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Case TitleDemoruelle et al v. Veterans Affairs, Department of
DistrictDistrict of Hawaii
CityHawaii
Case Number1:2017cv00077
Date Filed2017-02-21
Date Closed2017-09-11
JudgeJUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI
PlaintiffJoseph Louis Demoruelle naalehutheatre@yahoo.com
PlaintiffSandra Lee Demoruelle naalehuthreatre@yahoo.com
Case DescriptionLouis Demoruelle, a disabled Vietnam veteran, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Veterans Affairs for records concerning the Beneficiary Travel Office because Demoruelle believed his benefit claim had been lost and he wanted to know more about the operations of the office. The agency assessed fees and Demoruelle appealed. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Demoruelle and his wife filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantVeterans Affairs, Department of
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [35]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Hawaii has awarded pro se plaintiffs Joseph and Sandra Demoruelle costs for their multiple FOIA suits against the Department of Veterans Affairs because the agency failed to respond until long after the Demoruelles filed suit, but has ruled that the Demoruelles are not entitled to any other relief. The court noted that "the Complaint states a single claim for a FOIA fee waiver for the aforementioned appeals. There is no allegation pursuant to FOIA or any other statute, including the Privacy Act, that the VA has wrongfully withheld any documents. Consequently, Plaintiffs have provided no grounds upon which the Court may grant the requested relief." The court added that "while the Motion only seeks costs of the instant suit, the Complaint also seeks attorneys' fees. It is well-established that 'a pro se litigant who is not a lawyer is not entitled to attorney's fees.'"
Issues: Litigation - Recovery of Costs
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-02-211COMPLAINT against Veterans Affairs, Department of, filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (eps, ) (Entered: 02/22/2017)
2017-02-212Filing fee: $ 400.00,receipt number HI020497 re 1 Complaint (eps, ) (Entered: 02/22/2017)
2017-02-213Order Setting Rule 16 Scheduling Conference for 09:30AM on 4/24/2017 before Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD. Signed by CHIEF JUDGE J. MICHAEL SEABRIGHT on 02/21/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Memore: Corporate Disclosures) (eps, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on 02/22/2017 (Entered: 02/22/2017)
2017-02-224CIVIL Waiver of Service Packet (Attachments: # 1 A0 398 Notice of a Lawsuit, # 2 A0 399 Waiver of Service of Summons) (eps, ) (Entered: 02/22/2017)
2017-02-275Summons Issued as to Veterans Affairs, Department of, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons (issued) as to DVA Office of General Counsel, # 2 Summons (issued) U.S. Attorney J.B. Sessions) (eps, ) (Entered: 02/27/2017)
2017-03-086MOTION for Summary Judgment; Certificate of Service by Plaintiffs Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle (eps, ) (Entered: 03/08/2017)
2017-03-087MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES in Support of 6 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (eps, ) (Entered: 03/08/2017)
2017-03-088CONCISE STATEMENT OF FACTS in Support Of Plaintiffs' 6 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Exhibit 6)(eps, ) (Entered: 03/08/2017)
2017-03-089Declaration Of Sandra Demourelle. (eps, ) (Entered: 03/08/2017)
2017-03-1410EO: COURT ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT WITHOUT PREJUDICE. denying 6 Motion for Summary Judgment. (JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI)(wnn, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 03/14/2017)
2017-03-1711SUMMONS Returned Executed via certified mail on 3/2/2017. Department of Veterans Affairs served through U.S. Attorney General J.B. Sessions/Washington D.C. USPS Tracking Information report: March 9, 2017, 5:22 a.m. - Delivered. STAFF NOTATION: The Proof of Service page does not bear the original signature of the process server. (afc) (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-03-1712SUMMONS Returned Executed via certified mail on 3/2/2017. Department of Veterans Affairs served through U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii. USPS Tracking Information report: March 6, 2017, 10:21 a.m. - Delivered, Left with Individual.. STAFF NOTATION: The Proof of Service page does not bear the original signature of the process server. (afc) (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-03-1713SUMMONS Returned Executed via certified mail on 3/2/2017. Department of Veterans Affairs served through DVA-General Counsel. USPS Tracking Information report: March 9, 2017, 5:20 a.m. - Delivered. STAFF NOTATION: The Proof of Service page does not bear the original signature of the process server. (afc) (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-03-2014MOTION for Summary Judgment; Certificate of Service - filed by Plaintiffs Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (afc) (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-03-2015MEMORANDUM of Points and Authorities in Support of 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Compliance with Word Limitations) (afc) (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-03-2016Declaration of Sandra Demoruelle re: 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment. (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-03-2017CONCISE STATEMENT OF FACTS in Support re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Compliance with Word Limitations, # 2 Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit 2, # 4 Exhibit 3, # 5 Exhibit 4, # 6 Exhibit 5, # 7 Exhibit 6) (afc) (Entered: 03/20/2017)
2017-04-0318EO: COURT ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, FILED MARCH 20, 2017. re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment. (JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI)(wnn, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 04/03/2017)
2017-04-0519ANSWER to 1 Complaint Answer of Defendant Department of Veterans' Affairs to the Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, Filed February 21, 2017; Certificate of Service by Veterans Affairs, Department of.(Albanese, Michael) (Entered: 04/05/2017)
2017-04-0620Amended SUMMONS Returned Executed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Summons Returned Executed, # 2 Amended Summons Returned Executed, # 3 Certified Mailing Receipts) (eps, ) (Entered: 04/06/2017)
2017-04-1721Scheduling Conference Statement Defendant Department of Veterans' Affairs' Rule 16 Scheduling Conference Statement; Certificate of Service . (Helper, Thomas) (Entered: 04/17/2017)
2017-04-1722Rule 16 Scheduling Conference Statement; Certificate of Service. (eps, ) (Entered: 04/19/2017)
2017-04-2423EP: Rule 16 Scheduling Conference held on 4/24/2017. Non-Jury Trial set for 4/4/2018 09:00 AM in Aha Nonoi before JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI. Final Pretrial Conference set for 3/13/2018 09:45 AM in Courtroom 6 before Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD. Early Settlement Conference set for 6/23/2017 10:30 AM in Chambers of Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield before Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD. Settlement Conference set for 1/23/2018 10:30 AM in Chambers of Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield before Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD. File Dispositive Motions by 11/22/2017. Discovery deadline 2/23/2018. (Court Reporter C6-No record.) (Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD)(tl, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 04/25/2017)
2017-04-2624EO: Due to a conflict in the Court's schedule, the Settlement Conference previously set for 06/23/2017 IS CONTINUED TO 06/28/2017 at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 6 before Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD. Related: 23 Rule 16 Scheduling Conference minutes. Settlement conference statements are due by 06/21/2017. (Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD)(bbb) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 04/26/2017)
2017-04-2725EO: The Settlement Conference set before Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield will now be heard before MAGISTRATE JUDGE BARRY M. KURREN on the same dates of 06/28/2017 at 10:30 a.m. in Chambers of Magistrate Judge Barry M Kurren and 01/23/2018 10:30 AM in Chambers of Magistrate Judge Barry M Kurren. (Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD)(bbb) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 04/27/2017)
2017-04-2726RULE 16 SCHEDULING ORDER:. Signed by Magistrate Judge KENNETH J. MANSFIELD on 04/27/2017. (eps, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). (Entered: 04/27/2017)
2017-05-1527EO: Settlement Conference DATE has been changed from 6/28/2017 to 7/26/2017 at 1:30 PM in the Chambers of Magistrate Judge Barry M Kurren, before MAGISTRATE JUDGE BARRY M. KURREN. Updated Confidential Settlement Conference Statements are due 7/19/2017 and should be emailed to kurren_orders@hid.uscourts.gov. (MAGISTRATE JUDGE BARRY M. KURREN)(tl, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 05/15/2017)
2017-06-0728MOTION For Priority Status Of Plaintiffs' For Motion For Summary Judgment And Memorandum; Certificate of Service by Defendant Veterans Affairs, Department of (eps, ) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-06-1429EO: COURT ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PRIORITY STATUS OF PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. denying 28 Motion to Expedite. (JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI)(wnn, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 06/14/2017)
2017-06-1630MOTION for Leave to File Late Summary Judgment Opposition Memorandum and Certificate of Service Thomas A. Helper appearing for Defendant Veterans Affairs, Department of (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Thomas A. Helper, # 2 Appendix A)(Helper, Thomas) (Entered: 06/16/2017)
2017-06-2031EO: : COURT ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A LATE SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPPOSITION MEMORANDUM. granting 30 Motion for Leave to File. (JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI)(wnn, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 06/20/2017)
2017-06-2032MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment Defendant's Memorandum in Partial Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment; Certificate of Service filed by Veterans Affairs, Department of. (Helper, Thomas) (Entered: 06/20/2017)
2017-06-2733REPLY To Defendant's Memorandum In Partial Opposition To Plaintiffs' 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. (Attachments: # 1 Appendix A, # 2 Certificate of Service) (eps, ) (Entered: 06/28/2017)
2017-07-1434EO: Per Ms. Demoruelle and Mr. Albanese's request and agreement, the settlement conference date set for 7/26/2017 at 1:30pm before Magistrate Judge Barry M. Kurren is hereby VACATED. Any further settlement conference date will be requested by the parties. (MAGISTRATE JUDGE BARRY M. KURREN)(tl, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 07/14/2017)
2017-08-2135ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Joseph Louis Demoruelle, Sandra Lee Demoruelle. Signed by JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI on 08/21/2017. Pro se Plaintiffs Joseph Louis Demoruelle and Sandra Lee Demoruelle's Motion for Summary Judgment, filed on March 20, 2017, is HEREBY GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. It is granted insofar as Plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment on Count I and litigation costs. It is denied insofar as Plaintiffs request any additional relief. There being no remaining claims in this case, the Court DIRECTS the Clerk's Office to enter final judgment and close this case on September 11, 2017, unless Plaintiffs file a motion for reconsideration of this Order by September 5, 2017. (eps, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 08/21/2017)
2017-09-0636STIPULATION RE: BILL OF COSTS AND ORDER. Signed by JUDGE LESLIE E. KOBAYASHI on 09/06/2017. (eps, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were by first class mail on the date of this docket entry (Entered: 09/06/2017)
2017-09-1137CLERK'S JUDGMENT. (eps, ) CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE Participants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications served by first class mail on September 12, 2017 (Entered: 09/11/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff