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Case TitleJUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv00967
Date Filed2016-05-23
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Randolph D. Moss
PlaintiffJUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Case DescriptionJudicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for emails sent or received by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and several other high-ranking officials using non-government email addresses. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told Judicial Watch it could not search for non-government-generated emails. The agency indicated it would close Judicial Watch's request if it did not hear back from the organization within 30 days. The agency later provided a final response that indicated that it could only search for government-generated emails and it would need some kind of subject matter with keywords in order to conduct a search. The letter did not provide notice of Judicial Watch's right to appeal. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch filed suit.
Complaint issues: Litigation - Attorney's fees, Adequacy - Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Vaughn index

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
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

2016-05-231COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4539280) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons U.S. Attorney for DC, # 3 Summons U.S. Attorney General, # 4 Summons DHS)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 05/23/2016)
2016-05-232LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Peterson, James) (Entered: 05/23/2016)
2016-05-23Case Assigned to Judge Randolph D. Moss. (sth) (Entered: 05/23/2016)
2016-05-233SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(sth) (Entered: 05/23/2016)
2016-06-014RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/31/2016. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/30/2016.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/31/2016., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 5/27/2016 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Cristina Rotaru)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 06/01/2016)
2016-06-235NOTICE of Appearance by Jeremy S. Simon on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/23/2016)
2016-06-276NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Bailey Wilson Heaps on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Substituting for attorney Jeremy S. Simon (Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 06/27/2016)
2016-06-277Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 06/27/2016)
2016-06-28MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Defendant's unopposed motion for an extension of time 7 , it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. Defendant shall file an answer to the complaint on or before July 21, 2016. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 6/28/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 06/28/2016)
2016-06-28Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant shall file an answer to the complaint on or before 7/21/2016. (kt) (Entered: 06/28/2016)
2016-07-218ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 07/21/2016)
2016-07-25MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall appear for a status conference on August 4, 2016, at 2:30 p.m. in Courtroom 21. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 7/25/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 07/25/2016)
2016-07-26Set/Reset Hearings: A Status Conference is set for 8/4/2016, at 2:30 PM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 07/26/2016)
2016-08-03MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that the status conference scheduled for August 4, 2016, is VACATED and RESCHEDULED for August 29, 2016, at 10 a.m. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/3/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 08/03/2016)
2016-08-03Set/Reset Hearings: The Status Conference set for 8/4/2016 is VACATED and RESCHEDULED for 8/29/2016, at 10:00 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 08/03/2016)
2016-08-29Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 8/29/2016. Scheduling Order forthcoming. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook). (kt) (Entered: 08/29/2016)
2016-08-29MINUTE ORDER: As the parties agreed during today's status conference, the following schedule will govern further proceedings in this case: (1) Defendant shall submit a status report to the Court on or before September 28, 2016; (2) Defendant shall file a motion for summary judgment on or before October 17, 2016; (3) Plaintiff shall file an opposition and cross-motion, if any, on or before November 14, 2016; (4) Defendant shall file a reply and opposition, if any, on or before December 5, 2016; and (5) Plaintiff shall file a reply, if any, on or before December 19, 2016. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/29/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 08/29/2016)
2016-08-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant shall submit a status report to the Court on or before 9/28/2016; Defendant shall file a motion for summary judgment on or before 10/17/2016; Plaintiff shall file an opposition and cross-motion, if any, on or before 11/14/2016; Defendant shall file a reply and opposition, if any, on or before 12/5/2016; Plaintiff shall file a reply, if any, on or before 12/19/2016. (kt) (Entered: 08/29/2016)
2016-09-079TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Randolph D. Moss held on August 29, 2016; Page Numbers: 1 - 18; Date of Issuance: September 7, 2016; Court Reporter: Jeff Hook; Contact information: 202-354-3373; jeff_hook@dcd.uscourts.gov. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased fr om the court reporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. 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. Redaction Request due 9/28/2016. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/8/2016. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/6/2016.(Hook, Jeff) (Entered: 09/07/2016)
2016-09-2810STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 09/28/2016)
2016-10-1711WITHDRAWN PURSUANT TO MINUTE ORDER 6/1/2017.....MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Statement of Facts, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Heaps, Bailey) Modified on 6/1/2017 (kt). (Entered: 10/17/2016)
2016-11-0912Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File and Modify Briefing Schedule by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 11/09/2016)
2016-11-10MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for an Extension of Time and to Modify Briefing Schedule 12 , the motion is hereby GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file any opposition to Defendant's motion for summary judgment on or before November 21, 2016, and Defendant shall file any reply on or before December 12, 2016. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 11/10/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 11/10/2016)
2016-11-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff shall file any opposition to Defendant's motion for summary judgment on or before 11/21/2016; Defendant shall file any reply on or before 12/12/2016. (kt) (Entered: 11/10/2016)
2016-11-2113Memorandum in opposition to re 11 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment (with response to statement of material facts attached) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 11/21/2016)
2016-11-2114WITHDRAWN PURSUANT TO MINUTE ORDER 6/1/2017..... Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment (with statement of material facts) by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Peterson, James) Modified on 6/1/2017 (kt). (Entered: 11/21/2016)
2016-12-1215REPLY to opposition to motion re 11 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Material Facts)(Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 12/12/2016)
2016-12-1216RESPONSE re 14 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment (with statement of material facts) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Material Facts)(Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 12/12/2016)
2016-12-12MINUTE ORDER: Plaintiff may file a reply in support of its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment 14 on or before December 27, 2016. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 12/12/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 12/12/2016)
2016-12-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff may file a reply in support of its Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment 14 on or before 12/27/2016. (kt) (Entered: 12/13/2016)
2016-12-2217REPLY to opposition to motion re 14 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment (with statement of material facts) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Peterson, James) (Entered: 12/22/2016)
2016-12-2218MOTION Preservation Order and Request for Expedited Consideration by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 12/22/2016)
2016-12-2319RESPONSE re 18 MOTION Preservation Order and Request for Expedited Consideration filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 12/23/2016)
2016-12-27MINUTE ORDER: The parties are hereby ORDERED to appear for a status conference on January 5, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., to discuss the pending Motion for Preservation Order 18 . Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 12/27/2016. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 12/27/2016)
2016-12-27Set/Reset Hearings: A Status Conference is set for 1/5/2017, at 2:00 PM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 12/27/2016)
2017-01-0420NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 01/04/2017)
2017-01-05Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 1/5/2017. On or before 1/12/2017, the Government is to produce, under seal, for in-camera submission, the preservation requests that it sent to all four of the individuals; The Government is also to file a notice on the public record, on or before 1/12/2017, regarding the in-camera filing, and to indicate the individuals intentions with respect to abiding by the preservation requests. A further Status Conference is set for 2/17/2017 at 2:00 PM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook). (kt) (Entered: 01/05/2017)
2017-01-1221NOTICE of Ex Parte Filing (Public) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 01/12/2017)
2017-01-1322RESPONSE re 21 Notice (Other) of Ex Parte Filing filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 01/13/2017)
2017-01-1723NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Peterson, James) (Entered: 01/17/2017)
2017-01-1824PRESERVATION ORDER: Upon consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Preservation Order 18 and Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Notice of Ex Parte Filing 22 , it is hereby ORDERED that Secretary Johnson preserve all emails sent or received between December 23, 2013, and December 29, 2015, that are stored in any of his private email accounts that may contain responsive records, including any emails in archived or deleted folders, on a portable thumb drive or hard drive to be kept in his possession until this Court determines that the emails must be provided to the Department for processing or that they may be deleted; FURTHER ORDERED that Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, former Chief of Staff Marrone, and former General Counsel Bunnell do the same with respect to their own private email accounts that may contain responsive records; FURTHER ORDERED that the Government is not to conduct any searches of the email accounts at issue at this time without the consent of the account's user; and FURTHER ORDERED that Judicial Watch's request that the Court order the Department to produce each individual's written confirmation of his intent to preserve records is DENIED. See attached document for details. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 1/18/2017. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 01/18/2017)
2017-01-2625MOTION for Reconsideration re 24 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief,,,,, , Unopposed MOTION to Clarify (in the Alternative) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 01/26/2017)
2017-01-3126TRANSCRIPT OF STATUS CONFERENCE before Judge Randolph D. Moss held on January 5, 2017; Page Numbers: 1 - 37. Date of Issuance: January 6, 2017. Court Reporter: Jeff Hook. Telephone Number: 202-354-3373. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form 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 refere nced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. 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. Redaction Request due 2/21/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 3/3/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 5/1/2017.(Hook, Jeff) (Entered: 01/31/2017)
2017-02-0927NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY re 25 MOTION for Reconsideration re 24 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief,,,,, Unopposed MOTION to Clarify (in the Alternative) (Heaps, Bailey) (Entered: 02/09/2017)
2017-02-17Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 2/17/2017. Issues addressed; A Motion Hearing, on the Cross Motions for Summary Judgment, is set for 4/24/2017, at 10:00 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook). (kt) (Entered: 02/17/2017)
2017-02-1728TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Randolph D. Moss held on February 17, 2017; Page Numbers: 1 - 15. Date of Issuance: February 17, 2017. Court Reporter: Jeff Hook. Telephone number: 202-354-3373. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form 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 referen ced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. 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. Redaction Request due 3/10/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 3/20/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 5/18/2017.(Hook, Jeff) (Entered: 02/17/2017)
2017-03-07MINUTE ORDER: The Motion Hearing currently set for April 24, 2017, is hereby VACATED and RESCHEDULED for May 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 3/7/2017. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 03/07/2017)
2017-03-07Set/Reset Hearings: The Motion Hearing set for 4/24/2017 is VACATED and RESCHEDULED for 5/1/2017, at 2:00 PM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 03/07/2017)
2017-04-0429NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by James R. Powers on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Substituting for attorney Bailey W. Heaps (Powers, James) (Entered: 04/04/2017)
2017-05-01Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Motion Hearing held on 5/1/2017 re: 14 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment (with statement of material facts) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC., and 11 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. Motions held in abeyance. Joint Status Report due on or before 5/31/2017. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook). (kt) (Entered: 05/01/2017)
2017-05-0930TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Randolph D. Moss held on May 1, 2017; Page Numbers: 1 - 65. Date of Issuance: May 9, 2017. Court Reporter: Jeff Hook. Contact Information: 202-354-3373 / jeff_hook@dcd.uscourts.gov. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased from t he court reporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. 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. Redaction Request due 5/30/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 6/9/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 8/7/2017.(Hook, Jeff) (Entered: 05/09/2017)
2017-05-3131Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Powers, James) (Entered: 05/31/2017)
2017-06-01MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' Joint Status Report 31 , it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 11 and Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment 14 be considered WITHDRAWN. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the parties file a further joint status report once Defendant's productions are complete, in which the parties inform the Court whether a briefing schedule is necessary. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the parties file a joint status report on July 12, 2017, providing additional information regarding the status of Defendant's processing and productions of records. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 6/1/2017. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 06/01/2017)
2017-06-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/12/2017. (kt) (Entered: 06/01/2017)
2017-07-1232Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Powers, James) (Entered: 07/12/2017)
2017-07-13MINUTE ORDER: As the parties propose in their Joint Status Report 32 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties file an additional joint status report at the conclusion of the processing and production of records from the search of the DHS headquarters-level email accounts. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 7/13/2017. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 07/13/2017)
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