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Case TitleCLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv00124
Date Filed2016-01-26
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Amit P. Mehta
PlaintiffCLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER
Case DescriptionClimate Investigations Center, an association of advocates, bloggers, and researchers, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Energy for communications between the National Energy Technology Laboratory and various other parties named in the request. The agency provided a handful of documents, but after receiving no substantive response to its request, the Climate Investigation Center filed an appeal. This led to further partial disclosures. The agency withheld some records under Exemption 4 (confidential business information), Exemption 5 (privileges), and Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy). The Climate Investigations Center finally filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Amended complaint
Opinion/Order [21]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-01-261COMPLAINT Climate Investigations Center against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4389249) filed by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Summons 1, # 3 Summons Summons 2, # 4 Summons Summons 3)(Eubanks, Sharon) (Entered: 01/26/2016)
2016-01-26Case Assigned to Judge Amit P. Mehta. (sth) (Entered: 01/27/2016)
2016-01-272SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(sth) (Entered: 01/27/2016)
2016-01-293AMENDED COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY filed by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER.(Eubanks, Sharon) (Entered: 01/29/2016)
2016-02-194NOTICE of Appearance by Britney Berry on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (Berry, Britney) (Entered: 02/19/2016)
2016-03-085Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiff's Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Berry, Britney) (Entered: 03/08/2016)
2016-03-08MINUTE ORDER granting 5 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant shall file its answer or other response to 3 Plaintiff's Amended Complaint on or before April 8, 2016. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/08/2016. (lcapm3) (Entered: 03/08/2016)
2016-04-086Defendant's ANSWER to 3 Amended Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. Related document: 3 Amended Complaint filed by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G)(Berry, Britney) (Entered: 04/08/2016)
2016-04-087NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Johnny Hillary Walker, III on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Substituting for attorney Britney Berry (Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 04/08/2016)
2016-04-088ORDER: Both a Complaint and an Answer are now before the court in this FOIA case. It is hereby ordered that the parties shall meet and confer and file a Joint Status Report on or before April 22, 2016. Please see the attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/08/2016. (lcapm3) (Entered: 04/08/2016)
2016-04-08Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 4/22/2016. (cdw) (Entered: 04/11/2016)
2016-04-229Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 04/22/2016)
2016-04-25MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the 9 Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file, on or before June 21, 2016, a subsequent Joint Status Report advising the court of the parties' progress and suggesting next steps. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/25/2016. (lcapm3) (Entered: 04/25/2016)
2016-04-26Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 6/21/2016. (zmm) (Entered: 04/26/2016)
2016-06-2110Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. (Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 06/21/2016)
2016-06-23MINUTE ORDER: The court has reviewed 10 the parties' joint status report dated June 21, 2016, and has considered their respective positions as to further proceedings in this case. In the court's view, Defendant U.S. Department of Energy has provided good cause for the 62-day period that it seeks before submitting another joint status report. Accordingly, the parties shall submit a joint status report on August 22, 2016, in which the parties advise the court about the status of disclosures and Defendant's exemptions determinations. If appropriate, the parties shall propose a schedule for summary judgment briefing. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 06/23/2016. (lcapm3) (Entered: 06/23/2016)
2016-06-23Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 8/22/2016. (cdw) (Entered: 06/23/2016)
2016-08-2211Joint STATUS REPORT and Proposed Briefing Schedule by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order by Plaintiff, # 2 Text of Proposed Order by Defendant)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 08/22/2016)
2016-08-23VACATED PURSUANT TO COURT'S ORDER OF 10/7/2016............MINUTE ORDER entering the following schedule for further proceedings, as proposed by the parties in their 11 Joint Status Report: (1) Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed by October 6, 2016; (2) Plaintiff's Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed by November 7, 2016; (3) Defendant's Reply and Opposition shall be filed by December 7, 2016; and (4) Plaintiff's Reply shall be filed by December 28, 2016. The court, at this time, declines to impose a production deadline. However, in light of the parties' agreement on a briefing schedule, the court will not be inclined to modify it to accommodate any delays in production. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/23/2016. (lcapm3) Modified on 8/23/2016 (cdw). Modified on 10/7/2016 (zcdw). (Entered: 08/23/2016)
2016-08-23Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Summary Judgment motion due by 10/6/2016. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 11/7/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/7/2016. Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 11/7/2016. Response to Cross Motion due by 12/7/2016. Reply to Cross Motion due by 12/28/2016. (cdw) (Entered: 08/23/2016)
2016-10-0612MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 10/06/2016)
2016-10-07VACATED PURSUANT TO COURT'S ORDER OF 12/9/2016............MINUTE ORDER granting 12 Motion for an Extension of Time to Move for Summary Judgment. The briefing schedule in this matter is the following: Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment shall be due on or before November 7, 2016; Plaintiff's Response and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment shall be due on or before December 9, 2016; Defendant's Response and Reply shall be due on or before January 9, 2017; Plaintiff's Reply shall be due on or before January 30, 2017. The August 23, 2016, Minute Order setting the briefing schedule in this case is hereby vacated. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 10/07/2016. Modified on 12/9/2016 (zcdw). (Entered: 10/07/2016)
2016-10-07Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Summary Judgment motion due by 11/7/2016. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/9/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/9/2017. Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 12/9/2016. Response to Cross Motion due by 1/9/2017. Reply to Cross Motions due by 1/30/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 10/07/2016)
2016-11-0713MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Declaration of Ann Dunlap (with exhibits), # 4 Declaration of Alexander Morris (with exhibits), # 5 Exhibit 1: NETL's Vaughn Index, # 6 Exhibit 2: DOE Headquarters' Vaughn Index, # 7 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 11/07/2016)
2016-12-0814Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 13 MOTION for Summary Judgment by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Eubanks, Sharon) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-09VACATED PURSUANT TO COURT'S ORDER OF 1/12/2017............ MINUTE ORDER granting 14 Motion for Extension of Time to File Plaintiff's Response and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. The revised briefing schedule in this matter is as follows: Plaintiff's Response and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment shall be due on or before December 16, 2016; Defendant's Response and Reply shall be due on or before January 17, 2017; Plaintiff's Reply shall be due on or before February 6, 2017. The October 7, 2016, Minute Order setting the briefing schedule in this case is hereby vacated. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 12/09/2016. (lcapm3) Modified on 1/13/2017 (zcdw). (Entered: 12/09/2016)
2016-12-09Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Plaintiff's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/16/2016. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/17/2017. Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 12/16/2016. Response to Cross Motion due by 1/17/2017. Reply to Cross Motion due by 2/6/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 12/09/2016)
2016-12-1615Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Partial Cross Motion and Opposition, # 2 Declaration of Dan Zegart, # 3 Exhibit (A-L) to Declaration of Dan Zegart, # 4 Exhibit (M-R) to Declaration of Dan Zegart, # 5 Statement of Facts, # 6 Statement of Genuine Issues, # 7 Text of Proposed Order)(Eubanks, Sharon). (Entered: 12/16/2016)
2016-12-1616Memorandum in opposition to re 13 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER. (See Docket Entry 15 to view document). (znmw) (Entered: 12/19/2016)
2017-01-1117Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File a Reply in Support of Its Motion for Summary Judgment and an Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 01/11/2017)
2017-01-12MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant's 17 Consent Motion for an Extension of Time. Defendant's Reply and Opposition shall be due on or before January 30, 2017, and Plaintiff's Reply shall be due on or before February 21, 2017. The December 9, 2016, Minute Order setting the briefing schedule in this case is hereby vacated. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 01/12/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 01/12/2017)
2017-01-12Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's reply and response due by 1/30/2017. Plaintiff's reply due by 2/21/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 01/13/2017)
2017-01-3018Memorandum in opposition to re 15 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 3, # 2 Supplemental Declaration of Ann Dunlap (with exhibits), # 3 Supplemental Declaration of Alexander Morris (with exhibit), # 4 Statement of Genuine Issues, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) . (Entered: 01/30/2017)
2017-01-3019REPLY to opposition to motion re 13 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY. (Walker, Johnny) Modified on 1/31/2017 to correct docket linkage (jf). (Entered: 01/30/2017)
2017-02-2120REPLY to opposition to motion re 13 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CLIMATE INVESTIGATIONS CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Eubanks, Sharon) (Entered: 02/21/2017)
2017-09-1121MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying Defendant's 13 Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's 15 Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. If Defendant intends to renew its Motion for Summary Judgment, then the parties shall meet and confer and propose a briefing schedule by no later than October 2, 2017. See the attached Memorandum Opinion and Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 09/11/2017. (lcapm1) (Entered: 09/11/2017)
2017-09-11Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 10/2/2017. (zcdw) (Entered: 09/12/2017)
2017-10-0222Joint MOTION for Briefing Schedule by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 10/02/2017)
2017-10-02MINUTE ORDER setting the schedule for further proceedings in this matter: (1) on or before November 1, 2017, the parties shall submit a Joint Status Report updating the court on the parties' efforts to resolve this dispute without further briefing; (2) Defendant shall file its Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment on or before November 16, 2017; (3) Plaintiff shall file its Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment on or before December 18, 2017; (4) Defendant shall file its Reply in Support of Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment on or before January 8, 2018; and (5) Plaintiff shall file its Reply in Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment on or before January 29, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 10/02/2017. (lcapm1) (Entered: 10/02/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff