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Case TitleREYNOLDS v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv01428
Date Filed2016-07-11
Date Closed2017-04-26
JudgeJudge James E. Boasberg
PlaintiffJASON T. REYNOLDS
Case DescriptionReynolds, a federal prisoner, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning the search of his home. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Reynolds filed suit.
Complaint issues: Adequacy - Search

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [17]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge James Boasberg has ruled that the Department of Justice did not receive prisoner Jason Reynolds' two FOIA requests and that the agency has no obligation to process them now as a result of Reynolds' FOIA suit. Reynolds sent two requests to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys concerning his conviction. After the agency failed to respond, Reynolds filed suit. Since Reynolds did not provide an acknowledgment letter or case number, the agency searched its database of FOIA requests, appeals, and litigation and found no indication that it ever received Reynolds' requests. Reynolds argued that he had mailed the two requests, but Boasberg indicated that "Plaintiff does not offer proof via, e.g., a certified-mail receipt or any other form of mailing that his missives reached their intended target. This is thus insufficient to create a dispute of material fact that DOJ ever received his requests, particularly in a FOIA case, where courts typically grant summary judgment by relying on sworn agency affidavits that are sufficiently convincing. . .As DOJ did not receive Reynolds' correspondence, it had no obligation to search for or produce records." Reynolds argued that the court should order the agency to process his request now that it was aware of it. Boasberg disagreed, noting that "were the Court to acquiesce, such a procedure would unwisely bypass the administrative process." Reynolds complained that dismissing his case would require him to pay filing fees a second time if he challenged the agency's response. Boasberg noted that "given both that he is in forma pauperis and that he had to file the suit to learn DOJ had never received his request, the Court will order that any fees already paid in this case shall be offset against his filing fee should he decide to bring a new suit based on precisely the same request."
Issues: Request - Perfected request
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-07-111COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE filed by JASON T. REYNOLDS. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(sb) (Entered: 07/11/2016)
2016-07-112MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis by JASON T. REYNOLDS (sb) (Entered: 07/11/2016)
2016-07-113PRO SE ORDER directing within 30 days of this Order, unless an extension of time is granted, plaintiff to provide a six month trust fund prisoner account statement and failure to comply will result in dismissal of case. Plaintiff shall provide the requested information specific within this order. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 7/7/2016. (sb) (Entered: 07/11/2016)
2016-07-11Initiating Pleading & IFP Application Received on 6/26/2016. (sb) (Entered: 07/11/2016)
2016-08-224PRISONER TRUST FUND ACCOUNT STATEMENT for period of six months by JASON T. REYNOLDS (md) (Entered: 08/24/2016)
2016-12-075ORDER granting 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 12/07/2016. (sb) (Entered: 12/07/2016)
2016-12-07Case Reassigned to Judge James E. Boasberg. Unassigned no longer assigned to the case. (sb) (Entered: 12/07/2016)
2016-12-08MINUTE ORDER: Given Plaintiff's IFP status, the Court ORDERS that the U.S. Marshal Service shall effect service of the Complaint on the Department of Justice by January 6, 2017. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 12/8/16. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-08Set/Reset Deadline: The U.S. Marshal Service shall effect service of the Complaint on the Department of Justice by 1/6/2017. (ad) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-086SUMMONS (3) Issued as to DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (jd) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-157NOTICE of Appearance by Patricia K. McBride on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(McBride, Patricia) (Entered: 12/15/2016)
2016-12-168RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 12/13/2016. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 1/12/2017.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 12/13/16., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 12/13/2016 (td) (Entered: 12/19/2016)
2017-01-109MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (McBride, Patricia) (Entered: 01/10/2017)
2017-01-10MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant's 9 Motion for Extension of Time to File. The Court ORDERS that Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint on or before February 9, 2017. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 1/10/17. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 01/10/2017)
2017-01-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 2/9/2017, (nbn) (Entered: 01/11/2017)
2017-01-24Partial Filing Fee Received from JASON T. REYNOLDS in the amount of $127.00, receipt number: 4616082592. (zrdj) (Entered: 01/24/2017)
2017-02-0810MOTION for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration David Luczynski)(McBride, Patricia) (Entered: 02/08/2017)
2017-02-0911ORDER directing Plaintiff to respond to Defendant's 10 Motion for Summary Judgment no later than March 9, 2017. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 2/9/17. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 02/09/2017)
2017-02-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Responses due by 3/9/2017. (nbn) (Entered: 02/09/2017)
2017-02-14Partial Filing Fee Received from JASON T. REYNOLDS in the amount of $85.61, receipt number: 4616082940. (zrdj) (Entered: 02/15/2017)
2017-03-07Partial Filing Fee Received from JASON T. REYNOLDS in the amount of $101.61, receipt number: 4616083387. (zrdj) (Entered: 03/07/2017)
2017-03-0912RESPONSE re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by JASON T. REYNOLDS. (td) (Entered: 03/10/2017)
2017-03-2213MOTION for Extension of Time to by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (McBride, Patricia) (Entered: 03/22/2017)
2017-03-22MINUTE ORDER: In Defendant's 13 Motion for Extension, it indicates that its Reply is due on March 24, 2017. As the Court believes that the Reply was due on March 16, 2017, it ORDERS that Defendant shall show cause why it believes March 24 is the correct date. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 3/22/17. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 03/22/2017)
2017-03-2314MOTION for Leave to File Late File Defendant's Reply to Plaintiffs' Opposition by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(McBride, Patricia) (Entered: 03/23/2017)
2017-03-24MINUTE ORDER granting 14 Motion for Leave to Late File. The Court ORDERS that Defendant shall file its reply on or before April 24, 2017, and DENIES AS MOOT its 13 Motion for Extension of Time to File. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 3/24/17. (lcjeb2) (Entered: 03/24/2017)
2017-03-24Set/Reset Deadlines: Reply due by 4/24/2017. (nbn) (Entered: 03/24/2017)
2017-04-13Partial Filing Fee Received from JASON T. REYNOLDS in the amount of $35.78, receipt number: 4616083969. (zrdj) (Entered: 04/17/2017)
2017-04-2415REPLY to opposition to motion re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (McBride, Patricia) (Entered: 04/24/2017)
2017-04-2616ORDER granting 10 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court ORDERS that: (1) Judgment is ENTERED in favor of Defendant; and (2) In the event Plaintiff files a future FOIA suit premised on the identical request, any filing fees paid in this action shall be credited against those owed in such future suit. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 4/26/2017. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 04/26/2017)
2017-04-2617MEMORANDUM OPINION re 16 Order on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge James E. Boasberg on 4/26/2017. (lcjeb3) (Entered: 04/26/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff