later than February 21, 2014. Plaintiffs opposition shall be filed no later than March 17, 2014. If plaintiff chooses to file a cross-motion, it shall be combined with the opposition and filed on the same date. Defendants reply and, if applicable, combined opposition shall be filed no later than April 11, 2014. Plaintiffs reply, if applicable, shall be filed no later than April 28, 2014. With regard to the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Count, the government shall file either a Motion for Summary Judgment or a Motion for an Open America Stay by no later than March 28, 2014. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on February 12, 2014. (lcegs4) (Entered: 02/12/2014)
2014-02-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Summary Judgment motion due by 2/21/2014. Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 3/17/2014. Defendant's Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/11/2014. Plaintiff's Reply due by 4/28/2014. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment or Motion for Open America due by 3/28/2014. (mac) (Entered: 02/14/2014)
2014-02-2114MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Attachment 1 - Hardy Declaration (FBI), # 2 Attachment 2 - Kovakas Declaration (Civil Division), # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 02/21/2014)
2014-03-1315Unopposed MOTION for Briefing Schedule (Amended) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 03/13/2014)
2014-03-1716MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 03/17/2014)
2014-03-21MINUTE ORDER granting 15 plaintiff's unopposed motion to amend briefing schedule on Counts 4, 5 and 6, and 16 plaintiff's request for extension of time to respond to defendant's summary judgment on Counts 1, 2 and 3. With regard to Counts 4, 5 and 6, defendant's motion for partial summary judgment or for an Open America Stay on Counts 4, 5, and 6 of the Complaint shall be filed by no later than April 28, 2014. With regard to Counts 1, 2 and 3, plaintiff's opposition shall be filed no later than March 24, 2014. If plaintiff chooses to file a cross-motion, it shall be combined with the opposition and filed on the same date. Defendant's reply and, if applicable, combined opposition shall be filed no later than April 18, 2014. Plaintiff's reply, if applicable, shall be filed no later than May 5, 2014. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 21, 2014. (lcegs4) (Entered: 03/21/2014)
2014-03-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Or For An Open America Stay due by 4/28/2014. Plaintiff's Response to Count 1,2, and 3 due by 3/24/2014. Defendant's Reply due by 4/18/2014. Plaintiff Reply due 5/5/14. (mac) (Entered: 03/21/2014)
2014-03-2517Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III (Nunc Pro Tunc) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 03/25/2014)
2014-03-26MINUTE ORDER granting 17 plaintiff's unopposed request for extension of time to respond to defendant's summary judgment on Counts 1, 2 and 3. Plaintiff's opposition shall be filed no later than April 1, 2014. If plaintiff chooses to file a cross-motion, it shall be combined with the opposition and filed on the same date. Defendant's reply and, if applicable, combined opposition shall be filed no later than April 25, 2014. Plaintiff's reply, if applicable, shall be filed no later than May 12, 2014. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 26, 2014. (lcegs4) (Entered: 03/26/2014)
2014-03-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/1/2014. Defendant's Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/25/2014. Plaintiff Reply due by 5/12/2014. (mac) (Entered: 03/27/2014)
2014-03-3118MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Request letter, # 2 Exhibit B - 1st response, # 3 Exhibit C - 2d response, # 4 Exhibit D - 3d response, # 5 Exhibit E - 4th response, # 6 Exhibit F - McClanahan-Whitaker email, # 7 Exhibit G - 5th responses, # 8 Exhibit H - McClanahan declaration, # 9 Exhibit I - Other FBI-Stein correspondence, # 10 Exhibit J - Whitaker-McClanahan email, # 11 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 03/31/2014)
2014-03-31MINUTE ORDER directing defendant to file its response to 18 motion for partial preliminary injunction by no later than Friday, April 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM. Plaintiff shall file his reply by no later than Monday April 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on March 31, 2014. (lcegs4) (Entered: 03/31/2014)
2014-03-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant Response to Motion for Preliminary Injuncition due by 4/4/2014. Plaintiff Reply due by 4/7/2014. (mac) (Entered: 04/01/2014)
2014-04-0119Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/01/2014)
2014-04-02MINUTE ORDER granting 19 plaintiff's third motion for extension of time. Plaintiff shall file his opposition by no later than April 2, 2014. No further extensions will be granted. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on April 2, 2014. (lcegs4, ) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-0220Memorandum in opposition to re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Example case evaluation form, # 2 Exhibit B - ACS Basic Reference Guide, # 3 Exhibit C - Memo 32, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/03/2014)
2014-04-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff Opposition due by 4/2/2014 (mac) (Entered: 04/03/2014)
2014-04-0421Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 04/04/2014)
