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Case TitleRODRIGUEZ v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2016cv02465
Date Filed2016-12-19
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Amit P. Mehta
PlaintiffVICTOR RODRIGUEZ
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Criminal Division, Office of Informations Policy
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Opinion/Order [31]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Amit Mehta has ruled that neither the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice nor EOUSA has shown that it conducted an adequate search in responding to a request by prisoner Victor Rodriguez. about his death penalty case from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Criminal Division searched its Capital Case Section and located 574 pages. It withheld 97 pages in full and referred 473 pages to EOUSA for a direct response. EOUSA told Rodriguez that it was withholding the 473 pages entirely under a variety of exemptions. DOJ argued that both searches were adequate. Mehta, however, noted that the affidavit submitted by the Criminal Division "is not sufficiently detailed to permit the court to share in that assessment. [The affidavit] states that the search was sent only to CCS 'based upon the nature of the records Plaintiff requested.' [The affidavit] does not, however, explain why 'the only reasonable place to look for' the documents was within CCS or why 'no other records systems are reasonably likely to contain' responsive records. Moreover, although [the affidavit] discloses the number of responsive records that the agency located, [it] does not set forth the search terms CCS used or the method and type of search CCS performed to identify those records. As a result, neither Plaintiff nor the court can adequately assess whether the agency's search complied with FOIA." Mehta found the affidavit submitted by EOUSA added little. He noted that "although [EOUSA's affidavit] suggests that EOUSA conducted its own independent search for records responsive to Plaintiff's request, [it] is silent as to whether any such search was conducted. Instead, [the EOUSA affidavit] merely affirms that EOUSA received and reviewed the 473 pages of responsive documents referred by the Criminal Division." Mehta concluded that "without evidence of the search terms and method of search used by the Criminal Division and an explanation for why CCS was the only location that housed responsive documents, the court finds that genuine issues remain about the adequacy of the search."
Issues: Adequacy - Search
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-12-191COMPLAINT against FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION filed by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit D)(sb) (Entered: 12/20/2016)
2016-12-192MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (sb) (Entered: 12/20/2016)
2016-12-193PRISONER TRUST FUND ACCOUNT STATEMENT for period of six months by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (sb) (Entered: 12/20/2016)
2016-12-194ORDER granting 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 12/19/2016. (sb) (Entered: 12/20/2016)
2016-12-19Initiating Pleading & IFP Application Received on 12/09/2016. (sb) (Entered: 12/20/2016)
2016-12-205Summons (3) Issued as to FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Attorney General. (sb) (Entered: 12/21/2016)
2016-12-306NOTICE of Appearance by Wyneva Johnson on behalf of All Defendants (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 12/30/2016)
2016-12-307RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 12/29/2016. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 1/28/2017. (zrdj) (Entered: 01/03/2017)
2017-01-048MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 01/04/2017)
2017-01-05MINUTE ORDER granting 8 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Defendant shall file its Response on or before February 28, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 01/05/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 01/05/2017)
2017-01-05Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's response due by 2/28/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 01/05/2017)
2017-01-099RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 12/30/2016. (zrdj) (Entered: 01/10/2017)
2017-01-1310RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION served on 1/12/2017 (zrdj) (Entered: 01/17/2017)
2017-02-2711MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Complaint by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 02/27/2017)
2017-02-27MINUTE ORDER granting 11 Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant shall file its Response on or before March 14, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 02/27/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 02/27/2017)
2017-02-27Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Answer to complaint due by 3/14/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 02/28/2017)
2017-02-2812MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 02/28/2017)
2017-02-28MINUTE ORDER granting 12 Defendant's Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant shall file its Response on or before March 31, 2017. As this is Defendant's third request for additional time, no further extension shall be granted absent extraordinary circumstances. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 02/28/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 02/28/2017)
2017-03-2013MOTION to Clarify by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (zrdj) (Entered: 03/22/2017)
2017-03-2814ORDER denying 13 Plaintiff's Motion to Clarify. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/28/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 03/28/2017)
2017-03-3115Defendant's ANSWER to 1 Complaint by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 03/31/2017)
2017-04-0316ORDER: Both a Complaint and an Answer are now before the court in this FOIA case. It is hereby ordered that Defendant shall file a Status Report on or before April 17, 2017. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/03/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 04/03/2017)
2017-04-03Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Status Report due by 4/17/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 04/04/2017)
2017-04-1717Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 04/17/2017)
2017-04-19MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of 17 Defendant's Status Report, the court orders the following: Defendant Criminal Division shall file a status report on or before June 15, 2017; and Defendant FBI shall file a status report on or before July 18, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/19/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 04/19/2017)
2017-04-19Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant Criminal Division's Status Report due by 6/15/2017. Defendant FBI's Status Report due by 7/18/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 04/20/2017)
2017-06-1518STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 06/15/2017)
2017-06-1619ORDER setting the following schedule for further proceedings in this matter: Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed on or before August 15, 2017; Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed on or before September 15, 2017; and Defendants' Reply shall be filed on or before October 15, 2017. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 06/16/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 06/16/2017)
2017-07-1820STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 07/18/2017)
2017-07-19MINUTE ORDER. In light of 20 Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation's Status Report, the FBI shall submit a subsequent Status Report on or before October 17, 2017. The court clarifies that its June 16, 2017, Order setting a summary judgment briefing schedule applies only to Defendants Criminal Division, Office of Information Policy, and the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 07/19/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 07/19/2017)
2017-07-19Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation's Status Report due by 10/17/2017. (zcdw) (Entered: 07/19/2017)
2017-07-2121CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION re 18 Status Report (Amended Certificate of Service) . (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 07/21/2017)
2017-08-1522MOTION for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motion by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 08/15/2017)
2017-08-16MINUTE ORDER granting 22 Defendants' Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants Criminal Division, Office of Information Policy, and the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys shall file their Response by August 16, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/16/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 08/16/2017)
2017-08-1623MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Peter Sprung DOJ Included Exh 1, Exh 2, # 2 Declaration Jolly Vinay EOUSA Incl Exh A, Exh B)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 08/16/2017)
2017-08-16Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendants Criminal Division, Office of Information Policy, and the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys' responses due by 8/16/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 08/18/2017)
2017-08-17MINUTE ORDER revising the schedule for further proceedings in this matter. Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants Criminal Division and Executive Office for United States Attorneys' Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed on or before September 18, 2017; and Defendants' Reply shall be filed on or before October 18, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/17/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 08/17/2017)
2017-08-1724ORDER advising Plaintiff to respond by September 18, 2017, to 23 Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment or risk entry of judgment in favor of Defendants. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/17/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 08/17/2017)
2017-08-17Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 9/18/2017. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 10/18/2017. (zcdw) (Entered: 08/18/2017)
2017-08-3025NOTICE to the Court by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (jf) Modified to correct typos on 8/31/2017 (znmw). (Entered: 08/30/2017)
2017-08-31MINUTE ORDER. The court treats 25 Plaintiff's Notice to the Court as a Motion for Extension of Time and grants the Motion. Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment shall be filed on or before October 16, 2017. Further, the court directs the Clerk's Office to send Plaintiff a copy of 23 Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/31/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 08/31/2017)
2017-08-3126ORDER advising Plaintiff to respond by October 16, 2017, to 23 Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment or risk entry of judgment in favor of Defendants. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/31/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 08/31/2017)
2017-08-31Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 10/16/2017. (cdw) (Entered: 08/31/2017)
2017-10-0527Memorandum in opposition to re 23 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ. (td) (Entered: 10/10/2017)
2017-11-2228STATUS REPORT and Notice to the Court by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 11/22/2017)
2017-11-2729ORDER. In light of Defendant's 28 Status Report, the court hereby advises Plaintiff that failure to pay required fees may result in dismissal of this action for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Defendant shall file a Status Report no later than December 27, 2017, notifying the court as to whether Plaintiff has paid the required fees or taken an administrative appeal, or, if neither action has been taken by Plaintiff, indicating when Defendant intends to seek dismissal. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 11/27/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 11/27/2017)
2017-11-27Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Status Report due by 12/27/2017. (zcdw) (Entered: 11/28/2017)
2017-12-2030STATUS REPORT AND NOTICE TO THE COURT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 12/20/2017)
2017-12-20MINUTE ORDER. In light of 30 Defendant's Status Report, Defendant shall file a subsequent Joint Status Report no later than March 20, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 12/20/2017. (lcapm3) (Entered: 12/20/2017)
2017-12-20Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Status Report due by 3/20/2018. (zcdw) (Entered: 12/21/2017)
2018-02-2131MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER denying Defendants' 23 Motion for Summary Judgment without prejudice. See attached Memorandum Opinion and Order for details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 02/21/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 02/21/2018)
2018-02-21Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendants' renewed Summary Judgment motion due by 4/6/2018. (zcdw) (Entered: 02/22/2018)
2018-03-0732STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 03/07/2018)
2018-03-08MINUTE ORDER. In light of 31 Defendant's Status Report, Defendant FBI shall file a subsequent Joint Status Report no later than June 6, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/08/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 03/08/2018)
2018-03-08Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Status Report due by 6/6/2018. (zcdw) (Entered: 03/09/2018)
2018-04-0433MOTION for Extension of Time to to file Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment, by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 04/04/2018)
2018-04-05MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant Criminal Division's 33 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant Criminal Division shall have up to and including May 4, 2018, to file its Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/05/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 04/05/2018)
2018-04-0634MOTION for Extension of Time to file Defendant Executive Office for United States Attorneys' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 04/06/2018)
2018-04-09MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant Executive Office for United States Attorneys' 34 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant Executive Office for United States Attorneys shall have up to and including April 9, 2018, to file its Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/09/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 04/09/2018)
2018-04-0935Renewed MOTION for Summary Judgment (Defendant Executive Office of the United States Attorneys Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment) by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) . (Entered: 04/09/2018)
2018-04-1036ORDER advising Plaintiff to respond by May 21, 2018, to Defendant Executive Office for United States Attorneys' 35 Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment or risk entry of judgment in favor of Defendant. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/10/2018. (lcapm3) (Main Document 36 replaced on 4/11/2018) (zcdw). (Entered: 04/10/2018)
2018-04-2737NOTICE to the Court by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (jf) (Entered: 05/01/2018)
2018-05-01MINUTE ORDER. In light of Plaintiff Victor Rodriguez's 37 Notice to the Court indicating he has not yet received Defendant Executive Office for United States Attorneys' 35 Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment, the court hereby orders the Clerk of the Court to mail a copy of Defendant's 35 Motion to Plaintiff. Additionally, the court, on its own accord, extends the time for Plaintiff to respond to Defendant's 35 Motion until June 4, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 05/01/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 05/01/2018)
2018-05-02Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Response to 35 due by 6/4/2018. (zcdw) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-05-0238MOTION for Extension of Time to to File Defendant Criminal Division's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment, by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-05-04MINUTE ORDER granting Criminal Division's 38 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant Criminal Division shall have up to and including May 25, 2018 to file its Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 05/04/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 05/04/2018)
2018-05-04Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Criminal Division's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/25/2018. (zcdw) (Entered: 05/06/2018)
2018-05-1439RESPONSE re 35 Renewed MOTION for Summary Judgment (Defendant Executive Office of the United States Attorneys Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment) filed by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ. (jf) (Entered: 05/16/2018)
2018-05-2440RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT February 21, 2018 Order, by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Peter Sprung, # 2 Appendix Revised Vaughn Index, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) Modified text on 5/25/2018 (ztd). (Entered: 05/24/2018)
2018-05-2541ORDER advising Plaintiff to respond by June 28, 2018, to Defendant Criminal Division's 40 Motion for Summary Judgment or risk entry of judgment in favor of Defendant. See attached Order for additional details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 05/25/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 05/25/2018)
2018-05-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Response due by 6/28/2018. (zjd) (Entered: 05/29/2018)
2018-06-0642STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 06/06/2018)
2018-06-07MINUTE ORDER. In light of Defendant's 42 Status Report, Defendant FBI shall file a subsequent Joint Status Report no later than September 5, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 06/07/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 06/07/2018)
2018-06-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 9/5/2018. (zjd) (Entered: 06/08/2018)
2018-06-0843NOTICE to the Court by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (jf) (Entered: 06/12/2018)
2018-06-14MINUTE ORDER. In light of Plaintiff's 43 Notice, Defendant Criminal Division shall re-serve Plaintiff with its renewed motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff shall file an opposition no later than July 30, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 06/14/2018. (lcapm3) (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-06-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Opposition due by 7/30/2018. (zjd) (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-06-1844NOTICE to the Court by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (jf) (Entered: 06/20/2018)
2018-06-2845RESPONSE 6/14/18 MINUTE ORDER filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 06/28/2018)
2018-07-0546MOTION to Clarify re 35 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Defendant Executive Office of the United States Attorneys Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment) by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (jf) (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-2647SURREPLY to re 35 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Defendant Executive Office of the United States Attorneys Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment) filed by VICTOR RODRIGUEZ. "Let this be filed" by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 7/26/2018. (tth) Modified text on 7/26/2018 (tth). (Entered: 07/26/2018)
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