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Case TitleAMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv00827
Date Filed2017-05-04
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Emmet G. Sullivan
PlaintiffAMERICAN OVERSIGHT
Case DescriptionAmerican Oversight submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Health and Human Services and OMB for records concerning communications between the agencies and Congress related to healthcare reform. American Oversight also requested expedited processing. Both agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from either agency, American Oversight filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
DefendantOFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
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
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-05-041COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4939393) filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - HHS FOIA Request, # 2 Exhibit B - OMB FOIA Request, # 3 Exhibit C - OMB Response, # 4 Civil Cover Sheet, # 5 Summons for D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office, # 6 Summons for Attorney General, # 7 Summons for HHS, # 8 Summons for OMB)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/04/2017)
2017-05-042MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration of Sara Creighton, # 3 Exhibit 1, # 4 Exhibit 2, # 5 Exhibit 3, # 6 Exhibit 4, # 7 Exhibit 5, # 8 Exhibit 6, # 9 Exhibit 7, # 10 Exhibit 8, # 11 Exhibit 9, # 12 Exhibit 10, # 13 Exhibit 11, # 14 Exhibit 12, # 15 Exhibit 13, # 16 Exhibit 14, # 17 Exhibit 15, # 18 Exhibit 16, # 19 Exhibit 17, # 20 Exhibit 18, # 21 Exhibit 19, # 22 Exhibit 20, # 23 Exhibit 21, # 24 Exhibit 22, # 25 Declaration of Austin Evers, # 26 Exhibit A, # 27 Exhibit B, # 28 Exhibit C, # 29 Exhibit D, # 30 Exhibit E, # 31 Exhibit F)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/04/2017)
2017-05-043Corporate Disclosure Statement by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/04/2017)
2017-05-04Case Assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (md) (Entered: 05/04/2017)
2017-05-044SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice of Consent) (md) (Entered: 05/04/2017)
2017-05-095NOTICE of Appearance by Michael Hendry Baer on behalf of All Defendants (Baer, Michael) (Entered: 05/09/2017)
2017-05-09MINUTE ORDER. The Court sua sponte schedules a status hearing on May 10, 2017 at 3:00 PM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. The parties are directed to be prepared to discuss scheduling further proceedings, a proposed briefing schedule with respect to 2 plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, and whether plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction should be consolidated with a determination on the merits pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a)(2). Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 5/9/2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 05/09/2017)
2017-05-10Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 5/10/2017 at 3:00 PM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (mac) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-106MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Austin R. Evers, :Firm- American Oversight, :Address- 1030 15th Street NW B-255, Washington, DC 20005. Phone No. - (202) 869-5246. Fax No. - (202) 871-6523 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-4946390. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-107MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- John E. Bies, :Firm- American Oversight, :Address- 1030 15th Street NW B-255, Washington, DC 20005. Phone No. - (202) 869-5246. Fax No. - (202) 871-6523 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-4946419. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-108RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/8/2017. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/7/2017. (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-10MINUTE ORDER granting 6 , 7 motions for leave to appear pro hac vice. Austin R. Evers and John E. Bies are hereby admitted pro hac vice in this action. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 5/10/2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-10Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan: Status Conference held on 5/10/2017. Parties To File Joint Status Report due by 5/17/2017. (Court Reporter SCOTT WALLACE.) (mac) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-10MINUTE ORDER. At the status hearing on May 10, 2017, the government informed the Court that both agencies have undertaken searches in response to plaintiff's FOIA requests. The Court directs the parties to confer in good faith about the propriety of the search terms applied to the agencies' searches. The Court further directs the parties to submit a joint status report -- which should include whether the volume of responsive documents has been ascertained, whether a production schedule can be set, and a recommendation as to further proceedings -- by no later than May 17, 2017. In the event that the parties are unable to agree on a joint recommendation, each party shall file an individual recommendation by that time. In light of the status conference, the Court will defer setting a briefing schedule on 2 plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction at this time. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 5/10/2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 05/10/2017)
2017-05-109RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET served on 5/8/2017; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES served on 5/8/2017, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/8/2017. (See Docket Entry 8 to view document). (znmw) (Entered: 05/11/2017)
2017-05-1710Joint STATUS REPORT by OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Baer, Michael) (Entered: 05/17/2017)
2017-05-19MINUTE ORDER. In light of the parties' joint status report, the parties are directed to submit a joint status report -- which should include whether a production schedule can be set and a recommendation as to further proceedings -- by no later than 3:00 p.m. on May 24, 2017. The Court further directs the parties to appear for a status hearing on May 25, 2017 at 12:30 PM in Courtroom 24A. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 19, 2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 05/19/2017)
2017-05-19Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report by 3:00PM on 5/24/2017. Status Conference set for 5/25/2017 at 12:30 PM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (mac) (Entered: 05/19/2017)
