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Case TitleSMITH v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2015cv00224
Date Filed2015-02-13
Date Closed2017-04-04
JudgeJudge Tanya S. Chutkan
PlaintiffGRANT F. SMITH
Case DescriptionGrant Smith, director of the Institute for Research, Middle Eastern Policy, submitted a request in 2010 to the CIA for declassification of all cross-referenced CIA files related to uranium diversion from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation to Israel. The CIA responded to Smith's request is 2013 indicating that it found nothing in the materials that could be declassified. Smith filed an administrative appeal, which the agency denied. Smith then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Exemption 1 - Harm to national security, Litigation - Recovery of Costs, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Washington, DC 20505
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [24]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Tanya Chutkan has ruled that researcher Grant Smith failed to show that records he requested from the CIA on the diversion of uranium from the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation to Israel fell within exceptions to the CIA Information Act. After the agency told Smith that it was not required to search its operational files under the CIA Information Act, it disclosed a handful of records that it had previously released. Smith appealed to ISCAP, which overturned some of the CIA's classification claims and the agency ultimately disclosed 16 redacted pages. Smith cited three documents from the Department of Justice, the General Accounting Office, and Carter administration National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski suggesting investigations of diversions. Rejecting Smith's claim that the documents confirmed that an investigation existed, Chutkan indicated that "it is not the court's role to make inference upon inference. Where it is not clear from the materials submitted that there was an investigation that meets the statutory language, the court will not require the CIA to search its operational files." Smith also argued that under the CIA Information Act the CIA was required to conduct decennial reviews to determine if records remained exempt under the CIA Information Act and that there was no evidence the agency had reviewed these records. Chutkan pointed out that "the CIA is not required to demonstrate that it conducted an appropriate decennial review of the specific records that Plaintiff seeks, because the CIA is not required to search its operational files for records responsive to Plaintiff's request." Chutkan found the CIA, the FBI, and the State Department had all properly invoked Exemption 1 (national security), and approved the FBI's claims under Exemption 7(C) (invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records) and Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques) as well. Smith asked to amend his complaint to include a claim against the Justice Department for its response to a similar request. Pointing out that the two requests were not identical, Chutkan explained that "that his FOIA requests were related to the same general topic does not make the two agencies jointly or alternatively liable."
Issues: Litigation - Jurisdiction - Failure to State a Claim
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2015-02-131COMPLAINT against CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY ( Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 4616068471) filed by GRANT F. SMITH. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(td, ) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-13SUMMONS (3) Issued as to CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (td, ) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-132NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by GRANT F. SMITH. Case related to Case No. 14-1611 TSC. (td, ) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-133MOTION for CM/ECF Password by GRANT F. SMITH (td, ) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-02-20MINUTE ORDER: Granting 3 Motion for CM/ECF Password. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 2/20/2015. (lctsc2) (Entered: 02/20/2015)
2015-04-214RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 3/30/2015. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/29/2015. (SMITH, GRANT) (Entered: 04/21/2015)
2015-04-215RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 03/30/2015. (SMITH, GRANT) (Entered: 04/21/2015)
2015-04-216RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY served on 4/1/2015 (SMITH, GRANT) (Entered: 04/21/2015)
2015-04-297NOTICE of Appearance by Zachary John Corey on behalf of CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Corey, Zachary) (Entered: 04/29/2015)
2015-04-298ANSWER to 1 Complaint by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.(Corey, Zachary) (Entered: 04/29/2015)
2015-04-30MINUTE ORDER: Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. The requirements of LCvR 16.3 and Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil procedure appear to be inapplicable. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer and propose a schedule for proceeding in this matter. The schedule should address the status of Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiff, whether a motion for an Open America stay is likely in this case, whether a Vaughn index will be required in this case, whether and when either party anticipates filing a dispositive motion, and any other pertinent issues. The parties shall file a joint status report that addresses these issues and that contains a proposed schedule and order not later than 5/18/15. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/30/15. (DJS) (Entered: 04/30/2015)
2015-04-30Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 5/18/2015 (zsm) (Entered: 04/30/2015)
2015-05-189STATUS REPORT (JOINT) by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Corey, Zachary) (Entered: 05/18/2015)
2015-05-20MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the Joint Status Report filed by the parties 9 , not later August 20, 2015, the parties shall file a Joint status report that includes the status of Defendant's litigation review, or if that is complete, a proposed a schedule and order for releasing documents and/or producing a Vaughn Index. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/20/15. (DJS) (Entered: 05/20/2015)
2015-05-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 8/20/2015. (zsm) (Entered: 05/21/2015)
2015-08-2010STATUS REPORT (JOINT) by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Corey, Zachary) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
2015-08-21MINUTE ORDER: The court will hold a status conference in this matter at 11:00 a.m. on September 2, 2015. Counsel from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or another CIA employee with personal knowledge of the procedures for processing responsive documents shall be present at the conference. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/21/15. (lctsc3) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
2015-08-21Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 9/2/2015 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (zsm) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
2015-09-0311TRANSCRIPT OF 9/2/15 STATUS HEARING before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, held on September 2, 2015. Page Numbers: 1-9. Date of Issuance: 9/3/15. Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne; telephone number: 202-354-3186. Court Reporter email address: Bryan_Wayne@dcd.uscourts.gov. 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 9/24/2015. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/4/2015. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/2/2015.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 09/03/2015)
2015-09-11MINUTE ORDER: The parties shall met and confer in an effort to narrow the objections raised by Plaintiff with respect to Defendant's response to his FOIA request. Not later than 10/5/2015, the parties shall file a joint status report, along with a jointly proposed schedule and order for moving forward with this action. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 9/11/15. (DJS) (Entered: 09/11/2015)
2015-09-11Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 10/5/2015. (zsm) (Entered: 09/11/2015)
2015-10-0512Joint STATUS REPORT by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Corey, Zachary) (Entered: 10/05/2015)
2015-10-16MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for 10/29/15 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/16/15. (DJS) (Entered: 10/16/2015)
2015-10-16Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 10/29/2015 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (zsm) (Entered: 10/16/2015)
2015-10-27MNUTE ORDER: The Status Conference previously for 10/29/15 at 10:00 a.m. is hereby rescheduled for 11:00 a.m. on the same date in Courtroom 2. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/27/15. (DJS) (Entered: 10/27/2015)
2015-10-28Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 10/29/2015 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (zsm) (Entered: 10/28/2015)
2015-10-29Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Status Conference held on 10/29/2015. Parties advise the court of the status of this action. Plaintiff to file a notice of supplemental exhibit by 11/4/15. Briefing schedule set: Motions due by 12/14/2015; Opposition to motion due by 1/14/2016; Reply to motion due by 1/28/2016. (Court Reporter: Bryan Wayne.) (tj) (Entered: 10/29/2015)
2015-10-29MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the joint status report filed by the parties 12 , Defendant shall file its Motion for Summary Judgment not later than 12/14/2015. Plaintiff's Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed not later than 1/14/2016, and Defendant's Reply shall be filed not later than 1/28/2016. Plaintiff may file a notice of supplemental exhibit(s) not later than 11/4/2015. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/29/2015. (lctsc3) (Entered: 10/29/2015)
2015-11-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Notice of Supplemental Exhibits due by 11/4/2015. Summary Judgment motions due by 12/14/2015. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/14/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/28/2016. (zsm) (Entered: 11/02/2015)
2015-11-0213TRANSCRIPT OF STATUS HEARING before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, held on October 29, 2015. Page Numbers: 1-29. Date of Issuance: 11/02/15. Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne. 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 11/23/2015. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 12/3/2015. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/31/2016.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 11/02/2015)
2015-11-0414NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY by GRANT F. SMITH (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Supplemental Exhibits)(SMITH, GRANT) (Entered: 11/04/2015)
2015-11-2315NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Elizabeth Lanier Kade on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Zachary J. Corey (Kade, Elizabeth) (Entered: 11/23/2015)
2015-12-0116MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kade, Elizabeth) (Entered: 12/01/2015)
2015-12-04MINUTE ORDER granting 16 Defendant's MOTION for Extension of Time to File Summary Judgment. Defendant's motion for summary judgment is due not later than December 28, 2015; Plaintiff's opposition is due not later than January 28, 2016; and Defendant's reply is due not later than February 11, 2016. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 12/4/2015. (lctsc3) (Entered: 12/04/2015)
2015-12-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 12/28/2015. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/28/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/11/2016. (zsm) (Entered: 12/04/2015)
2015-12-2817MOTION for Summary Judgment by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Declaration Exhibit 1 - Wilson Declaration, # 3 Declaration Exhibit 2 - Hardy Declaration, # 4 Declaration Exhibit 3 - Hackett Declaration, # 5 Declaration Exhibit 4 - Stein Declaration, # 6 Text of Proposed Order)(Kade, Elizabeth) (Attachment 3 replaced on 12/29/2015) (td). (Entered: 12/28/2015)
2016-01-2818Memorandum in opposition to re 17 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by GRANT F. SMITH. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgement, # 2 Memorandum in Support Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Statement of Material Facts as to which there is no Genuine Dispute, # 3 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment)(SMITH, GRANT) Modified event title on 1/29/2016 (znmw). (Entered: 01/28/2016)
2016-01-2819MOTION to Amend/Correct 1 Complaint by GRANT F. SMITH (Attachments: # 1 Declaration First Amended Complaint for Injunctive Relief adding the Department of Justice as Defendant, # 2 Exhibit Exhibits - First Amended Complaint for Injunctive Relief adding the Department of Justice as Defendant, # 3 Text of Proposed Order Proposed order)(SMITH, GRANT) (Entered: 01/28/2016)
2016-02-1120REPLY to opposition to motion re 17 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Kade, Elizabeth) (Entered: 02/11/2016)
2016-02-1121Memorandum in opposition to re 19 MOTION to Amend/Correct 1 Complaint filed by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Kade, Elizabeth) (Entered: 02/11/2016)
2016-02-16MINUTE ORDER: The parties are hereby advised that the email address for chambers shall only be used when requested by the court. To the extent a party seeks relief from the court, the party shall file a motion. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 2/16/16.(DJS) (Entered: 02/16/2016)
2016-02-1722Memorandum in opposition to re 17 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Dkt 20 motion against Amending filed by GRANT F. SMITH. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit News Clippings)(SMITH, GRANT) (Entered: 02/17/2016)
2016-02-1723REPLY to opposition to motion re 19 MOTION to Amend/Correct 1 Complaint filed by GRANT F. SMITH. (See Docket Entry No. 22 to view document.) (td) (Entered: 02/18/2016)
2017-03-3124MEMORANDUM AND OPINION re 17 Defendant's motion for summary judgment and 19 Plaintiff's motion to amend. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/31/2017. (lctsc3) (Entered: 03/31/2017)
2017-03-3125ORDER granting 17 Defendant's motion for summary judgment and denying 19 Plaintiff's motion to amend. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/31/2017. (lctsc3) (Entered: 03/31/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff