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Case TitleGahagan v. United States Department of Justice et al
DistrictEastern District of Louisiana
CityNew Orleans
Case Number2:2013cv05526
Date Filed2013-08-22
Date Closed2013-10-03
JudgeJudge Kurt D. Engelhardt
PlaintiffMichael Gahagan
Case DescriptionImmigration attorney Michael Gahagan submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Justice Department for records concerning allegations of professional misconduct. After hearing nothing further from any of the agencies, Gahagan filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Department of Justice
DefendantUnited States Department of Homeland Security
DefendantU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
DefendantExecutive Office for Immigration Review U.S. Department of Justice
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
Opinion/Order [31]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Louisiana has ruled that neither the Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Justice Department nor Immigration and Customs Enforcement have shown that they conducted an adequate search for records related to a complaint filed with the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board by EOIR Disciplinary Counsel Jennifer Barnes. The court noted that the ICE declaration "does not explain the nature of the search conducted, including whether both electronic and paper files were searched, or who conducted the searches. Nor does it address whether other ICE offices likely (even if not 'most likely') have responsive records. For instance, the documents produced to Plaintiff suggest the involvement of ICE personnel working in both New Orleans and Washington, D.C. It is not evident to the Court whether ICE offices in both cities were considered as likely repositories of responsive documents." As to the EOIR search, the court pointed out that "although the Court recognizes that government agencies certainly are not required to search every record system, a reasonable search should account for components that 'likely' have responsive documents, but fall short of 'most likely' status." Immigration attorney Michael Gahagan claimed EOIR had improperly referred a document to ICE for direct response. But the court observed that it found no error "in EOIR's determination that ICE should have an opportunity to review and assert any exemptions believed appropriate prior to the document's disclosure. In other words, any entitlement Plaintiff may have to an unredacted version of the document should and shall be premised on a determination of the applicability of claimed exemptions, not the particular government agency file in which the document was found."
Issues: Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index
Opinion/Order [38]
Opinion/Order [47]
Opinion/Order [60]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2013-08-221COMPLAINT against All Defendants (Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 053L-4111472) filed by Michael Gahagan. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Summons, # 6 Summons, # 7 Summons, # 8 Summons)Attorney Michael Wayne Gahagan added to party Michael Gahagan(pty:pla).(Gahagan, Michael) (Entered: 08/22/2013)
2013-08-222Initial Case Assignment to Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt and Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Knowles, III. (mmv, ) (Entered: 08/22/2013)
2013-08-2334 Summons Issued as to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(cbs) (Entered: 08/23/2013)
2013-08-274Summons Returned Executed - AFFIDAVIT of Service by Michael W. Gahagan of Summons, Complaint and Exhibits served on U.S. Department of Justice on 08/26/2013, answer due 10/25/2013. (Gahagan, Michael) Modified text/event on 8/28/2013 (mmm). (Entered: 08/27/2013)
2013-08-275Summons Returned Executed - AFFIDAVIT of Service by Michael W. Gahagan of Summons, Complaint and Exhibits served on U.S. Department of Homeland Security on 08/26/2013, answer due 10/25/2013. (Gahagan, Michael) Modified text/event on 8/28/2013 (mmm). (Entered: 08/27/2013)
2013-08-276Summons Returned Executed - AFFIDAVIT of Service by Michael W. Gahagan of Summons, Complaint and Exhibits served on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 08/26/2013, answer due 10/25/2013. (Gahagan, Michael) Modified text/event on 8/28/2013 (mmm). (Entered: 08/27/2013)
2013-08-277Summons Returned Executed - AFFIDAVIT of Service by Michael W. Gahagan of Summons, Complaint and Exhibits served on U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern District of LA. on 08/26/2013, answer due 10/25/2013. (Gahagan, Michael) Modified text/event on 8/28/2013 (mmm). (Entered: 08/27/2013)
2013-08-288Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 4 Affidavit of Service, 6 Affidavit of Service, 7 Affidavit of Service, 5 Affidavit of Service. Filing attorney selected incorrect event. Correct event is Summons Returned Executed as to USA or Agency of USA, which will calculate answer due date. Clerk took corrective action. (mmm) (Entered: 08/28/2013)
2013-09-029AMENDED COMPLAINT against All Defendants filed by Michael Gahagan. (Attachments: # 1 Summons)(Gahagan, Michael) (Entered: 09/02/2013)
2013-09-0210MOTION for Summary Judgment by Michael Gahagan. Motion set for 9/18/2013 at 9:30 AM before Judge Engelhardt. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Contested/Uncontested Facts, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Notice of Submission, # 4 Proposed Order)(Gahagan, Michael) Modified text/submission info on 9/3/2013 (mmm). (Entered: 09/02/2013)
2013-09-0311Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment . Filing attorney should have selected 'N' at the question 'Is this an Exparte/Consent Motion Y/N?'. Motions set for submission are not Exparte. Clerk modified docket text to remove 'Exparte' and set for submission on 9/18/2013. (mmm) (Entered: 09/03/2013)
2013-09-0312Summons Issued as to Executive Office for Immigration Review. (mmm) (Entered: 09/03/2013)
2013-09-0613EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Continue Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, Rec. Doc. 10 by Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)Attorney Brock Darren Dupre added to party Executive Office for Immigration Review(pty:dft), Attorney Brock Darren Dupre added to party U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(pty:dft), Attorney Brock Darren Dupre added to party United States Department of Homeland Security(pty:dft), Attorney Brock Darren Dupre added to party United States Department of Justice(pty:dft).(Dupre, Brock) (Entered: 09/06/2013)
2013-09-0914SUMMONS Returned Executed; Executive Office for Immigration Review served on 9/6/2013, answer due 11/5/2013. (Gahagan, Michael) (Entered: 09/09/2013)
2013-09-0915RESPONSE/MEMORANDUM in Opposition filed by Michael Gahagan re 13 MOTION to Continue Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, Rec. Doc. 10 . (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit)(Gahagan, Michael) (Entered: 09/09/2013)
2013-09-1016ORDER granting 13 MOTION to Continue Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment . 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment reset for 10/16/2013 09:30 AM before Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 9/10/2013.(mmm) (Entered: 09/10/2013)
2013-09-2517ANSWER to 9 Amended Complaint, 1 Complaint, by Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice.(Dupre, Brock) (Entered: 09/25/2013)
2013-10-0118DEFICIENT: EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Stay by Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Dupre, Brock) Modified on 10/2/2013 (mmm). (Entered: 10/01/2013)
2013-10-0219MOTION to Stay Case Due to Government Shutdown by Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice. Motion set for 10/30/2013 09:30 AM before Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Notice of Submission)Attorney Sharon Denise Smith added to party Executive Office for Immigration Review(pty:dft), Attorney Sharon Denise Smith added to party U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(pty:dft), Attorney Sharon Denise Smith added to party United States Department of Homeland Security(pty:dft), Attorney Sharon Denise Smith added to party United States Department of Justice(pty:dft).(Smith, Sharon) (Entered: 10/02/2013)
2013-10-0220EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Expedite Hearing re:Motion for Stay (Rec Doc 19) by Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Smith, Sharon) (Entered: 10/02/2013)
2013-10-0321ORDER granting 19 Motion to Stay Case Due to Government Shutdown and granting 20 Motion to Expedite Hearing re:Motion for Stay, as stated within document. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 10/2/2013. (cbs) (Entered: 10/03/2013)
2013-10-2122EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Reopen Case by Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Justice. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Dupre, Brock) (Entered: 10/21/2013)
2013-10-2123EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Reopen Case and Reset Deadlines by Michael Gahagan. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Proposed Order)(Gahagan, Michael) (Entered: 10/21/2013)
2013-10-2224ORDER LIFTING STAY - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Federal Defendants' motion to lift stay is GRANTED; it is FURTHER ORDERED, and this matter be restored to the Court's docket. It is also ORDERED that the Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, 10 , is reset for submission on November 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM.. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 10/22/2013.(cbs) (Entered: 10/22/2013)
2013-10-2225ORDER finding as moot 23 Motion to Reopen Case. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 10/22/2013. (cbs) (Entered: 10/22/2013)
2013-11-0526RESPONSE/MEMORANDUM in Opposition filed by All Defendants re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Statement of Contested/Uncontested Facts)(Dupre, Brock) (Entered: 11/05/2013)
2013-11-0727EXPARTE MOTION for Leave to File REPLY to Response to Motion filed by Michael Gahagan re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment . (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Exhibit)(Gahagan, Michael) Modified event/text on 11/8/2013 (plh, ). (Entered: 11/07/2013)
2013-11-0828Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 27 REPLY to Response to Motion; **Filing attorney selected incorrect event. Correct event is MOTION for Leave to File Document. Clerk took corrective action.** (plh, ) (Entered: 11/08/2013)
2013-12-1729ORDER granting 27 Motion for Leave to File Plaintiff's Reply to Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 12/17/2013. (cbs) (Entered: 12/17/2013)
2013-12-1730REPLY to Response to Motion filed by Michael Gahagan re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(cbs) (Entered: 12/17/2013)
2014-05-2331ORDER & REASONS granting in part and denying in part 10 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt on 5/23/2014. (mmm) (Entered: 05/23/2014)
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by FOIA Project Staff