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Case TitleAmerican Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Health and Human Services et al
DistrictSouthern District of New York
CityFoley Square
Case Number1:2016cv03854
Date Filed2016-05-24
Date Closed2017-05-24
JudgeJudge Katherine Polk Failla
PlaintiffAmerican Civil Liberties Union
Case DescriptionThe ACLU submitted a FOIA request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for records concerning complaints to the agency about Catholic hospitals. CMS provided 150 pages. The ACLU appealed, arguing that the search was inadequate because it produced so few records. After hearing nothing further from the agency, the ACLU filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDepartment of Health and Human Services
DefendantCenters for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-05-241FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT PLEADING - FILED BY PARTY ERROR COMPLAINT against Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services. (Filing Fee $ 400.00, Receipt Number 0208-12336596)Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C)(Amiri, Brigitte) Modified on 5/25/2016 (rch). (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-242COMPLAINT against Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C)(Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-243CIVIL COVER SHEET filed. (Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-244RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union.(Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-245REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, re: 2 Complaint. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union. (Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-246REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Department of Health and Human Services, re: 2 Complaint. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union. (Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 05/24/2016)
2016-05-257ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (rch) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-258ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Department of Health and Human Services. (rch) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-25CASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Katherine Polk Failla. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned District Judge, located at http://nysd.uscourts.gov/judges/District . Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. Please download and review the ECF Rules and Instructions, located at http://nysd.uscourts.gov/ecf_filing.php . (rch) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-25Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV is so designated. (rch) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-05-25Case Designated ECF. (rch) (Entered: 05/25/2016)
2016-06-089NOTICE OF INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: Initial Conference set for 9/20/2016 at 03:00 PM in Courtroom 618, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Katherine Polk Failla, and as further set forth in this order. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 6/8/2016) (tn) (Entered: 06/08/2016)
2016-06-1410AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE of Summons and Complaint. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services served on 5/31/2016, answer due 8/1/2016. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union. (Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 06/14/2016)
2016-06-1411AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE of Summons and Complaint. Department of Health and Human Services served on 5/31/2016, answer due 8/1/2016. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union. (Amiri, Brigitte) (Entered: 06/14/2016)
2016-06-2212LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Stephen Cha-Kim dated 06-22-2016. Document filed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.(Cha-Kim, Stephen) (Entered: 06/22/2016)
2016-06-2313ORDER granting 12 Letter Motion for Extension of Time to Answer re 2 Complaint. Application GRANTED. SO ORDERED. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services answer due 7/21/2016; Department of Health and Human Services answer due 7/21/2016. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 6/23/2016) (kko) (Entered: 06/23/2016)
2016-07-2114ANSWER to 2 Complaint. Document filed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.(Cha-Kim, Stephen) (Entered: 07/21/2016)
2016-09-1515NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Brian Matthew Hauss on behalf of American Civil Liberties Union. (Hauss, Brian) (Entered: 09/15/2016)
2016-09-1516FIRST LETTER MOTION to Adjourn Conference addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Brian Hauss dated September 15, 2016. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union.(Hauss, Brian) (Entered: 09/15/2016)
2016-09-1617ORDER granting 16 Letter Motion to Adjourn Conference. Application GRANTED. The Initial Pretrial Conference scheduled for September 20, 2016, is hereby ADJOURNED to November 22, 2016, at 10:30 a.m., in Courtroom 618 of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York, 10007. The parties are reminded to submit a proposed Case Management Plan and Joint Status Letter, pursuant to the Court's Individual Rules of Practice in Civil Cases, by November 17, 2016. Initial Conference set for 11/22/2016 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 618, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Katherine Polk Failla. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 9/16/2016) (mro) (Entered: 09/19/2016)
2016-11-1518SECOND LETTER MOTION to Adjourn Conference addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Brian Hauss dated November 15, 2016. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union.(Hauss, Brian) (Entered: 11/15/2016)
2016-11-1719ORDER granting 18 Letter Motion to Adjourn Conference. Application GRANTED, though the parties should not expect that additional ones will be. The Initial Pretrial Conference scheduled for November 22, 2016, is hereby ADJOURNED to February 7, 2017, at 2:30 P.M. in Courtroom 618 of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York, 10007. The parties are reminded to submit, consistent with Rule 3.B. of the Court's Individual Rules of Civil Practice and with the Notice of Pretrial Conference in this matter, a joint status letter and Proposed Civil Case Management Plan by Thursday of the week prior to this conference. SO ORDERED. Initial Conference set for 2/7/2017 at 02:30 PM in Courtroom 618, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Katherine Polk Failla. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 11/17/2016) (ama) (Entered: 11/18/2016)
2017-01-3120LETTER MOTION to Adjourn Conference or, Alternatively, Allow Substitute Counsel to Attend addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Stephen Cha-Kim dated 1/31/2017. Document filed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.(Cha-Kim, Stephen) (Entered: 01/31/2017)
2017-02-0121ORDER granting 20 Letter Motion to Adjourn Conference. Application GRANTED. The Initial Pretrial Conference scheduled for February 7, 2017, is hereby ADJOURNED to March 1, 2017, at 4:30 P.M. in Courtroom 618 of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York, 10007. This conference will not be adjourned. The parties are reminded to submit, consistent with Rule 3.B. of the Court's Individual Rules of Civil Practice and with the Notice of Initial Pretrial Conference in this matter, a joint status letter and Proposed Civil Case Management Plan by Thursday of the week prior to this conference. SO ORDERED. (Initial Conference set for 3/1/2017 at 04:30 PM in Courtroom 618, 40 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge Katherine Polk Failla.) (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 2/1/2017) (anc) (Entered: 02/01/2017)
2017-03-0122CIVIL CASE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND SCHEDULING ORDER: All parties do not consent to conducting all further proceeding before a United States Magistrate Judge, including motions and trial. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). This case is not to be tried to a jury. This Order may not be modified or the dates herein extended, except by further Order of this Court for good cause shown. Unless the Court orders otherwise, parties engaged in settlement negotiations must proceed on parallel tracks, pursuing settlement and conducting discovery simultaneously. Parties should not assume that they will receive an extension of an existing deadline if settlement negotiations fail. Any application to modify or extend the dates herein (except as provided in paragraph 8(f)) shall be made in a written application in accordance with the Courts Individual Rules and must be made no fewer than two business days prior to the expiration of the date sought to be extended. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 3/1/2017) (tro) (Entered: 03/02/2017)
2017-03-01Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Katherine Polk Failla: Initial Pretrial Conference held on 3/1/2017. (Court Reporter Khris Sellen) (Lopez, Jose) (Entered: 03/06/2017)
2017-03-0623JOINT LETTER addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Stephen Cha-Kim dated 3/6/2017 re: Proposed Stipulation and Order Modifying FOIA Request. Document filed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Modifying FOIA Request, # 2 Exhibit Search List)(Cha-Kim, Stephen) (Entered: 03/06/2017)
2017-03-0624STIPULATION AND ORDER MODIFYING FOIA REQUEST: NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby STIPULATED and AGREED between the Parties as follows: 1. The scope of Defendants' search obligation in this action is governed by this stipulation (the "Modified Request"), not by the original Request. 2. Under the Modified Request, Defendants will search for and process only documents that were created or modified in the time period between June 1, 2010, and November 5, 2014. 3. Under the Modified Request, Defendants will search for and process only documents that are related to the list of twenty-nine (29) facilities and inspections specified in the spreadsheet entitled "CMS FOIA-Identified Complaints" that was provided by counsel for Plaintiffs to counsel for Defendants on January 17, 2017, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit 1. 4. Unless otherwise noted, the definitions applicable to this Modified Request are the same ones given in the original Request. 5. Defendants will complete their processing of the Modified Request, as outlined herein, and to produce to Plaintiff all documents, or portions thereof, the agency deems to be responsive and non-exempt under FOIA, no later than on March 31, 2017. 6. Nothing in this Stipulation and Order, including the fact of its entry, shall be taken as a concession by Defendant that Plaintiff has "substantially prevailed" in this action in whole or in part, as that term is used in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(E). (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 3/6/2017) (mro) (Entered: 03/07/2017)
2017-04-0625TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings re: Conference held on 3/1/2017 before Judge Katherine Polk Failla. Court Reporter/Transcriber: Khristine Sellin, (212) 805-0300. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 4/27/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 5/8/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 7/5/2017.(Siwik, Christine) (Entered: 04/06/2017)
2017-04-0626NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT Notice is hereby given that an official transcript of a Conference proceeding held on 3/1/17 has been filed by the court reporter/transcriber in the above-captioned matter. The parties have seven (7) calendar days to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this transcript. If no such Notice is filed, the transcript may be made remotely electronically available to the public without redaction after 90 calendar days...(Siwik, Christine) (Entered: 04/06/2017)
2017-04-1427ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Brian Hauss dated 4/14/17 re: The parties respectfully request that the Court allow them to submit another status update in two weeks, on April 28, 2017, which will either (1) confirm that no motion practice is necessary with respect to attorneys' fees and costs; or (2) propose a briefing schedule for resolving any issues regarding attorney's fees and costs. ENDORSEMENT: Application GRANTED. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 4/14/2017) (mro) (Entered: 04/17/2017)
2017-04-2828JOINT LETTER addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Stephen Cha-Kim dated 4/28/2017 re: Case Status. Document filed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.(Cha-Kim, Stephen) (Entered: 04/28/2017)
2017-05-0129MEMO ENDORSEMENT: on re: 28 Letter filed by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services. ENDORSEMENT: Application GRANTED. The Court hereby adopts the briefing scheduling set forth above. (Motions due by 5/26/2017. Responses due by 6/16/2017. Replies due by 6/30/2017.) (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 5/1/2017) (ap) (Entered: 05/01/2017)
2017-05-2430STIPULATION AND ORDER. IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED, by and between the ACLU and the Government, and subject to endorsement by the Court, that: The Government shall pay to the ACLU the sum of three thousand dollars ($3,000) for attorneys' fees and litigation costs (the "Settlement Amount"). This payment shall constitute full and final satisfaction of any and all claims by the ACLU for attorneys' fees and litigation costs in this matter, and is inclusive of any interest. Payment shall be made by electronic funds transfer, and counsel for the ACLU will provide the necessary information for the Government to effectuate the transfer. The ACLU releases and discharges the United States of America, and the United States of America's agencies, departments, officers, employees, servants, and agents from any and all claims and causes of action that the ACLU asserted, or could have asserted, in this litigation arising out of the ACLU's November 5, 2014, FOIA request. In consideration for, and effective upon, payment of the Settlement Amount, this release and discharge includes any and all claims for attorneys' fees and litigation costs that the ACLU asserted, or could have asserted, in this litigation. Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this action is hereby dismissed with prejudice and without costs or fees other than as provided in paragraph 1 of this Stipulation and Order, provided that the Court shall retain jurisdiction over any issues that might arise relating the enforcement of this Stipulation and Order, and as further set forth in this Stipulation and Order. So ordered. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 5/24/2017) (rjm) (Entered: 05/24/2017)
2017-05-24Terminate Transcript Deadlines (rjm) (Entered: 05/24/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff