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Case TitleINSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE v. U.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv02408
Date Filed2016-12-08
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
PlaintiffINSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE
Case DescriptionThe Institute for Justice submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records CBP used from the Treasury Department's seized asset database. The agency denied the request as overbroad and insufficiently specific. The Institute for Justice filed an administrative appeal. The agency denied the Institute for Justice's appeal, arguing that all data taken from the database was protected by Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). The Institute for Justice then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
DefendantU.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
Complaint attachment 7
Complaint attachment 8
Complaint attachment 9
Complaint attachment 10
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-12-081COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against U.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4768710) filed by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Civil Cover Sheet, # 8 Summons for U.S Attorney General, # 9 Summons for US Attorney for DC, # 10 Summons for Defendant)(Busey, G.) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-082Corporate Disclosure Statement by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Busey, G.) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-083REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE re 1 Complaint, filed by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. Related document: 1 Complaint, filed by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons)(Busey, G.) (Entered: 12/08/2016)
2016-12-09Case Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (sb) (Entered: 12/09/2016)
2016-12-094SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to U.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Consent Form)(sb) (Entered: 12/09/2016)
2016-12-095ORDER Establishing Procedures for Cases Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on December 9, 2016. (NS) (Entered: 12/09/2016)
2016-12-136NOTICE of Appearance by Daniel P. Muino on behalf of INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 12/13/2016)
2016-12-137RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION served on 12/9/2016 (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 12/13/2016)
2016-12-138RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 12/9/2016. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 12/13/2016)
2016-12-139RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 12/9/2016. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 1/8/2017. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 12/13/2016)
2016-12-1510NOTICE of Appearance by Johnny Hillary Walker, III on behalf of U.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 12/15/2016)
2017-01-0511Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by U.S.CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 01/05/2017)
2017-01-0612ORDER GRANTING Defendant's 11 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to Plaintiff's Complaint on or before FEBRUARY 8, 2017. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on January 6, 2017. (NS) (Entered: 01/06/2017)
2017-01-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 2/8/2017. (dot) (Entered: 01/10/2017)
2017-02-0813ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 02/08/2017)
2017-02-1014ORDER FOR INITIAL SCHEDULING CONFERENCE. An Initial Scheduling Conference is hereby set for March 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 28A. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 2/10/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 02/10/2017)
2017-02-10Set/Reset Hearings: Initial Scheduling Conference set for 3/21/2017 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 28A before Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (dot) (Entered: 02/13/2017)
2017-03-0615ORDER. Parties shall file a Joint Status Report by MARCH 21, 2017. The Court's 14 Order for Initial Scheduling Conference is VACATED. The Initial Scheduling Conference currently scheduled for March 21, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. is VACATED. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 3/6/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 03/06/2017)
2017-03-2116Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Busey, G.) (Entered: 03/21/2017)
2017-03-23MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 16 Joint Status Report wherein they represent that "the parties are negotiating certain limitations on the scope of the FOIA request under which Defendant would agree to produce [the relevant] records...." Accordingly, the parties request a deferral of their obligation to file a schedule for proceeding in this matter as required by the Court' March 6, 2017 15 Order. For good cause shown, that request is GRANTED. The parties shall file a Joint Status Report no later than May 5, 2017 updating the Court regarding the progress of the aforementioned negotiations, and proposing a schedule for further proceedings, if necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 3/23/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 03/23/2017)
2017-03-23Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 5/5/2017. (dot) (Entered: 03/24/2017)
2017-05-0517Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 05/05/2017)
2017-05-10MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 17 Joint Status Report wherein they represent that Defendant has produced a disc of materials; that Plaintiff is reviewing this production; and that the parties require additional time to engage in further discussions and to pursue a potential resolution of this matter. Accordingly, the parties shall file a further Status Report by June 5, 2017, updating the Court regarding the status of these discussions, and indicating how the parties intend to proceed. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 5/10/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 6/5/2017. (kt) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-06-0518Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
2017-06-16MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 18 Joint Status Report wherein they represent that Defendant has produced responsive materials and a Vaughn index; that Plaintiff is reviewing this production; and that the parties require additional time to engage in further discussions and to pursue a potential resolution of this matter. Accordingly, the parties shall file a further Status Report by JULY 6, 2017, updating the Court regarding the status of these discussions, and indicating how the parties intend to proceed. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 6/16/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 06/16/2017)
2017-06-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/6/2017. (dot) (Entered: 06/20/2017)
2017-07-0619Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 07/06/2017)
2017-07-07MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 19 Joint Status Report wherein they represent that Defendant will produce supplemental materials; that Plaintiff requires time to review this production; and that the parties intend to engage in further discussions to pursue a potential resolution of this matter. Accordingly, the parties shall file a further Status Report by AUGUST 4, 2017, updating the Court regarding the status of these discussions, and indicating how the parties intend to proceed. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 7/7/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 07/07/2017)
2017-07-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/4/2017. (dot) (Entered: 07/07/2017)
2017-08-0420Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 08/04/2017)
2017-08-08MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 20 Joint Status Report wherein they represent that they intend to engage in further discussions to pursue a potential resolution of this matter. Accordingly, the parties shall file a further Status Report by SEPTEMBER 8, 2017, updating the Court regarding the status of these discussions, and indicating how the parties intend to proceed. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 8/8/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 08/08/2017)
2017-08-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/8/2017. (dot) (Entered: 08/09/2017)
2017-09-0821Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 09/08/2017)
2017-09-20MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 21 Joint Status Report wherein they represent that they intend to engage in further discussions to pursue a potential resolution of this matter. Accordingly, the parties shall file a further Status Report by OCTOBER 6, 2017, updating the Court regarding the status of these discussions, and indicating how the parties intend to proceed. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 9/20/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 09/20/2017)
2017-09-20Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/6/2017. (dot) (Entered: 09/20/2017)
2017-10-0622Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 10/06/2017)
2017-10-13MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 22 Joint Status Report. Therein, Plaintiff requests a case management conference to discuss "next steps" in this action under the Freedom of Information Act. That request is denied as premature. Rather, the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by NOVEMBER 17, 2017, updating the Court on their progress in reaching a negotiated resolution of this matter. To the extent a negotiated resolution is not forthcoming, the parties shall describe the nature of their dispute, in detail (i.e., addressing what data is available and what Plaintiff is requesting), and shall provide the Court with a proposal for how the dispute should resolved, and a proposed schedule. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 10/13/2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 10/13/2017)
2017-10-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/17/2017. (dot) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-11-1723Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 11/17/2017)
2017-12-20MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 23 Joint Status Report. Therein, the parties describe their attempts to resolve a specific issue with material withheld by Defendant. Plaintiff renews its request for "a case management conference to discuss this issue and set a case schedule." Defendant seeks additional time to "consider[ ] other alternatives" and is open to presenting its proposals "either at a status conference set by the Court or in a later joint status report." Accordingly, the Court finds that the request for a status conference remains premature. Rather, the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by JANUARY 5, 2018 , updating the Court on Defendant's alternative proposals, if any, for how the dispute should be resolved, and proposing a schedule for any briefing in this case. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on December 20, 2017. (lcckk1) (Entered: 12/20/2017)
2017-12-20Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 1/5/2018. (dot) (Entered: 12/20/2017)
2018-01-0524Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 01/05/2018)
2018-01-08MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 24 Joint Status Report, which indicates that Defendant has provided Plaintiff with certain sample screenprints and an accompanying spreadsheet, and that Plaintiff is currently reviewing these materials. Accordingly, with the parties' consent, they shall file a further Joint Status Report by JANUARY 19, 2018 , addressing the Court's Minute Order of December 20, 2017. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on January 8, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 01/08/2018)
2018-01-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 1/19/2018. (dot) (Entered: 01/09/2018)
2018-01-1925Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 01/19/2018)
2018-02-12MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 25 Joint Status Report, which indicates that, in response to Defendant's sample screenprints and accompanying spreadsheet, Plaintiff has made certain further requests to Defendant. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by FEBRUARY 20, 2018 , updating the Court regarding Defendant's response to Plaintiff's requests. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on February 12, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 02/12/2018)
2018-02-2026Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 02/20/2018)
2018-03-16MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 26 Joint Status Report, which sets forth the parties' agreement to Defendant's production of certain information in response to Plaintiff's further requests. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by APRIL 23, 2018 , identifying all issues that have been resolved, identifying any remaining issues for litigation, and proposing a schedule for any briefing in this case. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on March 16, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 03/16/2018)
2018-03-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/23/2018. (dot) (Entered: 03/19/2018)
2018-04-2327Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 04/23/2018)
2018-05-03MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 27 Joint Status Report, which sets forth the parties' divergent views as to the most efficient method for proceeding. Plaintiff appears to hurry a process for which Defendant has proposed a seemingly reasonable timeline. The Court agrees with Defendant that establishment of a briefing schedule at this time would be premature. The Court hereby orders Defendant to provide its written responses to the twenty-six fields that Plaintiff disputes being exempt under FOIA, as well as the manuals requested by Plaintiff, by MAY 11, 2018 , as Defendant indicates it expects to do. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by MAY 23, 2018 , identifying all issues that have been resolved, identifying any remaining issues for litigation, and proposing a schedule for further proceedings in this case. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on May 3, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 05/03/2018)
2018-05-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Response due by 5/11/2018. Joint Status Report due by 5/23/2018. (dot) (Entered: 05/08/2018)
2018-05-2328Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 05/23/2018)
2018-06-13MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 28 Joint Status Report, which sets forth the parties' divergent views as to the most efficient method for proceeding. The Court agrees with Defendant that establishment of a briefing schedule at this time would be premature based on recent meet-and-confer discussions illustrating an ongoing process of responding to Plaintiff's latest request. It appears, however, that any remaining production can be completed in the short term and that this matter should move to summary judgment briefing if the parties genuinely cannot resolve their differences. If it has not already, Defendant shall complete its production of non-exempt data and provide any further descriptions of disputed data fields by JULY 6, 2018 . The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by JULY 18, 2018 , identifying all issues that have been resolved, identifying any remaining issues for litigation, and proposing a schedule for further proceedings in this case. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on June 12, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 06/13/2018)
2018-06-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/18/2018. (dot) (Entered: 06/15/2018)
2018-06-2929MOTION for Extension of Time to Release Records by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION (Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 06/29/2018)
2018-07-03MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of Defendant's 29 Motion for an Extension of Time to Release Records, which seeks to "briefly" vacate the July 6, 2018, deadline for the production that the Court ordered in its Minute Order of June 13, 2018. Defendant wants to adjust the deadline for production due to ongoing negotiations with Plaintiff about the scope of the database pull that Defendant will perform. Plaintiff withheld consent to this motion for lack of Defendant's commitment to a firm deadline for the production of "indisputably nonexempt" information. But in light of Defendant's representation that ongoing negotiations render Defendant unable at this time to propose a revised deadline, the Court shall GRANT Defendant's motion, for good cause shown, and VACATE the production deadline for the time being. The parties shall submit a Joint Status Report by JULY 20, 2018 , proposing a revised deadline for production to which Defendant shall commit to adhere. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on July 3, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 07/03/2018)
2018-07-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/20/2018. (dot) (Entered: 07/03/2018)
2018-07-2030Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION. (Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 07/20/2018)
2018-08-02MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 30 Joint Status Report, in which Defendant conditionally commits to produce the data at issue by November 20, 2018. Both parties indicate a willingness to continue negotiating regarding exemptions and other issues. In light of the forthcoming dates that Defendant has identified, the Court adopts Plaintiff's proposal that the parties file a further Joint Status Report by AUGUST 10, 2018 . This Joint Status Report shall identify all issues that have been resolved and further justify the parties' proposal(s) for how long the pull and production of data should require. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 2, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/10/2018, identifying all issues that have been resolved and further justify the parties' proposal(s) for how long the pull and production of data should require. (dot) (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-1031Joint STATUS REPORT by INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE. (Muino, Daniel) (Entered: 08/10/2018)
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