Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleSeth Rosenfeld v. United States Department of Justice et al
DistrictNorthern District of California
CityOakland
Case Number4:2016cv01154
Date Filed2016-03-09
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeMagistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore
PlaintiffSeth Rosenfeld
Case DescriptionJournalist Seth Rosenfeld submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning Black Panther Party founder Huey Newton. He agreed to pay up to $200, but reserved the right to request a fee waiver at a later point. The agency contacted Rosenfeld and told him it had exhausted his two hours of free search time and had searched an additional hour at a cost of $25. The agency told Rosenfeld he would need to pay the $25 or his request would be administratively closed. Rosenfeld paid the $25, but two months later wrote to the FBI asking that his payments for search be refunded since he was a member of the news media. The agency denied Rosenfeld news media status. He appealed the decision to OIP, which upheld the FBI's decision based on its conclusion that Rosenfeld, as a freelance journalist, had not shown that he had any commitment from a media outlet to publish and disseminate the information. The FBI also denied his request for a fee waiver, indicating that disclosure of the Newton records were not in the public interest because they would provide nothing new that was not already publicly available. OIP also affirmed that decision. The FBI then closed Rosenfeld's request for records on Huey Newton and told Rosenfeld that it would not process any further requests from him until he paid the fees. Rosenfeld filed suit, arguing that because the agency had failed to respond within 20 days it was no longer entitled to charge fees, that Rosenfeld was a member of the news media and that he was entitled to a fee waiver for the Newton records.
Complaint issues: Fee Category - Media or Educational, Fees - Commitment to pay, Time Limits - Tolling of fees, Public Interest Fee Waiver

DefendantUnited States Department of Justice
DefendantFederal Bureau of Investigation an agency of the United States Department of Justice
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-03-091COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0971-10275195.). Filed bySeth Rosenfeld. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibits A-E, # 2 Exhibits F-K, # 3 Exhibits L-R, # 4 Exhibits S-BB, # 5 Civil Cover Sheet)(Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/9/2016) (Entered: 03/09/2016)
2016-03-092Certificate of Interested Entities by Seth Rosenfeld re 1 Complaint, (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/9/2016) (Entered: 03/09/2016)
2016-03-093Proposed Summons. (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/9/2016) (Entered: 03/09/2016)
2016-03-094Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening. Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. by 3/23/2016. (bwS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/9/2016) (Entered: 03/09/2016)
2016-03-105Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 5/31/2016. Case Management Conference set for 6/7/2016 01:30 PM in Courtroom 4, 3rd Floor, Oakland. (cjlS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/10/2016) (Entered: 03/10/2016)
2016-03-106Summons Issued as to Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney. (cjlS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/10/2016) (Entered: 03/10/2016)
2016-03-157CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Seth Rosenfeld re 6 Summons Issued as to USA, 1 Complaint, and Misc. Documents (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/15/2016) (Entered: 03/15/2016)
2016-03-218CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Seth Rosenfeld re 6 Summons Issued as to USA, 4 Case Assigned by Intake,,, 5 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, 1 Complaint, 2 Certificate of Interested Entities Party Served: FBI (San Francisco) (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/21/2016) (Entered: 03/21/2016)
2016-03-219CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Seth Rosenfeld re 6 Summons Issued as to USA, 4 Case Assigned by Intake,,, 5 Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines, 1 Complaint, 2 Certificate of Interested Entities Party Served: U.S. Attorney's Office (San Francisco) (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/21/2016) (Entered: 03/21/2016)
2016-03-2910CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Seth Rosenfeld.. (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/29/2016) (Entered: 03/29/2016)
2016-03-2911CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Seth Rosenfeld re 10 Consent/Declination to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 3/29/2016) (Entered: 03/29/2016)
2016-04-1312CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice.. (Deiss, Ila) (Filed on 4/13/2016) (Entered: 04/13/2016)
2016-05-1713STIPULATION WITH [PROPOSED] ORDER to Vacate Dates filed by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Deiss, Ila) (Filed on 5/17/2016) Modified on 5/18/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/17/2016)
2016-05-1714Order by Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore granting 13 Stipulation to Vacate Dates. The Case Management Conference currently set for 6/7/2016 is hereby vacated. (mklS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/17/2016) (Entered: 05/17/2016)
2016-06-3015MOTION for leave to appear in Pro Hac Vice Re: Ronald G. London (Filing fee $305, receipt number 0971-10571795) filed by Seth Rosenfeld. (London, Ronald) (Filed on 6/30/2016) Modified on 7/1/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 06/30/2016)
2016-07-0117ORDER by Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore granting 15 Motion for Pro Hac Vice Re: Ronald G. London. (sisS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/1/2016) Modified on 7/7/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 07/06/2016)
2016-07-0516NOTICE of Substitution of Counsel by Rebecca Ann Falk (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 7/5/2016) (Entered: 07/05/2016)
2016-07-0618Joint Status Report And [Proposed] Order by Seth Rosenfeld. (Burke, Thomas) (Filed on 7/6/2016) Modified on 7/7/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 07/06/2016)
2016-07-0619ORDER STAYING CASE. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore on 7/6/16. (sisS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/6/2016) (Entered: 07/08/2016)
2016-08-0820Joint Status Report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 8/8/2016) Modified on 8/9/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 08/08/2016)
2016-09-0721Joint Status Report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 9/7/2016) Modified on 9/8/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 09/07/2016)
2016-10-2522JOINT STATUS REPORT by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 10/25/2016) Modified on 10/26/2016 (vlkS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 10/25/2016)
2016-11-2823Joint Status Report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 11/28/2016) Modified on 11/29/2016 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 11/28/2016)
2017-01-0524Joint Status Report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 1/5/2017) Modified on 1/6/2017 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 01/05/2017)
2017-02-0625Joint Status Report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 2/6/2017) Modified on 2/7/2017 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 02/06/2017)
2017-03-0626Joint Status Report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, and Seth Rosenfeld by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 3/6/2017) Modified on 3/7/2017 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 03/06/2017)
2017-04-0727JOINT STATUS REPORT by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice, Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 4/7/2017) Modified on 4/10/2017 (cjlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 04/07/2017)
2017-05-0828JOINT STATUS REPORT by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 5/8/2017) Modified on 5/9/2017 (jmlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 05/08/2017)
2017-06-0929STATUS REPORT JOINT STATUS REPORT by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice and Seth Rosenfeld. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 6/9/2017) Modified on 6/9/2017 (jmlS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 06/09/2017)
2017-07-1430STATUS REPORT JOINT STATUS REPORT by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 7/14/2017) (Entered: 07/14/2017)
2017-08-1431STATUS REPORT JOINT STATUS REPORT by Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Justice. (Falk, Rebecca) (Filed on 8/14/2017) (Entered: 08/14/2017)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff