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Case TitleSEAVEY v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2015cv01303
Date Filed2015-08-12
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Gladys Kessler
PlaintiffNINA GILDEN SEAVEY
Case DescriptionNina Seavey, a documentary filmmaker, submitted a voluminous number of FOIA requests to the FBI for records concerning the 1970 burning of an ROTC building on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis as well as records related to various individuals and the agency's COINTELPRO investigations. While the agency responded to some of the requests, most of the requests remained unanswered. Seavey eventually filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Washington, DC 20505
TERMINATED: 10/04/2016
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
TERMINATED: 10/04/2016
DefendantNATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Opinion/Order [59]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Gladys Kessler has ruled that Nina Seavey, a professor of history and film at George Washington University who has been working on a documentary about anti-Vietnam War dissent in St. Louis in the 1960s and 1970s is entitled to a fee waiver because her film will further the public interest in knowing what the government is up to. The FBI granted Seavey's request for inclusion in the news media fee category, but denied her request for a fee waiver. In granting the fee waiver, Kessler noted that fees would be considerably less because the FBI had found that it had no records for many of the subparts of Seavey's voluminous request. Kessler pointed out that "it is clear to the Court that Professor Seavey certainly [would enhance public understanding]. She has presented a clear and totally persuasive argument that the materials she seeks will enable her to present to the public the distinct experience of student activists and their interactions with the local law enforcement bodies, and, therefore, disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to significantly enhance public understanding of the operations and/or activities of the government." She pointed out that "the fact that some undisclosed records may contain information that is repetitive to what is already public, does not undermine her entitlement to a fee waiver." Underscoring the importance of public understanding of government activities, she observed that "at this present time in our country's history, it is important as never before, that the American public be as educated as possible as to what 'our Government is up to.'"
Issues: Public Interest Fee Waiver, Public Interest Fee Waiver - Shed light on government activities
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2015-08-121COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4207866) filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-I, # 2 Summons Attorney General, # 3 Summons Department of Justice, # 4 Summons U.S. Attorney's Office, # 5 Civil Cover Sheet)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/12/2015)
2015-08-12Case Assigned to Judge Gladys Kessler. (sth) (Entered: 08/12/2015)
2015-08-122SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(sth) (Entered: 08/12/2015)
2015-08-213RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 8/13/2015. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 9/12/2015.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 8/13/2015., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 8/13/2015 (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/21/2015)
2015-09-014NOTICE of Appearance by Marina Utgoff Braswell on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 09/01/2015)
2015-09-105Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to the Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 09/10/2015)
2015-09-116ORDER granting 5 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on September 11, 2015. (lcgk2, ) (Entered: 09/11/2015)
2015-10-197AMENDED COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-M, # 2 Summons CIA, # 3 Summons NARA)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 10/19/2015)
2015-10-208SUMMONS (2) Issued Electronically as to CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION. (znmw) (Entered: 10/20/2015)
2015-11-199Joint MOTION to Stay by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 11/19/2015)
2015-11-1910ORDER granting 9 the Joint Motion to Stay; this case is stayed until May 19, 2016, including Defendants' obligation to respond to the First Amended Complaint; the Parties shall file a Joint Status Report every sixty days, beginning with the sixtieth day from the date of this Order. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 11/19/15. (CL) (Entered: 11/19/2015)
2015-11-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Reports due ever sixty days beginning on January 18, 2016 (CL) (Entered: 11/19/2015)
2015-11-19Case Stayed (tth) (Entered: 11/19/2015)
2016-01-1911Joint STATUS REPORT by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION. (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 01/19/2016)
2016-03-2112Joint STATUS REPORT by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION. (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 03/21/2016)
2016-05-2013Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 05/20/2016)
2016-05-2014ORDER that the Defendants' obligation to respond to Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint is stayed until July 19, 2016; the Parties shall file a Joint Status Report on July 19, 2016; the Parties shall abide by the schedule with respect to briefing of cross-motions for summary judgment (see Order for details). Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 5/20/16. (CL) (Entered: 05/20/2016)
2016-05-20Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 6/29/2016. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 7/26/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 8/26/2016. Cross Motions due by 7/26/2016. Response to Cross Motions due by 8/26/2016. Reply to Cross Motions due by 9/27/2016. Status Report due by 7/19/2016 (CL) (Entered: 05/20/2016)
2016-06-2815Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Partial Summary Judgment by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 06/28/2016)
2016-06-2916ORDER granting 15 Motion for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motions (see Order for details). Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 6/29/16. (CL) (Entered: 06/29/2016)
2016-06-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 7/18/2016. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 8/19/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 9/15/2016. Cross Motions due by 8/19/2016. Response to Cross Motions due by 9/15/2016. Reply to Cross Motions due by 10/17/2016. (CL) (Entered: 06/29/2016)
2016-07-1817MOTION for Summary Judgment in Part by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Hardy Declaration, # 2 Hardy Declaration Exhibits)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 07/18/2016)
2016-07-1918Joint STATUS REPORT and Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 07/19/2016)
2016-07-1919Joint MOTION for Extension of Time by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION, NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (See Docket Entry 18 to view document). (znmw) (Entered: 07/20/2016)
2016-07-2120ORDER granting 19 the Parties' Joint Motion for Extension of Time; the stay in this case is hereby lifted; Defendants' response to the Amended Complaint is deferred until completion of the production of non-exempt records, the entry of a briefing schedule, and the filing of Defendants' dispositive motion on the merits of and Freedom of Information Act exemption claims; the Parties shall file a Joint Status Report on August 19, 2016, which shall include, if appropriate, a briefing schedule for any issues that require intervention by the Court. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 7/21/16. (CL) (Entered: 07/21/2016)
2016-07-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/19/2016 (CL) (Entered: 07/21/2016)
2016-08-1921Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-1922Memorandum in opposition to re 17 MOTION for Summary Judgment in Part filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1-6, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-1923Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (Fee waiver) by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1-6, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-22MINUTE ORDER granting 21 Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time; the Parties shall have up to and including August 26, 2016, in which to file their Joint Status Report. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 8/22/16. (CL) (Entered: 08/22/2016)
2016-08-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/26/2016 (CL). (Entered: 08/22/2016)
2016-08-2624Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/26/2016)
2016-08-3125ORDER that the Parties shall submit a Proposed Schedule on or before September 2, 2016, for briefing on the issue of how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process for release; and the Parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report on September 26, 2016. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 8/31/16. (CL) (Entered: 08/31/2016)
2016-08-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 9/26/2016 (CL). (Entered: 08/31/2016)
2016-09-0226Joint STATUS REPORT regarding Briefing Schedule for FBI monthly production requirements by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 09/02/2016)
2016-09-0627ORDER setting forth the briefing schedule on the issue of how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process for release (see Order for details). Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 9/6/16. (CL) (Entered: 09/06/2016)
2016-09-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Motion due by 9/19/2016. Defendants' Response due by 10/17/16. Plaintiff's Reply due by 11/21/16 (CL) (Entered: 09/06/2016)
2016-09-1328Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 23 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (Fee waiver) , 17 MOTION for Summary Judgment in Part by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 09/13/2016)
2016-09-1529ORDER granting 28 Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time; the FBI shall have up to and including September 22, 2016, in which to file its Reply in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; Plaintiff shall have up to and including October 17, 2016, in which to file her Reply in Support of Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 9/15/16. (CL) (Entered: 09/15/2016)
2016-09-15Set/Reset Deadlines: Response to Cross Motions due by 9/22/2016. Reply to Cross Motions due by 10/17/2016. Reply to Motion for Partial Summary Judgment due by 9/22/2016. (CL) (Entered: 09/15/2016)
2016-09-1930MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1-7, # 2 Exhibit 8-16, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 09/19/2016)
2016-09-2131Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 23 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (Fee waiver) by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 09/21/2016)
2016-09-2132ORDER granting 31 Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time; the FBI shall have up to and including September 30, 2016, in which to file its Reply in Support of the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion; Plaintiff shall have up to and including October 17, 2016, in which to file her Reply in Support of Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 9/21/16. (CL) (Entered: 09/21/2016)
2016-09-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Reply to Motion for Partial Summary Judgment due by 9/30/2016. Response to Cross Motions due by 9/30/2016. Reply to Cross Motions due by 10/17/2016. (CL) (Entered: 09/21/2016)
2016-09-3033REPLY to opposition to motion re 17 MOTION for Summary Judgment in Part filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Second Hardy Declaration)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 09/30/2016)
2016-09-3034Memorandum in opposition to re 23 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (Fee waiver) filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Response to Statement of Material Facts, # 2 Second Hardy Declaration)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 09/30/2016)
2016-10-0435NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal re Central Intelligence Agency (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 10/04/2016)
2016-10-0536Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 10/05/2016)
2016-10-0737ORDER re 36 Status Report filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. The Parties are ordered to submit their next joint status report on November 4, 2016. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 10/6/2016. (lcgk2, ) (Entered: 10/07/2016)
2016-10-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 11/4/2016 (zsm) (Entered: 10/07/2016)
2016-10-1438Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 30 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 10/14/2016)
2016-10-1739ORDER granting 38 Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time; Defendants shall have up to and including October 25, 2016, in which to file their response to Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the rate that the FBI processes documents responsive to Plaintiff's Freedom on Information Act request. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 10/17/16. (CL) (Entered: 10/17/2016)
2016-10-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Responses due by 10/25/2016 (CL) (Entered: 10/17/2016)
2016-10-1740REPLY to opposition to motion re 23 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (Fee waiver) filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 10/17/2016)
2016-10-1741ERRATA by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY 40 Reply to opposition to Motion filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 10/17/2016)
2016-10-2442Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 30 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 10/24/2016)
2016-10-2543ORDER granting 42 Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time; Defendants shall have up to and including November 2, 2016, in which to file an Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; Plaintiff may have up to and including November 28, 2016, in which to file her Reply. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 10/25/16. (CL) (Entered: 10/25/2016)
2016-10-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Response to Motion for Partial Summary Judgment due by 11/2/2016. Reply to Motion for Partial Summary Judgment due by 11/28/2016. (CL) (Entered: 10/25/2016)
2016-11-0244Consent MOTION to Stay , Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment , Partial by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Third Hardy Declaration, # 2 Exhibit A-C)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 11/02/2016)
2016-11-0245Memorandum in opposition to re 30 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Third Hardy Declaration, # 2 Exhibit A-C)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 11/02/2016)
2016-11-0446ORDER denying 44 Defendant's Consent Motion to Stay Entry of a Briefing Schedule (see Order for details). Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 11/4/16. (CL) (Entered: 11/04/2016)
2016-11-0447Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 11/04/2016)
2016-11-0948ORDER that the Parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report on or before December 5, 2016. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 11/9/16. (CL) (Entered: 11/09/2016)
2016-11-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 12/5/2016 (CL) (Entered: 11/09/2016)
2016-11-2849REPLY to opposition to motion re 30 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process filed by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 and 2)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 11/28/2016)
2016-12-0550Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 12/05/2016)
2016-12-0651ORDER that the Parties shall submit their next Joint Status Report no later than January 13, 2017. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 12/6/16. (CL) (Entered: 12/06/2016)
2016-12-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 1/13/2017 (CL) (Entered: 12/06/2016)
2017-02-0652Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 02/06/2017)
2017-02-06MINUTE ORDER: The Parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report to the Court on March 8, 2017. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 2/6/17. (CL) (Entered: 02/06/2017)
2017-02-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 3/8/2017 (CL) (Entered: 02/06/2017)
2017-03-0953Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 03/09/2017)
2017-03-1354ORDER that the Parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report on or before May 1, 2017. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 3/13/17. (CL) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 5/1/2017 (CL) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-05-0155Joint STATUS REPORT by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 05/01/2017)
2017-05-02MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the Parties' Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the Parties submit their next Joint Status Report on June 30, 2017. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 5/2/17. (CL) (Entered: 05/02/2017)
2017-05-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 6/30/2017 (CL) (Entered: 05/02/2017)
2017-05-0856STIPULATION of Dismissal and Settlement as to Defendant NARA by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY. (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 05/08/2017)
2017-05-0957VOLUNTARY STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL as to the National Archives and Records Administration (this copy of the Voluntary Stipulation has the Judge's signature on the last page). Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 5/9/17. (CL) (Entered: 05/09/2017)
2017-05-1658ORDER denying 17 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment in Part; and granting 23 Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 5/16/17. (CL) (Entered: 05/16/2017)
2017-05-1659MEMORANDUM OPINION to the Motion and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 5/16/17. (CL) (Entered: 05/16/2017)
2017-05-1660ORDER that Defendant shall submit a Status Report no later than May 31, 2017 (see Order for details as to what should be indicated in that Status Report). Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 5/16/17. (CL) (Entered: 05/16/2017)
2017-05-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Status Report due by 5/31/2017 (CL) (Entered: 05/16/2017)
2017-05-3161STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Fourth Hardy Declaration)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 05/31/2017)
2017-06-0862Joint MOTION to Hold in Abeyance re 30 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to how many pages per month the FBI should be required to process by NINA GILDEN SEAVEY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 06/08/2017)
2017-06-0963ORDER granting 62 the Parties' Joint Motion to Hold in Abeyance, until July 14, 2017, Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; it is also ORDERED that the Parties shall file a Joint Status Report on July 14, 2017, supplementing Defendant's May 31, 2017, Status Report. Signed by Judge Gladys Kessler on 7/9/17. (CL) (Entered: 06/09/2017)
2017-06-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/14/2017 (CL) (Entered: 06/09/2017)
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