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Case TitleRocky Mountain Wild, Inc. v. United States Bureau of Land Management et al
DistrictDistrict of Colorado
CityDenver
Case Number1:2017cv00636
Date Filed2017-03-10
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Philip A. Brimmer
PlaintiffRocky Mountain Wild, Inc. a Colorado non-profit corporation
Case DescriptionRocky Mountain Wild submitted a FOIA request to the Bureau of Land Management for records concerning compliance with federal law for specified parcels being put up for sale. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Rocky Mountain Wild filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Bureau of Land Management a federal agency
DefendantBureau of Land Management
DefendantUnited States Department of the Interior a federal agency
DefendantDepartment of the Interior, The
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
Opinion/Order [47]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Colorado has ruled that Rocky Mountain Wild is not entitled to discovery in its litigation against the Bureau of Land Management for records concerning a number of parcels made available for leasing. In response to Rocky Mountain Wild's request, BLM located 3,239 responsive records and withheld 173 pages in full and 336 pages in part. In challenging the agency's decision, Rocky Mountain Wild asked for discovery, claiming the agency's affidavits submitted by Brian Klein and Diane Fisher were not based on personal knowledge as required under Rule 56(f). District Court Judge Philip Brimmer rejected the discovery request, explaining that "plaintiff has not made an effort to describe, with any specificity, the facts plaintiff seeks to discover, plaintiff's previous efforts to obtain those facts, and how the facts are essential to rebutting defendants' summary judgment motion." Rocky Mountain Wild argued that Klein was too far removed from the actual searches " which were conducted by six employees in two field offices. But Brimmer approved his affidavit, noting that "while Mr. Klein's declarations lack certain details regarding the search process. . .the Court finds the information provided sufficiently detailed to 'afford a FOIA requester an opportunity to challenge the adequacy of the search and to allow the [Court] to determine if the search was adequate in order to grant summary judgment.'" Rocky Mountain Wild also faulted the agency's failure to search more broadly for records pertaining to the NEPA approval process. Brimmer, however, pointed out that "had plaintiff intended to make a broader request for all NEPA analysis concerning the parcels at issue, it could have done so. Here, however, the BLM was not required to look beyond the plain language of plaintiff's FOIA request for records related to the [Resource Management Plan]." While Brimmer upheld the agency's decision to limit the search to a list of specialists, he noted that BLM had failed to show why it did not conduct a search of its Washington offices. Brimmer also upheld the agency's Exemption 5 (privileges) claims, noting that a series of emails were protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Issues: Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Discovery
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-03-101COMPLAINT against Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, The (Filing fee $ 400,Receipt Number 1082-5418531)Attorney Matthew David Sandler added to party Rocky Mountain Wild(pty:pla), filed by Rocky Mountain Wild. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit October 20 FOIA Request, # 2 Exhibit November 22 Letter, # 3 Exhibit January 9 Letter, # 4 Civil Cover Sheet, # 5 Summons, # 6 Summons, # 7 Summons, # 8 Summons)(Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 03/10/2017)
2017-03-102Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. Text Only Entry (dbera, ) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-133SUMMONS issued by Clerk. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Magistrate Judge Consent Form) (dbera, ) (Entered: 03/13/2017)
2017-03-244ORDER SETTING STATUS CONFERENCE AND SETTING DEADLINE FOR FILING OF CONSENT/NONCONSENT FORM by Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 3/24/17. A Status Conference is set for 5/9/2017 02:30 PM in Courtroom C204 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. The parties shall complete and file the Consent/Nonconsent Form by 4/25/2017. (bwilk, ) (Entered: 03/27/2017)
2017-04-055CONSENT to Jurisdiction of Magistrate Judge by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc. All parties do not consent.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 04/05/2017)
2017-04-056CASE REASSIGNED pursuant to 5 Consent to Jurisdiction of Magistrate Judge. All parties do not consent. This case is randomly reassigned to Judge Philip A. Brimmer. All future pleadings should be designated as 17-cv-00636-PAB. (Text Only Entry) (nmarb, ) (Entered: 04/05/2017)
2017-04-137NOTICE of Entry of Appearance by Lauren Marie Dickey on behalf of All Defendants Attorney Lauren Marie Dickey added to party United States Bureau of Land Management(pty:dft), Attorney Lauren Marie Dickey added to party United States Department of the Interior(pty:dft) (Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 04/13/2017)
2017-04-138STIPULATION for Administrative Closure by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Sandler, Matthew) Modified on 4/14/2017 to change into Motion pursuant to PAB Chambers instruction (jhawk, ). (Entered: 04/13/2017)
2017-04-179ORDER. ORDERED that this case is administratively closed pursuant to D.C.COLO.LCivR41.2, subject to being reopened for good cause shown. ORDERED that the parties shall file a status report on or before October 17, 2017. ORDERED that if no party files a stipulation to dismiss the case or a motion to reopen the case on or before April 17, 2018, this case will be dismissed with prejudice without further notice to the parties and without further action by the Court. Signed by Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 04/17/17. (jhawk, ) (Entered: 04/17/2017)
2017-06-1910Unopposed MOTION to Reopen Case by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1_Administrative Appeal, # 2 Exhibit 2_Appeal Response, # 3 Proposed Order (PDF Only) Proposed Order Granting Motion)(Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 06/19/2017)
2017-06-2211MINUTE ORDER granting 10 Unopposed Motion to Reopen by Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 6/22/17. (dkals, ) (Entered: 06/22/2017)
2017-06-2312ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang for non-dispositive matters. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a) and (b), this case is referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge to (1) convene a scheduling conference under Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b) and enter a scheduling order meeting the requirements of D.C.COLO.LCivR 16.2, (2) conduct such status conferences and issue such orders necessary for compliance with the scheduling order, including amendments or modifications of the scheduling order upon a showing of good cause, (3) hear and determine pretrial matters, including discovery and other non-dispositive motions, and (4) conduct a pretrial conference and enter a pretrial order. Court sponsored alternative dispute resolution is governed by D.C.COLO.LCivR 16.6. On the recommendation or informal request of the magistrate judge or on the request of the parties by motion, this court may direct the parties to engage in an early neutral evaluation, a settlement conference, or another alternative dispute resolution proceeding. By Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 6/23/17. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 06/23/2017)
2017-06-2613Unopposed MOTION for Order to Permit Defendants to File Response to Complaint on or before July 7, 2017 by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-2614MEMORANDUM regarding 13 Unopposed MOTION for Order to Permit Defendants to File Response to Complaint on or before July 7, 2017 filed by United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. Motion referred to Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang by Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 6/26/17. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-2715ORDER granting 13 Motion for Order. Defendants shall respond to the Complaint on or before 7/7/2017. By Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 6/27/17. Text Only Entry (nywlc1) (Entered: 06/27/2017)
2017-06-2716MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is set for 7/21/2017 02:30 PM in Courtroom C204 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. By Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 6/27/2017. Text Only Entry (nywlc1) (Entered: 06/27/2017)
2017-06-2717Utility Setting/Resetting Deadlines/Hearings: United States Bureau of Land Management answer due 7/7/2017; United States Department of the Interior answer due 7/7/2017 pursuant to 15 Order. Text Only Entry (nmarb, ) (Entered: 06/28/2017)
2017-07-0718Partial MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction , MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 07/07/2017)
2017-07-1419Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 18 Partial MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 07/14/2017)
2017-07-1720MINUTE ORDER granting 19 Motion for Extension of Time. Plaintiff may have until August 8, 2017 to respond to defendants' Partial Motion to Dismiss 18 . By Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 7/17/17. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 07/17/2017)
2017-07-2021Unopposed MOTION for Leave to Appear Telephonically by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Stills, Travis) (Entered: 07/20/2017)
2017-07-2022MEMORANDUM regarding 21 Unopposed MOTION for Leave to Appear Telephonically filed by Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc. Motion referred to Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang by Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 7/20/17. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 07/20/2017)
2017-07-2023ORDER granting 21 Motion for Leave to Appear. Mr. Stills may appear for the 7/21/2017 Status Conference by telephone by contacting chambers at 303.335.2600 at the designated time. By Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 7/20/17. Text Only Entry (nywlc1) (Entered: 07/20/2017)
2017-07-2124COURTROOM MINUTES/MINUTE ORDER for Status Conference held on 7/21/2017 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. Defendants shall produce the records ordered through the administrative appeal on or before August 4, 2017. On or before August 4, 2017, parties shall meet and confer regarding any issues that can be resolved or have briefed before determination of Defendants Partial Motion to Dismiss 18 . The Parties will file a Joint Status Report on or before August 4, 2017 addressing that issue. FTR: Courtroom C-204. (bwilk, ) (Entered: 07/24/2017)
2017-07-21***Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 8/4/2017. (bwilk, ) (Entered: 07/24/2017)
2017-08-0425Joint STATUS REPORT by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 08/04/2017)
2017-08-0826RESPONSE to 18 Partial MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim filed by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Stills, Travis) (Entered: 08/08/2017)
2017-08-2227REPLY to Response to 18 Partial MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim filed by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 08/22/2017)
2017-11-2828MINUTE ORDER setting Telephonic Status Conference for 12/8/2017 09:30 AM in Courtroom C204 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. Counsel shall coordinate a conference call before contacting chambers at 303.335.2600 on one telephone line. By Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 11/28/2017. Text Only Entry (nywlc1) (Entered: 11/28/2017)
2017-11-3029MOTION to Continue by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 11/30/2017)
2017-12-0130MEMORANDUM regarding 29 MOTION to Continue filed by Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc. Motion referred to Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang by Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 12/1/17. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 12/01/2017)
2017-12-0131ORDER granting 29 Motion to Continue. The Telephonic Status Conference set for 12/8/2017 is VACATED and RESET to 12/5/2017 03:00 PM in Courtroom C204 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. Counsel shall coordinate a conference call before contacting chambers at 303.335.2600 on one telephone line. By Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 12/1/2017. Text Only Entry (nywlc1, ) (Entered: 12/01/2017)
2017-12-0532MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang: Status Conference held on 12/5/2017. Within three days of any determination on Defendants Partial Motion to Dismiss 18 , parties shall contact Magistrate Judge Wangs chambers at (303) 335-2600 to schedule a further Status Conference to set a briefing schedule on the remaining claims. Parties should be prepared to address what, if anything, may be requested through limited discovery. FTR: NYW-C-204. (nmarb, ) (Entered: 12/06/2017)
2018-03-0533ORDER by Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 03/05/2018, re: 18 Defendants' Partial Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED . ORDERED that plaintiff's first claim for relief is dismissed without prejudice to the extent it alleges a claim based on defendants' failure to timely issue a final determination on plaintiff's FOIA request. ORDERED that plaintiff's second claim for relief is dismissed without prejudice. (sphil, ) (Entered: 03/05/2018)
2018-03-0834MINUTE ORDER setting a Telephonic Status Conference for 3/16/2018 02:30 PM in Courtroom C204 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. Counsel shall coordinate a conference call prior to contacting Chambers at 303.335.2600 at the designated time.By Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 3/8/2018. Text Only Entry (nywlc1, ) (Entered: 03/08/2018)
2018-03-1635COURTROOM MINUTES/MINUTE ORDER for Telephonic Status Conference held on 3/16/2018 before Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang. Defendants shall file their opening brief on or before May 23, 2018. Plaintiff shall file a response on or before June 13, 2018. Defendants shall file their reply on or before June 29, 2018. FTR: Courtroom C-204. (bwilk, ) (Entered: 03/19/2018)
2018-05-2336MOTION for Summary Judgment by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex. 1- Klein Declaration, # 2 Exhibit Ex. 2- Vaughn Index)(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 05/23/2018)
2018-06-1337RESPONSE to 36 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Determination of NEPA Adequacy, # 2 Exhibit RMP FEIS List of Preparers, # 3 Exhibit WO Briefing Email, # 4 Exhibit Addendum 1, # 5 Exhibit Lease Sale Notice, # 6 Exhibit NOI Response, # 7 Exhibit Biological Assessment, # 8 Exhibit FWS Comments, # 9 Exhibit CPW Comments)(Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 06/13/2018)
2018-06-1338Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 06/13/2018)
2018-06-2639Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 36 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 06/26/2018)
2018-06-2740MINUTE ORDER granting 39 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants may have until July 2, 2018 to file a reply in support of their Motion for Summary Judgment 36 . By Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 6/27/18. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 06/27/2018)
2018-06-2941Unopposed MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 06/29/2018)
2018-06-2942MINUTE ORDER granting 41 Motion to File Excess Pages. Defendants may file a reply in support of their motion for summary judgment 36 not to exceed 13 pages. By Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 6/29/18. Text Only Entry (pabsec) (Entered: 06/29/2018)
2018-07-0243REPLY to Response to 36 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Klein Supplemental Declaration, # 2 Exhibit Clementson Declaration)(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 07/02/2018)
2018-07-0544RESPONSE to 38 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 07/05/2018)
2018-07-1945REPLY to Response to 38 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 07/19/2018)
2018-08-0646REASSIGNING MAGISTRATE JUDGE. This action is reassigned to Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews, in the referral role, upon his appointment. All future pleadings should reference Magistrate Judge Crews at the end of the civil action number (such as 15-cv-00001-PAB-SKC). Unless otherwise ordered, the dates and times for all previously scheduled matters will be maintained and will now be handled by Magistrate Judge Crews in Courtroom C-204. His chambers are located in Room C-253 of the Byron G. Rogers Courthouse. His telephone number is 303-335-2117. (Text only entry) (nmarb, ) (Entered: 08/06/2018)
2020-04-2247ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 4/22/2020, re: 36 Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as stated in this order; 38 plaintiff's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative, Leave to Carry Out Rule 56(d) Discovery is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as stated in this order. ORDERED that, within forty-five days of this order , the BLM shall conduct a supplemental search for records, using a search cut-off date of May 7, 2017, that includes any records held in the BLM's Washington, D.C. office.(sphil, ) (Entered: 04/22/2020)
2020-05-1248MOTION to Clarify re 47 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment,,,,, by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 05/12/2020)
2020-05-1549MINUTE ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 5/15/2020, re: 48 Defendants Motion to Clarify Single Issue in Courts April 22,2020, Order (ECF No. 47) is GRANTED . ORDERED that, within forty-five days of the April 22, 2020 order, the BLM shall conduct a supplemental search for records, using a search cut-off date of March 7, 2017, that includes any records held in the BLMs Washington, D.C. office.(sphil, ) (Entered: 05/15/2020)
2020-07-0250Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order (PDF Only))(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 07/02/2020)
2020-07-0651ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 7/6/2020 re: 50 Motion for Extension of Time to File Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. Text Only Entry(pabsec2) (Entered: 07/06/2020)
2020-07-1052MOTION for Summary Judgment by Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit)(Dickey, Lauren) (Entered: 07/10/2020)
2020-07-2453Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 07/24/2020)
2020-07-2454ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 7/24/2020 re: 53 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file a response to 52 Motion for Summary Judgment on or before August 28, 2020 . Text Only Entry(pabsec2) (Entered: 07/24/2020)
2020-08-2055Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 08/20/2020)
2020-08-2056ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 8/20/2020 re: 55 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file a response to 52 Motion for Summary Judgment on or before September 28, 2020 . Text Only Entry(pabsec2) (Entered: 08/20/2020)
2020-09-2157Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-2158ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 9/21/2020 granting 57 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file a response to 52 Motion for Summary Judgment on or before October 28, 2020. Text Only Entry(pabsec2) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-10-2659Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 10/26/2020)
2020-10-2660ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 10/26/2020 re: 59 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file a response to 52 Motion for Summary Judgment on or before November 25, 2020 . Text Only Entry(pabsec2) (Entered: 10/26/2020)
2020-11-2361Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 11/23/2020)
2020-11-2462MINUTE ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 11/24/2020, re: 61 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply is GRANTED . Plaintiff shall file its response on or before December 20, 2020 . Text Only Entry. (sphil, ) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
2020-12-1863Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Rocky Mountain Wild, Inc.. (Sandler, Matthew) (Entered: 12/18/2020)
2020-12-2164ORDER by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer on 12/21/2020 re: 63 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall file its response on or before January 20, 2021 . Text Only Entry(pabsec2) (Entered: 12/21/2020)
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