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DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv01981
Date Filed2016-10-05
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Ketanji Brown Jackson
Case DescriptionFreedom Watch submitted a FOIA request to the FDA for records concerning the antibiotic Levaquin and the relationship between former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and several pharmaceutical companies. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Freedom Watch filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
User-contributed Documents
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-10-051COMPLAINT against FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4699750) filed by FREEDOM WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet)(Klayman, Larry) (Entered: 10/05/2016)
2016-10-05Case Assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (sth) (Entered: 10/06/2016)
2016-10-062SUMMONS (1) Issued Electronically as to FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Attachments: # 1 Summons)(sth) (Entered: 10/06/2016)
2016-11-093GENERAL ORDER AND GUIDELINES FOR CIVIL CASES BEFORE JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON. The Court will hold the parties and counsel responsible for following these directives, and parties and counsel should pay particular attention to the Courts instructions for briefing motions. Failure to adhere to this Order may, when appropriate, result the imposition of sanctions and/or sua sponte denial of non-conforming motions. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 11/9/2016. (lckbj1) (Entered: 11/09/2016)
2016-12-194REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia filed by FREEDOM WATCH, INC..(Klayman, Larry) (Entered: 12/19/2016)
2016-12-195REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE Attorney General filed by FREEDOM WATCH, INC..(Klayman, Larry) (Entered: 12/19/2016)
2016-12-206SUMMONS (2) Issued Electronically as to U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (znmw) (Entered: 12/20/2016)
2017-02-087ORDER requiring Plaintiff to provide Court, on or before 2/27/2017, with proof of service on Defendant. See attached Order for details. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 02/08/2017. (lckbj1) (Entered: 02/08/2017)
2017-02-208RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION served on 2/10/2017 (Klayman, Larry) (Entered: 02/20/2017)
2017-03-139NOTICE of Appearance by Brian J. Field on behalf of All Defendants (Field, Brian) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-1310ANSWER to Complaint by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION.(Field, Brian) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-13MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall promptly confer and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure, on or before 3/28/2017. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 03/13/2017. (lckbj1) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-2811Joint STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 03/28/2017)
2017-04-03MINUTE ORDER. The Court has reviewed the parties' 11 Joint Status report, and accepts the government's representations that it will process the documents as indicated. In addition, it is this Court's practice in FOIA cases to require the parties to submit periodic status reports in lieu of convening status conferences unless extraordinary circumstances require an in-person meeting. The Court sees no such circumstance in this case at this time. Therefore, Plaintiff's request for a status conference is denied, and the parties' next status report is due on or before 6/2/17. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 4/3/2017. (lckbj3) (Entered: 04/03/2017)
2017-06-0112Joint STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 06/01/2017)
2017-06-13MINUTE ORDER. Pending before the Court in this FOIA matter is the parties' 12 Joint Status Report, in which the FDA represents that it has completed searches in three of four offices for records responsive to Freedom Watch's FOIA request and produced those records, with the exception of six pages that the FDA has referred to other agencies. With respect to the search of records in the fourth office, the FDA represents that its Center for Drug Evaluation and Research ("CDER") has assigned some portions of Freedom Watchs FOIA request to its "Simple Track and Drug Safety Queue," and other portions to its "Complex Track," and that it has completed searching for and producing those records within the Simple Track. However, the FDA represents that it will not begin processing Freedom Watch's request with respect to the search assigned to CDER's Complex Track for approximately 13 months, because there are 366 requests ahead of Freedom Watch's in that queue. In response to this timing estimate, Freedom Watch asks the Court to "order FDA to make full production within 6 months[,]" asserting that the government's response to its FOIA request is a matter of "'life and death' for the American public." (Jt. Status Rpt. at 3.) The record reveals that Freedom Watch requested expedited processing of its FOIA request (see Ex. A to Compl., ECF No. 1 at 7), but the parties' submissions to date do not address the FDA's decision regarding this request for expedition. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that, on or before June 30, 2017, the FDA shall file a memorandum of no more than 15 pages that (1) addresses the FDAs decision, if any, regarding Freedom Watchs request for expedited treatment, and (2) responds to Freedom Watch's argument that the Court should order the agency to make a full production within 6 months. It is FURTHER ORDERED that Freedom Watch may file a brief of no more than 15 pages in reply to the FDA's memorandum on or before July 14, 2017. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 06/13/2017. (lckbj1) (Entered: 06/13/2017)
2017-06-3013MEMORANDUM by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Denial Letter, # 2 Exhibit Response Letter)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 06/30/2017)
2017-07-1414REPLY to FDA's 13 Response to Court Order filed by FREEDOM WATCH, INC.. (Klayman, Larry) Modified on 7/17/2017 to add docket link (jf). (Entered: 07/14/2017)
2017-07-2415ORDER requiring Defendant to begin processing the remaining portion of Plaintiff's FOIA request by at least July 1, 2018, and requiring a status report on October 1, 2017, and continuing every 60 days thereafter, until further order of the Court. See attached document for details. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 7/24/2017. (lckbj3) (Entered: 07/24/2017)
2017-07-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 10/1/2017. (gdf) (Entered: 07/25/2017)
2017-09-2916STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 09/29/2017)
2017-11-2817STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 11/28/2017)
2018-01-1918STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 01/19/2018)
2018-03-2019STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 03/20/2018)
2018-05-1620STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 05/16/2018)
2018-07-2021STATUS REPORT by FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 07/20/2018)
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