2014-04-0422Memorandum in opposition to re 18 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Second Hardy Decl. with exhibits, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 04/04/2014)
2014-04-0723REPLY to opposition to motion re 18 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit K - Mobley Argall Declaration, # 2 Exhibit L - 2d Whitaker-McClanahan email)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/07/2014)
2014-04-0724Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 18 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Nunc Pro Tunc) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/07/2014)
2014-04-09MINUTE ORDER. Pending before the Court is 18 plaintiff's motion for partial preliminary injunction and 24 plaintiff's motion for extension of time to file reply in support of preliminary injunction. Plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring the FBI to grant his request for a public interest fee waiver as to the FOIA request in Count 6 of his Complaint. The FBI previously denied this request for a public interest fee waiver and assessed plaintiff duplication fees of $ 290 for 10,000 pages of records. Pl's Prelim. Inj. Mot. at Ex. E. The FBI did not assess plaintiff any search fees. Id. Plaintiff claims that the government's refusal to waive less than $300 in fees to process his request merits a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff's claim is baseless and his motion is denied. A preliminary injunction is an "extraordinary and drastic remedy," Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674, 689 (2008) which requires the moving party to show (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) irreparable injury; (3) the balance of equities favors the movant; and (4) the injunction is in the public interest. Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches v. England, 454 F.3d 290, 297 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (citations omitted). While it is uncertain whether this test is a sliding scale or four independent factors that need to be met, one thing is clear: plaintiff must at least "demonstrate that irreparable injury is likely in the absence of an injunction." Winter v. NRDC, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008). In this case, plaintiff claims that the FBI's failure to grant his fee waiver has delayed the release of information, which constitutes irreparable harm. But plaintiff has not provided any indication that proceeding with the normal litigation process in this case will injure him in "a way that is both certain and great." Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 514 F. Supp. 2d 7, 10 (D.D.C. 2014) (citingWisconsin Gas Co. v. FERC, 758 F. 2d 669, 674 (D.C. Cir. 1985)). If plaintiff succeeds on the merits of his litigation, he will receive the requested records without paying the $290. He has made no showing that the delay until that time is an irreparable harm. In addition, plaintiff's own delay in requesting a preliminary injunction -- he did not file the motion until over four months after receiving the FBI's denial, and filed his reply brief late, in contravention of Court order -- "undermine any argument that [his] injury is of such imminence that there is a clear and present need for equitable relief to prevent irreparable harm." Jack's Canoes & Kayaks v. Nat'l Park Serv., 933 F. Supp. 2d 58, 81 (D.D.C. 2013). Finally, plaintiff could himself have avoided any delay by paying the modest duplicating fee -- which the Court notes is less than the filing fee in this case, let alone the value of plaintiff's attorney's time in preparing this baseless motion. He could then have challenged the FBI's fee waiver decision through the summary judgment process and, if successful, received a refund of the paid fees. See 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)(vii); FBI's Opp'n at 13, n.4. "Recoverable monetary losses are not considered irreparable." Taylor v. Resolution Trust Corp., 56 F.3d 1497, 1507 (D.C. Cir. 1995). For all these reasons, plaintiff has utterly failed to carry his burden to show that, in the absence of an injunction, he would suffer irreparable harm. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion is DENIED. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on April 9, 2014. (lcegs4) (Entered: 04/09/2014)
2014-04-2425Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III (to 5/2/14) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 04/24/2014)
2014-04-24MINUTE ORDER granting 25 defendant's consent motion for extension of time. Defendant shall file its reply in further support of its motion for summary judgment by no later than May 2, 2014. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on April 24, 2014. (lcegs2) (Entered: 04/24/2014)
2014-04-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Reply In Further Support of Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/2/2014. (mac) (Entered: 04/25/2014)
2014-04-2826Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file Motion for Summary Judgment as to Counts IV, V, VI by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 04/28/2014)
2014-04-30MINUTE ORDER granting 26 government's consent motion for extension of time to file a dipositive motion or a motion for Open America stay in connection with Counts IV, V and VI of the complaint. Defendant shall file its motion by no later than May 19, 2014. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on April 30, 2014. (lcegs4) (Entered: 04/30/2014)
2014-04-30Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant Dispositive Motion or Motion for Open America due by 5/19/2014. (mac) (Entered: 04/30/2014)
2014-05-0227REPLY to opposition to motion re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment as to Counts I, II and III filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 05/02/2014)
2014-05-1928Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file a dispositive motion with regard to Count IV (relating to the EOUSA) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 05/19/2014)
2014-05-1929MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts V and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit 4th Hardy Declaration, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) Modified on 5/20/2014 (jf, ). (Entered: 05/19/2014)
2014-05-1930Consent MOTION for Leave to File FBI Documents Under Seal (Todd documents) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) . (Entered: 05/19/2014)
2014-05-1931SEALED DOCUMENTS re 30 Consent MOTION for Leave to File FBI Documents Under Seal (Todd documents) filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons.) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit K, Part 2 (Todd Documents), # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) Modified on 5/23/2014 (zjf, ). (Entered: 05/19/2014)
2014-05-23MINUTE ORDER. The Court has received 28 defendant's consent motion to extend time to file a dispositive motion as to Count IV, 29 defendant's motion for partial summary judgment addressing Counts V and VI of the Complaint, and 30 defendant's motion to file certain documents under seal as relate to Counts V and VI. These filings are in blatant violation of the Court's scheduling orders in this case, which directed the defendant to address Counts IV, V and VI together. Even before the most recent motions were filed, this case was proceeding in piecemeal fashion, as a separate partial dispositive motion has already been filed. See ECF No. 14 (motion for summary judgment as to Counts I, II and III). Further division of claims, which results in additional partial dispositive motions, is not only a violation of this Court's orders, it also results in inefficient litigation and a burden on the Court. Courts have inherent power to manage their dockets efficiently. This includes deciding which extensions or allowances are appropriate. See Beale v. District of Columbia, 545 F. Supp. 2d 8, 16 (D.D.C. 2008). Accordingly, the Court STRIKES defendant's 29 motion for summary judgment as to Counts V and VI, and 30 motion to file FBI documents under seal as they violate this Court's scheduling Orders of, e.g., March 21, 2014 and April 30, 2014. The Court will construe 28 defendant's motion for extension of time to file a dispositive motion as to as to Count IV as an extension of time to file a dispositive motion as to Counts IV, V and VI, and will GRANT that motion. Defendant shall file a dispositive motion as to Counts IV, V and VI by no later than July 31, 2014; plaintiff shall file a response by no later than August 21, 2014; defendant shall file its reply by no later than August 29. No extensions of time will be granted absent compelling circumstances. Moroever, in order for the parties' piecemeal briefing to comply, in the aggregate, with the page limitations set forth in Local Civil Rule 7(e), it is hereby ordered that defendant's dispositive motion as to Counts IV - VI shall be no more than 27 pages; plaintiff's response shall be no longer than 20 pages; defendant's reply shall be no longer than 17 pages. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 23, 2014. (lcegs4, ) (Entered: 05/23/2014)
2014-06-11Case reassigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan no longer assigned to the case. (ztnr, ) (Entered: 06/11/2014)
2014-07-3132MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration (Attachment 1 - Fourth Declaration of David M. Hardy with Exhibits A-K (part 1)), # 2 Declaration (Attachment 2 - Declaration of David Luczynski with Exhibits A-E), # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 07/31/2014)
2014-07-3133MOTION for Leave to File FBI Documents Under Seal (Exhibit K, Part 2 to Attachment 1 - Fourth Declaration of David M. Hardy) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 07/31/2014)
2014-07-3134SEALED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE DOCUMENT UNDER SEAL filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons.) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit (Exhibit K, Part 2 to Attachment 1 - Fourth Declaration of David M. Hardy), # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 07/31/2014)
2014-08-01MINUTE ORDER: Granting: 33 Motion for Leave to File documents under seal (relating to Defense exhibit involving Gwenyth Todd); Granting 34 Sealed Motion for Leave to File Document Under Seal (relating to Defense exhibit involving Gwenyth Todd). Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/1/14. (lctsc1) (Entered: 08/01/2014)
2014-08-2135Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 32 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 08/21/2014)
2014-08-21MINUTE ORDER granting 35 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 32 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint , except that Plaintiff's opposition shall be due September 17, 2014 at 1:00pm. If Plaintiff does not timely file its opposition, a Status Conference set for September 18, 2014 at 11:00am in Courtroom 2 will be held. If Plaintiff timely files its opposition, the Status Conference will be canceled. ; Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Response to Dispositive Motions due by 9/17/2014. Status Conference set for 9/18/2014 11:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan.. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 08/21/2014. (lctsc2) (Entered: 08/21/2014)
2014-08-2636ERRATA by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 32 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint (corrected))(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 08/26/2014)
2014-09-1737Memorandum in opposition to re 32 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - OIP remand, # 2 Exhibit B - 2d McClanahan declaration, # 3 Exhibit C - Whitaker-McClanahan email, # 4 Exhibit D - USABook index, # 5 Exhibit E - USABook Topic Pages, # 6 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 09/17/2014)
2014-09-1738Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 32 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint (Nunc Pro Tunc) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 09/17/2014)
2014-09-17MINUTE ORDER: Granting 38 Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. The Court will accept Plaintiff's Opposition as timely filed despite it being filed 55 minutes late. The Court will not consider any untimely future filings absent extraordinary circumstances. The Status Conference set for September 18, 2014 at 11:00am in Courtroom 2 is vacated. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 09/17/2014. (lctsc2) (Entered: 09/17/2014)
2014-09-2539Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Partial Summay Judgment re Counts IV, V, VI by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 09/25/2014)
2014-09-2940REPLY to opposition to motion re 32 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment Addressing Counts IV, V, and VI of Plaintiff's Complaint filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Attachment 1 (Declaration of Ed Hagen), # 2 Exhibit Attachment 2 5th Declaration of David Hardy with attachments), # 3 Exhibit Emails from Plaintiff's counsel)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 09/29/2014)
2014-09-30MINUTE ORDER: Granting 39 Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Future requests for extension of time must be filed at least two days before the relevant due date; any requests not in accordance with this Order will be denied. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 09/30/2014. (lctsc2) (Entered: 09/30/2014)
2015-09-3041MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 9/30/15. (lctsc2) (Entered: 09/30/2015)
2015-09-3042ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment 14 , 32 . See Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 9/30/15. (lctsc2) (Entered: 09/30/2015)
2015-10-02MINUTE ORDER: Not later than 10/12/15 the parties shall file a jointly proposed schedule, along with a proposed order, for moving forward with this action. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/2/15. (DJS) (Entered: 10/02/2015)
2015-10-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 10/12/2015. (zsm) (Entered: 10/05/2015)
2015-10-1343Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 10/13/2015)
2015-10-13MINUTE ORDER: Granting 43 Motion for Extension of Time. The parties shall file their jointly proposed schedule and order by October 19, 2015. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/13/15. (DJS) (Entered: 10/13/2015)
2015-10-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 10/19/2015. (zsm) (Entered: 10/14/2015)
2015-10-1944Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to to File Joint Briefing Schedule or Status Report by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 10/19/2015)
2015-10-22MINUTE ORDER: Granting 44 Motion for Extension of Time. The parties have up to and including October 30, 2015, to file a Proposed Briefing Schedule or Status Report to govern future litigation in this case. A proposed order shall accompany the parties' filing. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/23/15. (DJS) (Entered: 10/22/2015)
2015-10-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 10/30/2015 (zsm) (Entered: 10/22/2015)
2015-10-3045Joint STATUS REPORT and Proposed Schedule by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 10/30/2015)
2015-11-02MINUTE ORDER accepting the parties' proposed schedule (ECF No. [45-1]). It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant will file its dispositive motion with regard to FOIA Exemption 7(D) on January 11, 2016, with Plaintiff's opposition due by February 11, 2016 and Defendant's reply due by February 29, 2016. It is hereby FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant will file bimonthly status reports commencing on December 1, 2015 concerning its progress in processing the records subject to Count VI of the Complaint. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/2/15. (lctsc2) (Entered: 11/02/2015)
2015-11-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Dispositive Motion due by 11/11/2016. Response to Dispositive Motion due by 2/11/2016. Reply to Dispositive Motion due by 2/29/2016. Status Report due by 12/1/2015 (zsm) (Entered: 11/02/2015)
2015-11-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Dispositive Motion due by 1/11/2016. (zsm) (Entered: 11/02/2015)
2015-12-0146STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 12/01/2015)
2016-01-1147MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed as to Count V - Exemption 7(D)) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Attachment 1 (6th Hardy Declaration), # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 01/11/2016)
