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Case TitleFrost v. Wilkinson
DistrictNorthern District of California
CitySan Francisco
Case Number3:2017cv01587
Date Filed2017-03-23
Date Closed2017-08-03
JudgeMagistrate Judge Laurel Beeler
PlaintiffVinton P. Frost
Case DescriptionVinton Frost submitted a FOIA request to the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. The agency told Frost he would need to identify what offices he believed had responsive records in order for the agency to conduct a search. Frost provided more information, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Frost filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit

DefendantMonty Wilkinson in his capacity as Director of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [37]
Opinion/Order [49]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal magistrate judge in California has found that EOUSA properly responded to prisoner Vinton Frost's request for records about himself by indicating that it had found no records after conducting a search. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler noted that because Frost had sued Monty Wilkinson, the head of EOUSA, rather than the agency itself, his case should be dismissed and Frost would be given an opportunity to refile naming a proper defendant. The agency claimed Frost's suit was moot because it had fully responded to Frost's request. However, Beeler disagreed, pointing out that "the court understands the defendant's mootness argument but does not think that it quite applies here. The plaintiff is not merely demanding that the EOUSA do something that it has already done (conduct a FOIA search); he is claiming that that search was somehow inadequate. (Because it 'improperly withheld' perhaps 'classified' documents.) At least notionally, that is a live dispute. If it were shown that the EOUSA did refuse to turn over documents that it possessed, then the court could order the agency to produce that material to Mr. Frost. The court could, in other words, 'grant effective relief.'" Nevertheless, Beeler indicated that she would prefer to treat the matter as a summary judgment motion and rule in favor of EOUSA. She observed that "in these circumstances, and where the plaintiff has pointed to no 'meaningful' concrete proof that the EOUSA's search was somehow wanting, it is hard to see what evidence is likely to bear on the adequacy-of-search issue." She explained that "the court would thus be inclined to grant the defendant summary judgment and dismiss the plaintiff's claims with prejudice. At this juncture, however, given the Ninth Circuit's standards regarding leave to amend, the court dismisses the case with leave to amend."
Issues: Litigation - Jurisdiction - Proper Party
Opinion/Order [57]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-03-231COMPLAINT against Monty Wilkinson. Filed byVinton P. Frost. Consent/Declination due by 4/6/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/23/2017) (Entered: 03/28/2017)
2017-03-232Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 6/15/2017. Case Management Conference set for 6/22/2017 11:00 AM in Courtroom C, 15th Floor, San Francisco. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/23/2017) (Entered: 03/28/2017)
2017-03-233MOTION for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis filed by Vinton P. Frost. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/23/2017) (Entered: 03/28/2017)
2017-03-244CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Vinton P. Frost.. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/24/2017) (Entered: 03/28/2017)
2017-04-035Order signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler granting 3 APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (rxmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/3/2017) (Entered: 04/03/2017)
2017-04-116Summons Issued as to Monty Wilkinson, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 USM 285, # 2 USM 285)(farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/11/2017) (Entered: 04/11/2017)
2017-04-177ORDER FINDING CASE IS NOT RELATED to 17-cv-01239 JCS, 17-cv-01240 JCS, 17-CV-01587 LB. Signed by Judge Nathanael Cousins on 4/17/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(lmh, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/17/2017) (Entered: 04/17/2017)
2017-04-188ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT of Summons Received from USMS. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/18/2017) (Entered: 04/19/2017)
2017-05-059SUMMONS Returned Executed Monty Wilkinson served on 5/2/2017, answer due 5/23/2017. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/5/2017) (Entered: 05/08/2017)
2017-05-1610SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT by Vinton P. Frost (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/16/2017) (Entered: 05/17/2017)
2017-05-2217Received Document: AMENDMENT TO 10 SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT by Vinton P. Frost. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/22/2017) (Entered: 05/30/2017)
2017-05-2413Request for Judicial Notice; filed byVinton P. Frost. (aaaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/24/2017) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-2511CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Monty Wilkinson.. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 5/25/2017) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-2512MOTION to Dismiss Supplemental Complaint filed by Monty Wilkinson. Motion Hearing set for 7/20/2017 09:30 AM in Courtroom C, 15th Floor, San Francisco before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Responses due by 6/8/2017. Replies due by 6/15/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Tricia Francis, # 2 Declaration Patricia Mahoney)(Scharf, James) (Filed on 5/25/2017) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-2514CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT filed by Monty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 5/25/2017) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-2515Response re 13 Request for Judicial Notice (Plaintiff's Notice of Adjudication Request) byMonty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 5/25/2017) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-2616CLERK'S NOTICE RESCHEDULING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE. Initial Case Management Conference set for 9/14/2017 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom C, 15th Floor, San Francisco. Case Management Statement due by 9/7/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (rxmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/26/2017) (Entered: 05/26/2017)
2017-05-3018OBJECTIONS to re 17 Received Document Plaintiff's Amendment to Supplemental Complaint by Monty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 5/30/2017) (Entered: 05/30/2017)
2017-05-3119STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER re Defendant's Motion Briefing Schedule filed by Monty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 5/31/2017) (Entered: 05/31/2017)
2017-05-3121MOTION to Stay filed by Vinton P. Frost. Responses due by 6/14/2017. Replies due by 6/21/2017. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/31/2017) (Entered: 06/01/2017)
2017-06-0120Order signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler granting 19 STIPULATION RE DEFENDANT'S MOTION BRIEFING SCHEDULE. It is hereby ordered that Defendant's Reply is due June 26, 2017. (rxmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/1/2017) (Entered: 06/01/2017)
2017-06-0122OPPOSITION/RESPONSE (re 21 MOTION to Stay ) filed byMonty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/1/2017) (Entered: 06/01/2017)
2017-06-0125OPPOSITION to Motion to Dismiss for Summary Judgment by Vinton P. Frost (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/1/2017) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
2017-06-0223CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 20 . (rxmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/2/2017) (Entered: 06/02/2017)
2017-06-0224CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Monty Wilkinson re 22 Opposition/Response to Motion (Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/2/2017) (Entered: 06/02/2017)
2017-06-0526NOTICE of Plaintiff's Constitutional Challenge by Vinton P. Frost (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/5/2017) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
2017-06-0527MOTION to Continue in Lieu of Stay filed by Vinton P. Frost. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/5/2017) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
2017-06-0528REPLY (re 12 MOTION to Dismiss Supplemental Complaint ) filed byMonty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/5/2017) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
2017-06-0529ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler denying 27 Motion to Continue. This is a text entry only. No document is associated with this entry.(lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/5/2017) (Entered: 06/05/2017)
2017-06-0630CERTIFICATION of MOTION by Vinton P. Frost (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/6/2017) (Entered: 06/06/2017)
2017-06-0731Response re 30 Notice (Other) byMonty Wilkinson. (Attachments: # 1 OIP Letter)(Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/7/2017) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-06-0732MOTION to Remove Incorrectly Filed Document Dkt. No. 12-1 filed by Monty Wilkinson. (Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/7/2017) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-06-0733Declaration of Tricia Francis in Support of 12 MOTION to Dismiss Supplemental Complaint CORRECTION OF DOCKET # [12-1] filed byMonty Wilkinson. (Related document(s) 12 ) (Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/7/2017) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-06-0734CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Monty Wilkinson re 33 Declaration in Support (Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/7/2017) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-06-0935ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler granting 32 Motion to Remove Incorrectly Filed Document. The court asks the defendant to re-file its motion to dismiss (ECF No. 12) on the open docket, as described in the attached order. (lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/9/2017) (Entered: 06/09/2017)
2017-06-0936MOTION to Dismiss filed by Monty Wilkinson. Motion Hearing set for 7/20/2017 09:30 AM in Courtroom C, 15th Floor, San Francisco before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Responses due by 6/23/2017. Replies due by 6/30/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Tricia Francis, # 2 Declaration Patricia Mahoney)(Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/9/2017) (Entered: 06/09/2017)
2017-06-1237CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE for 35 Order on Motion to Remove Incorrectly Filed Document. (notewarelS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/12/2017) (Entered: 06/12/2017)
2017-06-1238Notice of Withdrawal of Motion (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/12/2017) (Entered: 06/13/2017)
2017-06-1239MOTION for Relief filed by Vinton P. Frost. Responses due by 6/26/2017. Replies due by 7/3/2017. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/12/2017) (Entered: 06/13/2017)
2017-06-1240NOTICE of Correction re 39 MOTION for relief by Vinton P. Frost (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/12/2017) (Entered: 06/13/2017)
2017-06-2041ORDER. The plaintiff has not filed an opposition to the defendant's motion to dismiss. His opposition was due on June 12, 2017. The court gives him until June 28, 2017 to file an opposition. The defendant's reply brief is now due on July 6, 2017. The hearing remains set for July 20, 2017. See attached order. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 6/20/2017. (lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/20/2017) (Entered: 06/20/2017)
2017-06-2042ORDER. The docket currently shows that the defendant has two motions to dismiss pending. (ECF Nos. 12, 36.) This is erroneous. The two motions are identical. The second motion (ECF No. 36) was "re-filed" only to correct the defendant's having mistakenly sealed his original filing. See (ECF Nos. 32, 35.) The briefing schedule has always been and remains determined by the initial May 25, 2017 motion at (ECF No. 12). Under that schedule, after the court's earlier order today, the plaintiff's opposition (which is already late) is now due by June 28, 2017. See (Order ECF No. 41.) The defendant's reply is due July 6, 2017. The hearing on the defendant's motion remains set for July 20, 2017. This is a text entry only. No document is associated with this entry. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 6/20/2017. (lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/20/2017) (Entered: 06/20/2017)
2017-06-2043CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 42 Order, 41 Order. (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/20/2017) (Entered: 06/20/2017)
2017-06-2144DEMAND for Trial by Jury by Vinton P. Frost. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/21/2017) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-2845OPPOSITION/RESPONSE (re 36 MOTION to Dismiss ) filed byVinton P. Frost. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 6/28/2017) (Entered: 06/29/2017)
2017-06-2946Response re 45 Opposition/Response to Motion byMonty Wilkinson. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(Scharf, James) (Filed on 6/29/2017) (Entered: 06/29/2017)
2017-07-0347NOTICE AND ORDER REGARDING RESOURCES AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 7/3/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service)(afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/3/2017) (Entered: 07/03/2017)
2017-07-0350Letter dated 07/03/17; from Vinton Frost re Correction to 17 May 22 Amendment. (aaaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/3/2017) (Entered: 07/05/2017)
2017-07-0548ORDER. The court withdraws its short orders at ECF Nos. 41-42. The parties' briefing on the plaintiff's dispositive motion was indeed complete. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 7/5/2017. (lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/5/2017) (Entered: 07/05/2017)
2017-07-0549ORDER by Judge Laurel Beeler granting 12 Motion to Dismiss; granting 36 Motion to Dismiss; finding as moot 39 Motion for Miscellaneous Relief. The court dismisses the complaint without prejudice. The plaintiff may file an amended complaint, if he chooses, to add a proper defendant and to plausibly allege that his FOIA claim is not moot and is otherwise viable. Any amended complaint must be filed within 28 days of this order: that is, by August 2, 2017. The plaintiff's subsequent motion (ECF No. 39) is denied as moot. (lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/5/2017) (Entered: 07/05/2017)
2017-07-0551CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 49 Order, 48 Order (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/5/2017) (Entered: 07/05/2017)
2017-07-2452NOTICE of Court Mail Interruption by Vinton P. Frost (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/24/2017) (Entered: 07/25/2017)
2017-07-2553ORDER regarding 52 Notice of Court Mail Interruption filed by Vinton P. Frost. The court directs the clerk to serve Mr. Frost (again) with its two previous orders [ECF Nos. 48 and 49]. The deadline for filing an amended pleading remains August 2, 2017. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on July 25, 2017. (lblc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/25/2017) (Entered: 07/25/2017)
2017-07-2654CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE re 53 Order, 49 Order on Motion to Dismiss, 48 Order (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/26/2017) (Entered: 07/26/2017)
2017-07-2755CLERK'S NOTICE RESCHEDULING INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: Initial Case Management Conference rescheduled from 9/14/2017 to 9/21/2017 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom C, 15th Floor, San Francisco. Case Management Statement due by 9/14/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate/Proof of Service) (afmS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/27/2017) (Entered: 07/27/2017)
2017-08-0256OBJECTIONS to "Statement" in Order to Dismiss Without Prejudice by Vinton P. Frost. (farS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/2/2017) (Entered: 08/03/2017)
2017-08-0357ORDER DISMISSING CASE. Because the plaintiff has not amended his complaint by the deadline, the court dismisses this case. This dismissal is without leave to amend. With respect to Mr. Wilkinson, the plaintiff's FOIA claim is dismissed with prejudice. The dismissal is otherwise without prejudice. Which is to say, apart from Mr. Wilkinson's status as an improper party, the court does not finally dispose of the plaintiff's FOIA claims on the merits. The clerk of court will close this file. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 8/3/2017. (lblc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/3/2017) (Entered: 08/03/2017)
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