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Case TitlePrison Legal News v. United States Department of Homeland Security et al
DistrictWestern District of Washington
CitySeattle
Case Number2:2014cv00479
Date Filed2014-04-02
Date Closed2015-06-18
JudgeJudge Marsha J. Pechman
PlaintiffPrison Legal News a project of the HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER, a Washington nonprofit corporation
Case DescriptionPrison Legal News submitted a FOIA request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning inmate telephone services and related services at a detention facility in Washington. Prison Legal News requested a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Prison Legal News filed suit.
Complaint issues: improper withholding, adequacy of search, fee waiver, attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Department of Homeland Security and its component
DefendantImmigration and Customs and Enforcement
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [39]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Washington has ruled that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has failed to show that incentive rates used by Talton Communications in 2009 to obtain a contract to provide phone services for ICE detention centers are protected by Exemption 4 (confidential business information). Prison Legal News, which had been investigating the phone rates charged to prisoners, requested the information. Nearly a year after filing the request, and four months after filing suit, ICE provided most of the records, but withheld the 2009 incentive rates, claiming that disclosure could harm Talton Communications' ability to compete for a 2015 contract. The court rejected the agency's claim that disclosure of the incentive rates would harm Talton, noting that "the record shows that price was the deciding factor in 2009, and that the performance incentive rate was one piece of Talton's price proposal." The court added that "that a contractor's performance incentive rate will be the single determinative factor in a future bidding process is pure speculation and. . .cannot support a finding that Talton is likely to sustain substantial competitive harm from disclosure of the performance incentive rate." Prison Legal News argued the agency's year-long delay constituted egregious behavior on the part of the agency. The court agreed and pointed out that "response times of this sort clearly exceed the unambiguous time allowance contemplated by Congress."
Issues: Exemption 4 - Competitive harm
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2014-04-021COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR VIOLATION OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, 5 U.S.C. § 552 against defendant(s) United States Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (Receipt # 0981-3558938), filed by Prison Legal News. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Galloway, Angela) Modified on 4/3/2014 to edit name of defendant.(PM) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-022PRAECIPE TO ISSUE SUMMONS re 1 Complaint, by Plaintiff Prison Legal News. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons)(Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-023APPLICATION OF ATTORNEY Robert Jack FOR LEAVE TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE for Plaintiff Prison Legal News (Fee Paid) Receipt No. 0981-3559063. (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-024APPLICATION OF ATTORNEY Lance Weber FOR LEAVE TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE for Plaintiff Prison Legal News (Fee Paid) Receipt No. 0981-3559079. (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-025ORDER re 3 Application for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. The Court ADMITS Attorney Robert Jack for Prison Legal News, by William M. McCool. (No document associated with this docket entry, text only.)(DS) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-026ORDER re 4 Application for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. The Court ADMITS Attorney Lance Weber for Prison Legal News, by William M. McCool. (No document associated with this docket entry, text only.)(DS) (Entered: 04/02/2014)
2014-04-03Hon. Brian A Tsuchida added. (PM) (Entered: 04/03/2014)
2014-04-037Summons issued electronically as to defendant United States Department of Homeland Security. (Attachments: # 1 Summons - ICE)(PM) (Entered: 04/03/2014)
2014-04-03NOTICE Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 7.1 Plaintiff Prison Legal News must file a Corporate Disclosure Statement by 4/10/2014. (PM) (Entered: 04/03/2014)
2014-04-078CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT identifying Corporate Parent Human Rights Defense Center for Prison Legal News. Filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 7.1. Filed by Prison Legal News. (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 04/07/2014)
2014-04-149SERVICE OF SUMMONS and Complaint returned executed upon defendant Immigration and Customs and Enforcement on 4/3/2014; United States Department of Homeland Security on 4/3/2014 (RS) (Entered: 04/15/2014)
2014-04-2910NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Kayla Stahman on behalf of Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security. (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 04/29/2014)
2014-04-3011NOTICE OF INITIAL ASSIGNMENT TO A US MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND CONSENT OR DECLINE FORM. If consent or decline, return the executed form by 5/21/2014. Please Note: Forms must not be electronically filed with the Court. (AE) (Entered: 04/30/2014)
2014-05-0512ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security.(Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 05/05/2014)
2014-05-1913MINUTE ORDER REASSIGNING CASE by William M. McCool. Case reassigned to Judge Marsha J. Pechman for all further proceedings. Hon. Brian A Tsuchida no longer assigned to case. (cc to MJP) (AE) (Entered: 05/19/2014)
2014-05-2014ORDER REGARDING INITIAL DISCLOSURES AND JOINT STATUS REPORT Joint Status Report due by 7/1/2014, FRCP 26f Conference Deadline is 6/17/2014, Initial Disclosure Deadline is 6/24/2014, by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (RM) (Entered: 05/20/2014)
2014-07-0115JOINT STATUS REPORT signed by all parties estimated Trial Days: -.. (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 07/01/2014)
2014-08-0816Stipulated MOTION To Hold Case in Abeyance by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 8/8/2014, (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 08/08/2014)
2014-08-1217NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL: Attorney Robert Jack for Plaintiff Prison Legal News. (Jack, Robert) (Entered: 08/12/2014)
2014-08-1218ORDER granting 16 Stipulated Motion to hold case in Abeyance, by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(MD) (Entered: 08/13/2014)
2014-09-0819STIPULATION Re Case Schedule and Order by parties (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 09/08/2014)
2014-09-1020STIPULATION AND ORDER re 19 Stipulation re: case schedule filed by Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (MD) (Entered: 09/10/2014)
2014-11-1321Stipulated MOTION to Extend Briefing Schedule by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security. Noting Date 11/13/2014, (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 11/13/2014)
2014-11-1422ORDER granting 21 Stipulated Motion to extend briefing schedule by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(MD) (Entered: 11/17/2014)
2015-01-2023STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER to Amend the Complaint by parties (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2024MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Prison Legal News. Oral Argument Requested. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 4/24/2015, (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2025DECLARATION of Paul Wright filed by Plaintiff Prison Legal News re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 01/20/2015)
2015-01-2626STIPULATION AND ORDER re 23 Stipulation to amend complaint filed by Prison Legal News by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (MD) (Entered: 01/26/2015)
2015-02-0427AMENDED ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security. (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 02/04/2015)
2015-02-2028RESPONSE, by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, to 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment . (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-2029DECLARATION of Fernando Pineiro re 28 Response to Motion by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-2030DECLARATION of Christine Kelly re 28 Response to Motion by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 2, # 2 Exhibit 3)(Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-2031DECLARATION of Julius Talton re 28 Response to Motion by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-2032DECLARATION of Albert Dainton re 28 Response to Motion by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-03-0233AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR VIOLATION OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, 5 U.S.C. § 552 against defendant(s) All Plaintiffs, filed by Prison Legal News.(Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 03/02/2015)
2015-03-1734PRAECIPE to attach document (Exhibits A-K) re 33 Amended Complaint by Plaintiff Prison Legal News (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-J to Amended Complaint, # 2 Exhibit K to Amended Complaint)(Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 03/17/2015)
2015-03-1735ANSWER to 33 Amended Complaint by Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security.(Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 03/17/2015)
2015-03-2036REPLY, filed by Plaintiff Prison Legal News, TO RESPONSE to 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Galloway, Angela) (Entered: 03/20/2015)
2015-04-2437REPLY, filed by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security, TO RESPONSE to 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 04/24/2015)
2015-04-2438DECLARATION of Shannon Ely filed by Defendants Immigration and Customs and Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Stahman, Kayla) (Entered: 04/24/2015)
2015-06-1839ORDER granting 24 Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment, by Judge Marsha J. Pechman.(MD) (Entered: 06/18/2015)
2015-06-1840JUDGMENT BY COURT THE COURT HAS ORDERED THAT The Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and DENIES Defendants' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. (MD) (Entered: 06/18/2015)
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by FOIA Project Staff