2016-02-0148STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 02/01/2016)
2016-02-1149RESPONSE re 47 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed as to Count V - Exemption 7(D)) filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 02/11/2016)
2016-02-1950MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) , MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Declaration and Exhibits, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 02/19/2016)
2016-02-2951REPLY to opposition to motion re 47 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed as to Count V - Exemption 7(D)) filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 02/29/2016)
2016-03-0152Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 03/01/2016)
2016-03-02MINUTE ORDER: Granting 52 Plaintiff's Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed). Response due by 3/28/2016. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/2/16. (DJS) (Entered: 03/02/2016)
2016-03-2653Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 03/26/2016)
2016-03-30MINUTE ORDER: Granting 53 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed). Plaintiff's response due by 4/1/2016. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/30/16. (DJS) (Entered: 03/30/2016)
2016-04-0154Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/01/2016)
2016-04-03MINUTE ORDER: Granting 54 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 50 Defendant's Renewed MOTION for Summary Judgment /MOTION to Dismiss. Plaintiff's Response due 4/4/2016. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/3/16. (DJS) (Entered: 04/03/2016)
2016-04-0555Memorandum in opposition to re 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - 1st McClanahan-Whitaker email, # 2 Exhibit B - 2d McClanahan-Whitaker email, # 3 Exhibit C - 3d McClanahan declaration, # 4 Exhibit D - Shapiro transcript, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/05/2016)
2016-04-0556Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - 1st McClanahan-Whitaker email, # 2 Exhibit B - 2d McClanahan-Whitaker email, # 3 Exhibit C - 3d McClanahan declaration, # 4 Exhibit D - Shapiro transcript, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/05/2016)
2016-04-0557ERRATA by JEFFREY STEIN 55 Memorandum in Opposition, filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/05/2016)
2016-04-0658MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) , MOTION for Extension of Time to File Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 04/06/2016)
2016-04-08MINUTE ORDER: Granting 58 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply nunc pro tunc; Plaintiff shall file his response by 4/9/16. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/8/16. (DJS) Modified on 4/8/2016 (zsm). (Entered: 04/08/2016)
2016-04-1359Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) , 56 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 04/13/2016)
2016-04-26MINUTE ORDER: Granting 59 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Defendant's opposition and reply due April 29, 2016. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/26/16. (DJS) (Entered: 04/26/2016)
2016-04-26Set/Reset Deadlines: Reply due by 4/29/2016. (zsm) (Entered: 04/26/2016)
2016-04-2760Memorandum in opposition to re 56 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (by Plaintiff and Reply to Plaintiff's opposition at ECF No. 55) filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 04/27/2016)
2016-05-0961Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 56 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by JEFFREY STEIN (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 05/09/2016)
2016-05-11MINUTE ORDER: Granting 61 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Plaintiff's brief due May 18, 2016. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/11/16. (DJS) (Entered: 05/11/2016)
2016-05-12Set/Reset Deadlines: Brief due by 5/18/2016. (zsm) (Entered: 05/12/2016)
2016-05-1862REPLY to opposition to motion re 56 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by JEFFREY STEIN. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit E - NSC v. DOJ Circuit brief, # 2 Exhibit F - NSC v. DOJ District reply)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 05/19/2016)
2016-06-0163STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Whitaker, Claire) (Entered: 06/01/2016)
2016-06-0164NOTICE of New Factual Development by JEFFREY STEIN re 50 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Renewed) MOTION to Dismiss (Renewed) , 56 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Pay.gov receipt)(McClanahan, Kelly) (Entered: 06/01/2016)
2016-07-1865MEMORANDUM OPINION. See accompanying Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/18/16. (lctsc2) (Entered: 07/18/2016)
2016-07-1866ORDER granting 47 Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on Count V; denying 50 Defendant's Renewed Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment on Count VI; and granting 56 Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. See accompanying Memorandum Opinion for additional details. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/18/16. (lctsc2) (Entered: 07/18/2016)
2016-07-1867ORDER DISMISSING CASE. See order for details. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/18/16. (lctsc2) (Entered: 07/18/2016)
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