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Case TitleGAWKER MEDIA, LLC et al v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2015cv00363
Date Filed2015-03-13
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Ketanji Brown Jackson
PlaintiffGAWKER MEDIA, LLC
PlaintiffJOHN COOK
Case DescriptionJohn Cook, a reporter for Gawker Media, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State in 2012 for email communications between Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines and 34 media outlets. The agency responded to Cook's request by indicating that it could find no responsive records. Cook appealed and provided evidence of communications between Reines and Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings. State remanded Cook's request for additional searches. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, Gawker Media filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2015-03-131COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4021651), REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE by John Cook, Gawker Media, LLC filed by John Cook, Gawker Media, LLC. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/13/2015)
2015-03-13Case Assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (sth, ) (Entered: 03/16/2015)
2015-03-162SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(sth, ) (Entered: 03/16/2015)
2015-03-193GENERAL ORDER AND GUIDELINES FOR CIVIL CASES BEFORE JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON. The Court will hold the parties and counsel responsible for following these directives; failure to conform to this Order may, when appropriate, result in the imposition of sanctions. See attached Order for details. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 03/19/2015. (lckbj1) (Entered: 03/19/2015)
2015-03-204NOTICE of Appearance by Mark S. Zaid on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Zaid, Mark) (Entered: 03/20/2015)
2015-03-235NOTICE of Proof of Service by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Proof of Service (State), # 2 Exhibit 2 - Proof of Service (USADC), # 3 Exhibit 3 - Proof of Service (USAG))(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/23/2015)
2015-03-246RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 3/20/2015 (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/24/2015)
2015-03-247RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 03/23/2015. (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/24/2015)
2015-03-248RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 3/23/2015. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/22/2015. (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/24/2015)
2015-04-179Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, Request for Summons to Issue,, by DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 04/17/2015)
2015-04-20MINUTE ORDER granting, for good cause shown, 9 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by 6/8/2015. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 04/20/2015. (lckbj1) (Entered: 04/20/2015)
2015-06-0810ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 06/08/2015)
2015-06-10MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall promptly confer and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure, by 6/24/2015. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 06/10/2015. (lckbj1) (Entered: 06/10/2015)
2015-06-2411RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re Order, Set Deadlines,, Joint Proposed Production Schedule filed by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 06/24/2015)
2015-06-26MINUTE ORDER. In light of the representations made in the parties' 11 Joint Proposed Production Schedule, it is hereby ORDERED that by 8/3/2015, defendant shall complete the process of gathering records potentially responsive to plaintiff's request and establish a reasonable timetable for the production of non-exempt portions of responsive records, and the parties shall file a status report containing a proposed schedule for production of non-exempt portions of responsive records. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 06/26/2015. (lckbj1) (Entered: 06/26/2015)
2015-07-3012NOTICE of Appearance by Stephen McCoy Elliott on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 07/30/2015)
2015-08-0313STATUS REPORT (Joint) by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 08/03/2015)
2015-08-04MINUTE ORDER. Based on the representations made in the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall file a status report proposing a schedule for the production of non-exempt, responsive records from its initial search for potentially responsive materials by 8/13/2015. It is FURTHER ORDERED that a Status Conference is set for 9/8/2015 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 17 before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson; Defendant shall scan and preliminarily review the 20 boxes of records it recently received in the time leading up to this status conference. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 08/04/2015. (lckbj1) (Entered: 08/04/2015)
2015-08-1314STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 08/13/2015)
2015-08-2015NOTICE of Related District Court Actions by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 08/20/2015)
2015-08-2616NOTICE of New Information by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 08/26/2015)
2015-09-0317NOTICE Regarding Defendant's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 United States Department of State's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge and Memorandum in Support)(Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 09/03/2015)
