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Case TitleMARTINEZ v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv01506
Date Filed2016-07-22
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Timothy J. Kelly
PlaintiffFRANCISCO E MARTINEZ
Case DescriptionFrancisco Martinez, an attorney in Colorado focusing on civil liberties issues, submitted FOIA requests to a number of agencies for records concerning the Chicano civil rights movement. The agencies either denied Martinez's request for a fee waiver, closed his request for failure to provide third-party authorization, or failed to respond beyond acknowledging receipt of his request. Martinez then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DefendantNATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY
DefendantDEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantDEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Washington, DC 20505
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
DefendantBUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
DefendantOFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Opinion/Order [28]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Timothy Kelly has ruled that the Department of Justice has not shown why a series of requests made by attorney Francisco Martinez for records concerning the Chicano civil rights move in Colorado from 1968 to 1978 should not be joined in one suit. Martinez's requests were not identical, but many of them overlapped. He requested a fee waiver from each agency or, alternatively, to be included in the news media fee category. He filed suit against seven agencies for withholding records and denying his fee waiver requests. The government then filed a motion to sever the cases, arguing that they were not sufficiently related. Kelly disagreed. He explained that "Martinez's FOIA requests involve the same transaction because they are logically related.' All of his requests seek records referring to or relating to specific individuals, organizations, and events connected to the Chicano civil rights movement in Colorado from 1968 to 1978. That is sufficient to meet the legal standard here. FOIA requests are 'logically related' when they belong to 'essentially identical categories of records. . .regarding the same underlying subject matter.'" He added that "the 'same-transaction' prong does not require that all of these requests be identical." Kelly pointed out that "Defendants are all federal agencies with law enforcement and intelligence-gathering functions that Martinez asserts monitored the Chicano civil rights movement in Colorado during the time period in question," and agreed that "several of the relevant agencies coordinated certain operations relating to the Chicano civil rights movement and [Martinez] identifies specific inter-agency memoranda that reflect such coordination." Kelly indicated that "it appears that certain common exemptions will be asserted by the agencies at summary judgment, giving rise to common questions of law." He added that "the Court is satisfied that, as the litigation now stands, there is likely to be some question of law or fact between the claims," including Martinez's entitlement to a fee waiver or inclusion in the news media fee category. The government argued that the case could only proceed to summary judgment as quickly as could the slowest agency. But Kelly observed that "that argument alone cannot justify severing the case, because there are other procedures better suited to avoiding such prejudice." He indicated that "the Court may finalize individual claims against each agency to avoid prejudicing."
Issues: Litigation - Jurisdiction
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-07-221COMPLAINT against BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4614335) filed by FRANCISCO E MARTINEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 07/22/2016)
2016-07-22Case Assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (sth) (Entered: 07/25/2016)
2016-07-252SUMMONS (9)Issued Electronically as to BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons)(sth) (Entered: 07/25/2016)
2016-08-113RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 08/08/2016. (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/11/2016)
2016-08-184RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS served on 8/15/2016 (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/18/2016)
2016-08-185RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY served on 8/4/2016 (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/18/2016)
2016-08-196RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 8/8/2016. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 9/7/2016. (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-197RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY served on 8/5/2016 (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-198RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE served on 8/4/2016 (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-199RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 8/5/2016 (Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/19/2016)
2016-08-2510NOTICE of Appearance by Brian J. Field on behalf of All Defendants (Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/25/2016)
2016-08-2511Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/25/2016)
2016-08-28MINUTE ORDER granting 11 defendants' consent motion for extension of time. Defendants are directed to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by no later than October 7, 2016. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 08/28/2016. (lcegs3) (Entered: 08/28/2016)
2016-08-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant Answer or Response To Complaint due by 10/7/2016. (mac) (Entered: 08/29/2016)
2016-10-0312Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Field, Brian) (Entered: 10/03/2016)
2016-10-04MINUTE ORDER granting 12 defendants' unopposed motion for extension of time. Defendants are directed to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by no later November 7, 2016. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 10/4/2016. (lcegs3) (Entered: 10/04/2016)
2016-10-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 11/7/2016. (mac) (Entered: 10/04/2016)
2016-11-0113Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Field, Brian) (Entered: 11/01/2016)
2016-11-02MINUTE ORDER granting 13 defendants' consent motion for extension of time. Defendants are directed to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by no later than December 7, 2016. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 11/2/2016. (lcegs3) (Entered: 11/02/2016)
2016-11-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 12/7/2016. (mac) (Entered: 11/02/2016)
2016-12-0514Joint MOTION for Scheduling Order by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 12/05/2016)
2016-12-06MINUTE ORDER granting 14 the parties' joint motion for entry of proposed scheduling order. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the following schedule shall govern proceedings in this case: Defendants' deadline to respond to plaintiff's complaint shall be stayed pending completion of defendants' processing of plaintiff's requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), or until further order of this Court. Within 60 days of the Court's entry of this Order, the parties shall submit a joint status report apprising the Court of the status of defendants' processing of plaintiff's FOIA requests. The parties shall file joint status reports within every 60 days thereafter, until defendants have completed processing plaintiff's FOIA requests. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 12/6/2016. (lcegs3) (Entered: 12/06/2016)
2017-02-0615Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 02/06/2017)
2017-04-0716Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 04/07/2017)
2017-06-0717Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-07-2818STANDING ORDER: The parties are directed to read the attached Standing Order Governing Civil Cases Before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in its entirety upon receipt. The parties are hereby ORDERED to comply with the directives in the attached Standing Order. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 7/28/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit) (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/28/2017)
2017-08-0319MOTION to Sever by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/03/2017)
2017-08-0720Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/07/2017)
2017-08-1721Memorandum in opposition to re 19 MOTION to Sever filed by FRANCISCO E MARTINEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Francisco Martinez, # 2 Exhibit 1A - FOIA request to BIA, # 3 Exhibit 1B - FOIA request to CIA, # 4 Exhibit 1C - FOIA request to NSA, # 5 Exhibit 1D - FOIA request to ODNI, # 6 Exhibit 1E - FOIA requests to DOD, # 7 Exhibit 1F - FOIA requests to DHS, # 8 Exhibit 1G - FOIA requests to DOJ, # 9 Exhibit 2-8, # 10 Text of Proposed Order)(Light, Jeffrey) (Entered: 08/17/2017)
2017-08-2122Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Reply by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/21/2017)
2017-08-21MINUTE ORDER granting 22 defendants' unopposed motion for extension of time to file a reply. Defendants shall submit their Reply in Support of Motion to Sever by August 31, 2017. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/21/2017. (lcegs3) (Entered: 08/21/2017)
2017-08-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants Reply In Support Of Motion To Sever due by 8/31/2017. (mac) (Entered: 08/22/2017)
2017-08-3123REPLY to opposition to motion re 19 MOTION to Sever filed by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/31/2017)
2017-09-19Case directly reassigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is no longer assigned to the case. (ztnr) (Entered: 09/19/2017)
2017-10-1024Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 10/10/2017)
2017-12-1125Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 12/11/2017)
2018-02-0526Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file Joint Status Report by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Field, Brian) (Entered: 02/05/2018)
2018-02-06MINUTE ORDER granting Defendants' 26 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file their Joint Status Report by February 16, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 2/6/2018. (lctjk1) (Entered: 02/06/2018)
2018-02-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 2/16/2018. (kh) (Entered: 02/06/2018)
2018-02-1627Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 02/16/2018)
2018-02-2728MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying 19 Motion to Sever. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 2/27/2018. (lctjk1) (Entered: 02/27/2018)
2018-04-0629Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 04/06/2018)
2018-06-0830Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 06/08/2018)
2018-08-0731Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/07/2018)
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