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Case TitleJUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2014cv01242
Date Filed2014-07-21
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Royce C. Lamberth
PlaintiffJUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Case DescriptionJudicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State concerning records related to the talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to discuss the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further before the statutory time limit, Judicial Watch filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Opinion/Order [39]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Royce Lamberth has granted Judicial Watch discovery in its FOIA suit against the Department of State for records concerning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails. Indicating that whether or not the State Department acted in good faith in responding to requests for Clinton's email remained an open question, Lamberth noted that "plaintiff is certainly entitled to dispute the State Department's position that it has no obligation to produce these documents because it did not 'possess' or 'control' them at the time the FOIA request was made. The State Department's willingness to now search documents voluntarily turned over to the Department by Secretary Clinton and other officials hardly transforms such a search into an 'adequate' or 'reasonable' one. Plaintiff is not relying on 'speculation' or 'surmise' as the State Department claims. Plaintiff is relying on constantly shifting admissions by the Government and former government officials. Whether the State Department's actions will ultimately be determined by the Court to not be 'acting in good faith' remains to be seen at this time, but plaintiff is clearly entitled to discovery and a record before this Court rules on that issue." Lamberth acknowledged the burdens of discovery in the context of the multiple suits filed against the agency. He indicated that discovery orders in this case would be tied to similar discovery orders in another Judicial Watch case in which Judge Emmet Sullivan has granted the organization discovery.
Issues: Litigation - Discovery
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2014-07-211COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-3784779) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons State Dept., # 3 Summons U.S. Attorney, # 4 Summons U.S. Attorney General)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 07/21/2014)
2014-07-212LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 07/21/2014)
2014-07-21Case Assigned to Judge Royce C. Lamberth. (kb) (Entered: 07/22/2014)
2014-07-223SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (Attachments: # 1 Consent Form, # 2 Notice of Consent)(kb) (Entered: 07/22/2014)
2014-08-084RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/28/2014. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 8/27/2014.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 8/06/2014., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 7/28/2014 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of C. Rotaru)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 08/08/2014)
2014-08-275NOTICE of Appearance by Robert J. Prince on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 08/27/2014)
2014-08-276ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 FOIA Request Letter)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 08/27/2014)
2014-08-287ORDER requiring defendant to file dispositive motions with supporting materials within 30 days of this date, or such further date as the court may set upon proper motion. Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on August 28, 2014. (lcrcl1) (Entered: 08/28/2014)
2014-09-128Unopposed MOTION for Scheduling Order by DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 09/12/2014)
2014-09-159ORDER Granting 8 Motion to Vacate Deadline for Defendant to File Dispositive Motion and for Scheduling Order. (See Image for Details) Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 9/12/14. (mpt, ) (Entered: 09/15/2014)
2014-09-15Set/Reset Deadlines: Responsive Documents due by 11/12/2014; Vaughn Index due by 12/5/2014; Objections to witholdiings described in the draft Vaughn Index; Joint Status Report due by 1/2/2015 (mpt, ) (Entered: 09/15/2014)
2014-12-3110STATUS REPORT (JOINT) by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 12/31/2014)
2015-02-0211STATUS REPORT (JOINT) by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 02/02/2015)
2015-03-1612Emergency MOTION for Hearing (Status Conference) by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 03/16/2015)
2015-03-1613Emergency MOTION Shorten Response Time to Motion for Status Conference re 12 Emergency MOTION for Hearing (Status Conference) by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 03/16/2015)
2015-03-2014Memorandum in opposition to re 12 Emergency MOTION for Hearing (Status Conference) filed by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit 1)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 03/20/2015)
2015-03-2315REPLY to opposition to motion re 12 Emergency MOTION for Hearing (Status Conference) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 03/23/2015)
2015-05-0116STATUS REPORT (JOINT) by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 05/01/2015)
2015-06-3017NOTICE REGARDING BRIEFING SCHEDULE by DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 06/30/2015)
2015-07-0218ORDER; setting briefing schedule: Summary Judgment motions due by 7/7/2015; Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 8/14/2015; Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 9/11/2015; Plaintiffs' Reply due by 9/25/2015, Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 7/1/2015. (hs) (Entered: 07/02/2015)
2015-07-0719MOTION for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration of John F. Hackett, # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 07/07/2015)
2015-08-1020Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 08/10/2015)
2015-08-1221ORDER; granting 20 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply, Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 8/11/2015. (hs) (Entered: 08/12/2015)
2015-08-2122MOTION for Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(d) by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Declaration in Support of 56(d) Motion, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
2015-09-0223NOTICE of Filing Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 09/02/2015)
2015-09-0424NOTICE of Order Entered in Misc. No. 15-1188 by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Copy of Order)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 09/04/2015)
2015-09-0425MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 09/04/2015)
2015-09-1826NOTICE of Appearance by Jennie Leah Kneedler on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Kneedler, Jennie) (Entered: 09/18/2015)
2015-09-1827Memorandum in opposition to re 22 MOTION for Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(d) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibits 1-3, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Kneedler, Jennie) (Entered: 09/18/2015)
2015-09-2128Memorandum in opposition to re 25 MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 09/21/2015)
2015-10-0129REPLY to opposition to motion re 25 MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 10/01/2015)
2015-10-0230REPLY to opposition to motion re 22 MOTION for Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(d) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 10/02/2015)
2015-10-0231NOTICE OF PLAINTIFF'S CORRECTED FILING by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. re 30 Reply to opposition to Motion (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 4)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 10/02/2015)
2015-10-1432MOTION for Leave to File Surreply by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Proposed Surreply, # 3 Declaration in Support of Proposed Surreply)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 10/14/2015)
2015-10-1933NOTICE Regarding Denial of State Department's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. re 25 MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge (Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 10/19/2015)
2015-10-2734RESPONSE re 32 MOTION for Leave to File Surreply filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 10/27/2015)
2016-01-0535ORDER; granting 32 Motion for Leave to File Surreply, Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 12/31/2015. (hs) (Entered: 01/05/2016)
2016-01-0536SURREPLY to re 22 MOTION for Discovery Pursuant to Rule 56(d) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (zrdj) (Entered: 01/05/2016)
2016-01-2837ORDER denying 25 Motion to Stay as moot. Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on January 28, 2016. (lcrcl2) (Entered: 01/28/2016)
2016-02-0238ORDER denying Motion for Hearing 12 ; denying Motion to shorten Defendant's time to file 13 . Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on January 29, 2016. (lcrcl2) (Entered: 02/02/2016)
2016-03-2939MEMORANDUM AND ORDER; Denying 19 Motion for Summary Judgment and Granting 22 Motion for limited discovery, Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 3/29/2016. (hs) (Entered: 03/29/2016)
2016-05-0540NOTICE of Appearance by Michael Bekesha on behalf of JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Bekesha, Michael) (Entered: 05/05/2016)
2016-05-0541NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. Attorney Jennie Leah Kneedler terminated. (Kneedler, Jennie) (Entered: 05/05/2016)
2016-05-1642NOTICE of Proposed Order for Discovery by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. re 39 Memorandum & Opinion (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 05/16/2016)
2016-05-2643RESPONSE to Plaintiff's 42 Proposed Discovery Order filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Prince, Robert) Modified on 5/27/2016 (zrdj). (Entered: 05/26/2016)
2016-06-0644MOTION for Leave to File a Reply by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A (Judicial Watch's Reply), # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 06/06/2016)
2016-06-1045Memorandum in opposition to re 44 MOTION for Leave to File a Reply filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Prince, Robert) (Entered: 06/10/2016)
2016-06-2046REPLY to opposition to motion re 44 MOTION for Leave to File a Reply filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 06/20/2016)
2016-12-2147ORDER granting 44 Motion for Leave to File. Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 12/21/16. (lcrcl1, ) (Entered: 12/21/2016)
2016-12-2148ORDER directing counsel to meet and confer and present a new proposed order by January 10, 2017.. Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 12/21/2016. (lcrcl1, ) (Entered: 12/21/2016)
2016-12-2149REPLY re 42 Notice of Proposed Order for Discovery filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (zrdj) (Entered: 12/22/2016)
2017-01-1050NOTICE of Proposed Order for Revised Discovery Plan by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. re 48 Order (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Cotca, Ramona) (Entered: 01/10/2017)
2017-01-1051NOTICE of Proposed Order Regarding Further Proceedings by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Prince, Robert) (Entered: 01/10/2017)
2018-10-0452ORDER directing parties to appear for a Status Conference set for 10/12/2018 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 15 before Judge Royce C. Lamberth. Signed by Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 10/3/18. (lsj) (Entered: 10/04/2018)
2018-10-12Minute Entry: Status Conference held on 10/12/2018 before Judge Royce C. Lamberth. (Court Reporter Tim Miller) (tb) (Entered: 10/12/2018)
2018-10-1653TRANSCRIPT OF STATUS HEARING before Judge Royce C. Lamberth held on 10-12-18; Page Numbers: 1-42; Date of Issuance: 10-16-18; Court Reporter: Timothy R. Miller, Telephone number (202) 354-3111. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased from the court reporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. NOTICE RE REDACTION OF TRANSCRIPTS: The parties have twenty-one days to file with the court and the court reporter any request to redact personal identifiers from this transcript. If no such requests are filed, the transcript will be made available to the public via PACER without redaction after 90 days. The policy, which includes the five personal identifiers specifically covered, is located on our website at www.dcd.uscourts.gov. Redaction Request due 11/6/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 11/16/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/14/2019.(Miller, Timothy) (Entered: 10/16/2018)
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