2015-09-0318MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Defendant's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 09/03/2015)
2015-09-0419NOTICE of Court Order in Miscellaneous Case Number 15-1188 by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Order, Misc. No. 15-1188)(Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 09/04/2015)
2015-09-04MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Order entered today in In Re: U.S. Department of State FOIA Litigation Regarding Emails of Certain Former Officials, 15-mc-1188, it is hereby ORDERED that the Status Conference currently set for 9/8/2015 is VACATED and RESET for 9/24/2015 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 17 before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 09/04/2015. (lckbj1, ) (Entered: 09/04/2015)
2015-09-1020Memorandum in opposition to re 18 MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Defendant's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge filed by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 09/10/2015)
2015-09-14MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Papal Visit to Capitol Hill on 9/24/2015, it is hereby ORDERED that the Status Conference currently set for 9/24/2015 is VACATED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall submit, by 9/21/2015, a Status Report that proposes three agreed-upon dates and times on or after 10/1/2015 for the Status Conference to be held. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 09/14/2015. (lckbj1, ) (Entered: 09/14/2015)
2015-09-2021Joint STATUS REPORT Proposing Dates for Status Conference by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 09/20/2015)
2015-09-21NOTICE of Hearing: Status Conference set for 10/23/2015 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 17 before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (gdf) (Entered: 09/21/2015)
2015-09-2122REPLY to opposition to motion re 18 MOTION to Stay Pending Resolution of Defendant's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 09/21/2015)
2015-10-07MINUTE ORDER. It is hereby ORDERED that the Status Conference currently set for 10/23/2015 at 10:00 AM is VACATED and RESET for 10/23/2015 at 02:30 PM in Courtroom 17 before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 10/7/2015. (lckbj1) (Entered: 10/07/2015)
2015-10-19MINUTE ORDER. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's 18 Motion to Stay is DENIED AS MOOT, because the Chief Judge of this Court denied Defendant's Motion for Designation of Coordinating Judge on October 8, 2015 (see In Re: U.S. Dep't of State FOIA Litig. Regarding Emails of Certain Former Officials, No. 15-mc-01188, ECF No. 41). It is FURTHER ORDERED that, at the status conference that has been scheduled for October 23 in the instant matter, Defendant shall be prepared to address (1) whether Defendant has, to date, produced any documents pursuant to the proposed production schedule outlined in the 14 Status Report that Defendant filed on August 13, 2015, and if not, why not, and (2) what schedule Defendant proposes regarding production of responsive documents from the 20 boxes of material it received from Mr. Reines, in light of the governments representations in Leopold v. Dep't of State (15-cv-123-RC) that much of that material is now electronically searchable (see id., ECF No. 34, at 3). Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on October 19, 2015. (lckbj3, ) (Entered: 10/19/2015)
2015-10-23Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson: Status Conference held on 10/23/2015. New Status Conference set for 12/10/2015 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 17 before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Court Reporter Barbara DeVico) (gdf) (Entered: 10/23/2015)
2015-10-2823TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson held on 10-23-15; Page Numbers: 1-19. Date of Issuance:10-28-15. Court Reporter/Transcriber Barbara DeVico, Telephone number (202)354-3118, Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the <a href=http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/dcd/node/2189>Transcript Order Form.</a><P></P><P></P>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, PDF or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter.<P> 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.<P></P> Redaction Request due 11/18/2015. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 11/28/2015. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/26/2016.(DeVico, Barbara) (Entered: 10/28/2015)
2015-11-1824MOTION to Compel by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 11/18/2015)
2015-12-0625NOTICE of Concession by Defendant Department of State by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 12/06/2015)
2015-12-0726RESPONSE re 24 MOTION to Compel filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 12/07/2015)
2015-12-0927REPLY to opposition to motion re 24 MOTION to Compel filed by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC. (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 12/09/2015)
2015-12-10Minute Order: Status Conference held before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 12/10/2015. Denying 24 Motion to Compel. (Court Reporter Barbara DeVico) (gdf) (Entered: 12/10/2015)
2015-12-1728TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson held on 12-10-15; Page Numbers: 1-40. Date of Issuance:12-17-15. Court Reporter/Transcriber Barbara DeVico, Telephone number (202)354-3118, Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the <a href=http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/dcd/node/2189>Transcript Order Form.</a><P></P><P></P>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, PDF or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter.<P> 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.<P></P> Redaction Request due 1/7/2016. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/17/2016. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/16/2016.(DeVico, Barbara) (Entered: 12/17/2015)
2016-01-06MINUTE ORDER requiring the parties to submit a joint report regarding the status of production of documents in response to Plaintiff's FOIA request by 2/1/2016, and every 60 days thereafter. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 1/6/2016. (lckbj1) (Entered: 01/06/2016)
2016-02-0129ENTERED IN ERROR.....Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Olson, Lisa) Modified on 2/1/2016 (jf). (Entered: 02/01/2016)
2016-02-01NOTICE OF ERROR re 29 Status Report; emailed to lisa.olson@usdoj.gov, cc'd 8 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Invalid attorney signature (jf, ) (Entered: 02/01/2016)
2016-02-0130Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 02/01/2016)
2016-03-2131NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. Attorney Lisa Ann Olson terminated. (Olson, Lisa) (Entered: 03/21/2016)
2016-04-0132Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 04/01/2016)
2016-05-3133Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 05/31/2016)
2016-05-31MINUTE ORDER requiring Defendant to file a a status report on June 30, 2016, updating the Court as to the amount of time it needs to finish processing the remaining materials. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on May 31, 2016. (lckbj3, ) (Entered: 05/31/2016)
2016-06-3034STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 06/30/2016)
2016-09-1235Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 09/12/2016)
2016-09-15MINUTE ORDER. In light of the representations made in the parties' 35 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before 10/3/2016, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 09/15/2016. (lckbj1) (Entered: 09/15/2016)
2016-10-0336Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 10/03/2016)
2016-10-1137Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 10/11/2016)
2016-10-12MINUTE ORDER. Based on the representations in the parties' Joint 37 Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before 11/14/2016, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 10/12/2016. (lckbj1) (Entered: 10/12/2016)
2016-11-1438Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 11/14/2016)
2016-11-17MINUTE ORDER. Based on the representations in the parties' 38 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before 12/19/2016, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 11/17/2016. (lckbj3) (Entered: 11/17/2016)
2016-12-1939Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Elliott, Stephen) (Entered: 12/19/2016)
2016-12-21MINUTE ORDER ADOPTING the parties' joint proposed schedule for briefing summary judgment in this matter. It is hereby ORDERED that the following briefing schedule is set: Defendant's motion for summary judgment is due on or before 1/31/2017; Plaintiffs' consolidated opposition thereto and cross-motion for summary judgment is due on or before 2/28/2017; Defendant's consolidated summary judgment reply and cross-motion opposition is due on or before 3/28/2017; Plaintiffs' cross-motion reply is due on or before 4/11/2017. The Court will entertain a motion to stay this briefing schedule and to extend the time to respond to a motion for discovery if and when any such motion for discovery is filed. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 12/21/2016. (lckbj1) (Entered: 12/21/2016)
2017-01-2540NOTICE of Appearance by Dena Michal Roth on behalf of All Defendants (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 01/25/2017)
2017-01-3141MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Roth, Dena) (Entered: 01/31/2017)
2017-02-2242Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 02/22/2017)
2017-02-23MINUTE ORDER granting 42 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response re 41 Motion for Summary Judgment. It is hereby ORDERED that the briefing schedule in this matter is amended as follows: Plaintiffs' consolidated opposition to 41 and cross-motion for summary judgment is due on or before 3/14/2017; Defendant's consolidated summary judgment reply and cross-motion opposition is due on or before 4/11/2017; Plaintiffs' cross-motion reply is due on or before 4/25/2017. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 02/23/2017. (lckbj1) (Entered: 02/23/2017)
2017-03-1043Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/10/2017)
2017-03-13MINUTE ORDER granting 43 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Response re 41 Motion for Summary Judgment. It is hereby ORDERED that the briefing schedule in this matter is amended as follows: Plaintiffs' consolidated opposition to 41 and cross-motion for summary judgment is due on or before 3/24/2017; Defendant's consolidated summary judgment reply and cross-motion opposition is due on or before 4/21/2017; Plaintiffs' cross-motion reply is due on or before 5/9/2017. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 3/13/2017. (lckbj3) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-15Set/Reset Deadlines: Cross Motions due by 3/24/2017. Response to Cross Motions due by 4/21/2017. Reply to Cross Motions due by 5/9/2017. (gdf) (Entered: 03/15/2017)
2017-03-2444Cross MOTION for Discovery by JOHN COOK, GAWKER MEDIA, LLC (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit Declaration of Bradley P. Moss, Esq., # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/24/2017)
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