2017-05-2411Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Management and Budget, and by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/24/2017)
2017-05-25MINUTE ORDER. Due to the Court's calendar, the status hearing previously scheduled for May 25, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. will now take place on May 25, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in Courtroom 24A. PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE. The Court regrets any inconvenience to the parties. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 25. 2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-25Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 5/25/2017 at 1:00 PM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (mac) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-25Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan: Status Conference held on 5/25/2017. Status Conference set for 10/23/2017 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 24A before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. The Court Will Issue An Order Forthcoming. (Court Reporter SCOTT WALLACE.) (mac) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-25ENTERRED IN ERROR.....Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan: Status Conference held on 5/25/2017. The Court Will Dismiss This Case Without Prejudice. Plaintiff Motion For Reconsideration due by 6/8/2017. Defendant Response due by 6/15/2017. Plaintiff Reply due by 6/22/2017. (Court Reporter SCOTT WALLACE.) (mac) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-25MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report and the representations of the parties at the status conferences held on May 10 and May 25, 2017, and for the reasons stated on the record in open court at those conferences, the Court ORDERS defendants to review and process the approximately 11,000 pages of records identified by the Department of Health and Human Services and the 2,348 documents identified by the Office of Management and Budget by no later than September 5, 2017. HHS shall review and process (1) at least 3,500 pages by June 30, 2017; (2) at least an additional 3,500 pages by July 31, 2017; (3) and any remaining pages by September 5, 2017. HHS shall produce any non-exempt, responsive material to plaintiff on a rolling basis on those same dates. OMB shall review and process (1) at least 775 documents by June 30, 2017; (2) at least an additional 775 documents by July 31, 2017; (3) and any remaining documents by September 5, 2017. OMB shall produce any non-exempt, responsive material to plaintiff on a rolling basis on those same dates. The Court FURTHER ORDERS the parties to comply with the following briefing schedule: defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by no later than September 19, 2017; plaintiff shall file a combined cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment, by no later than October 3, 2017; defendants shall file a combined reply in support of their motion for summary judgment and opposition to plaintiff's cross-motion by no later than October 17, 2017; and plaintiff shall file a reply in support of its cross-motion by no later than October 23, 2017. The Court FURTHER ORDERS that a hearing on the parties' motions for summary judgment will be held on November 2, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 24A. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on May 25. 2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-05-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants Motion For Summary Judgment due by 9/19/2017. Plaintiff Combined Cross-Motion For Summary Judgment And Opposition To Defendants' Motion For Summary Judgment due by 10/3/2017. Defendants Combined Reply In Support Of Their Motion For Summary Judgment and Opposition To Plaintiff's Cross-Motion due by 10/17/2017. Plaintiff Reply In Support Of Its Cross-Motion due by 10/23/2017. (mac) (Entered: 05/25/2017)
2017-06-0712ANSWER to Complaint by OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.(Baer, Michael) (Entered: 06/07/2017)
2017-07-1113TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan held on 5-25-17; Page Numbers: (1-30). Date of Issuance:7-11-17. Court Reporter/Transcriber Scott Wallace, Telephone number 202-354-3196, Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the <a href="http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/node/110">Transcript Order Form</a><P></P><P></P>For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased from the court reporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter.<P> NOTICE RE REDACTION OF TRANSCRIPTS: The parties have twenty-one days to file with the court and the court reporter any request to redact personal identifiers from this transcript. If no such requests are filed, the transcript will be made available to the public via PACER without redaction after 90 days. The policy, which includes the five personal identifiers specifically covered, is located on our website at www.dcd.uscourts.gov.<P></P> Redaction Request due 8/1/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 8/11/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 10/9/2017.(Wallace, Scott) (Entered: 07/11/2017)
2017-07-2514STANDING ORDER: The parties are directed to read the attached Standing Order Governing Civil Cases Before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in its entirety upon receipt. The parties are hereby ORDERED to comply with the directives in the attached Standing Order. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 7/24/2017.(Attachments: # 1 Exhibit) (lcegs1) (Entered: 07/25/2017)
2017-08-0215STATUS REPORT AND REQUEST FOR HEARING by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Excerpts)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 08/02/2017)
2017-08-0217MOTION for Hearing by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (See Docket Entry 15 to view document). (znmw) (Entered: 08/03/2017)
2017-08-0316Memorandum in Opposition re 17 Motion for Hearing, 15 Status Report in response to Plaintiff's Status Report and Request for Hearing by OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Baer, Michael) Modifiedevent title and added links on 8/3/2017 (znmw). (Entered: 08/03/2017)
2017-08-04MINUTE ORDER denying 17 plaintiff's motion for a hearing. The Court agrees with defendants that it is premature at this juncture to determine the applicability of FOIA exemptions given that document production is still underway and that defendants have not yet provided the court with the information necessary to make a decision on the applicable exemptions. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on August 4, 2017. (lcegs2) (Entered: 08/04/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff