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Case TitleRoman et al v. United States Department of State
DistrictWestern District of Michigan
CitySouthern Division
Case Number1:2015cv00887
Date Filed2015-09-01
Date Closed2017-04-14
JudgeDistrict Judge Paul L. Maloney
PlaintiffJenny Theresa Roman
PlaintiffBenito Roman Lugo
Case DescriptionJenny Theresa Roman submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning the visa application of her husband, Benito Roman Lugo. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Roman filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Department of State
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [24]
Opinion/Order [25]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Michigan has ruled that a FOIA suit filed by Jenny Theresa Roman and her husband, Benito Roman Lugo, for records concerning why the Department of State rejected Roman's application for a visa for her husband became moot once she decided not to challenge the agency's exemption claims, but that to the extent Roman may be eligible for attorney's fees, that part of the litigation may continue, but would require Roman to provide a motion supporting her claim for fees. Roman filed suit after the agency failed to respond within the statutory time limit. The agency ultimately processed the request and indicated that Benito Roman Lugo had been found by the U.S. Consulate General in Mexico to be a member of an organized criminal entity and was ineligible for a visa. The magistrate judge noted that "while plaintiffs may seek attorney fees, their lawsuit is moot. Once the State Department turned over everything in its possession related to plaintiff's FOIA request, 'the merits of plaintiff's claim for relief in the form of production of information, became moot.'" However, the magistrate judge pointed out that although the issue of attorney's fees was still unsettled Roman had not provided any support for her general claim in her complaint that she had substantially prevailed. The magistrate judge observed that "while plaintiffs' response to the pending motion for summary judgment talks about attorney fees and their status as prevailing parties, a response brief is not a motion." The magistrate judge indicated that Roman could file a motion for attorney's fees if she so chose.
Issues: Litigation - Jurisdiction - Moot, Litigation - Attorney's fees - Eligibility
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2015-09-011COMPLAINT against All Defendants filed by Jenny Theresa Roman, Benito Roman Lugo (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Letter from Consulate) (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 09/01/2015)
2015-09-01FILING FEE PAID re 1 by plaintiffs Jenny Theresa Roman, Benito Roman Lugo in the amount of $400, receipt number 0646-3300799 (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 09/01/2015)
2015-09-012NOTICE that this case has been assigned Paul L. Maloney (pjw) (Entered: 09/01/2015)
2015-09-01SUMMONS NOT ISSUED as to defendant United States Department of State (none provided) (pjw) (Entered: 09/01/2015)
2015-09-013PROPOSED SUMMONS to be issued re 1 (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 09/01/2015)
2015-09-024SUMMONS ISSUED as to defendant United States Department of State (pjw) (Entered: 09/02/2015)
2015-12-075NOTICE OF IMPENDING DISMISSAL for failure to serve; verified petition regarding Service of Process to be submitted by 12/30/2015 or the case will be dismissed; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 12/07/2015)
2015-12-286NOTICE of Proof of Service by plaintiff Benito Roman Lugo (Attachments: # 1 Return Receipt) (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 12/28/2015)
2015-12-287NOTICE of Proof of Service upon Attorney General by plaintiff Benito Roman Lugo (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Return Receipt) (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 12/28/2015)
2015-12-288NOTICE of Proof of Service upon United States Attorney's Office by plaintiff Benito Roman Lugo (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 12/28/2015)
2015-12-28SUMMONS returned executed on United States Department of State, US Attorney and US Attorney General; service upon defendant, United States Department of State complete on 12/2/2015, answer due 2/1/2016 (pjw) (Entered: 12/29/2015)
2015-12-299NOTICE to attorney Robert Alvarez regarding recent filing 6 (pjw) (Entered: 12/29/2015)
2016-01-0410ANSWER to complaint 1 with affirmative defenses by United States Department of State (Cobb, Ryan) (Entered: 01/04/2016)
2016-01-0611ORDER setting Rule 16 scheduling conference: Rule 16 scheduling conference is set for 2/22/2016 at 10:00 AM at 174 Federal Building, Kalamazoo, MI before District Judge Paul L. Maloney; status report due by 2/17/2016; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 01/06/2016)
2016-01-07(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of Christopher James Acklin on behalf of plaintiff Benito Roman Lugo (Acklin, Christopher) (Entered: 01/07/2016)
2016-02-1712JOINT STATUS REPORT (Alvarez, Robert) (Entered: 02/17/2016)
2016-02-1813ORDER regarding Rule 16 Scheduling Conference; conference will be conducted by telephone; counsel for plaintiffs is responsible for coordinating call; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 02/18/2016)
2016-02-2214MINUTES of scheduling conference by telephone held before District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Proceedings not recorded) (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 02/22/2016)
2016-02-2515INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 02/25/2016)
2016-05-0616MOTION for summary judgment by defendant United States Department of State; (Cobb, Ryan) (Entered: 05/06/2016)
2016-05-0617BRIEF in support of MOTION for summary judgment 16 filed by United States Department of State (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Stein Declaration) (Cobb, Ryan) (Entered: 05/06/2016)
2016-06-0518RESPONSE TO MOTION for summary judgment 16 filed by Benito Roman Lugo and Jenny Theresa Roman (Alvarez, Robert) Modified filers on 6/6/2016 (pjw). (Entered: 06/05/2016)
2016-06-3019UNOPPOSED MOTION for extension of time to of Briefing Deadlines. **Expedited Consideration Requested** by defendant United States Department of State; (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Order For Extension of Time) (Cobb, Ryan) (Entered: 06/30/2016)
2016-06-3020CERTIFICATE regarding compliance with LCivR 7.1(d) filed by United States Department of State (Cobb, Ryan) (Entered: 06/30/2016)
2016-06-3021ORDER granting 19 motion for extension of time; defendant's response brief due 8/5/2016; plaintiff's reply brief due 8/19/2016; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 06/30/2016)
2016-08-0522REPLY to response to motion 16 filed by United States Department of State (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Second Declaration of Eric F. Stein) (Cobb, Ryan) (Entered: 08/05/2016)
2016-08-12(NON-DOCUMENT) ORDER REFERRING MOTION for summary judgment 16 to Magistrate Judge Ray Kent pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(B) (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 08/12/2016)
2017-03-2723REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 16 ; objections to R&R due within 14 days; signed by Magistrate Judge Ray Kent (Magistrate Judge Ray Kent, fhw) (Entered: 03/27/2017)
2017-04-1424ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 23 ; denying motion for summary judgment 16 ; dismissing case as moot; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 04/14/2017)
2017-04-1425JUDGMENT; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, acr) (Entered: 04/14/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff