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Case TitleAMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv01247
Date Filed2017-06-26
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Tanya S. Chutkan
PlaintiffAMERICAN OVERSIGHT
Case DescriptionAmerican Oversight submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of Education. The first FOIA request was for appointment calendars for Secretary Betty DeVos. The second FOIA request was for records of contacts between Taylor Hansen and Robert Eitel, two advocates for for-profit schools, and DeVos or others at the agency. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and granted American Oversight's request for a fee waiver for the records concerning Hansen and Eitel. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, American Oversight filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-06-261COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5006634) filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Civil Cover Sheet, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons, # 6 Summons)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-262LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-26Case Assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (md) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-263SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice of Consent) (md) (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-07-114NOTICE of Appearance by Wyneva Johnson on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 07/11/2017)
2017-07-205NOTICE of Appearance by Elizabeth France on behalf of AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 07/20/2017)
2017-07-206RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/3/2017. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 8/2/2017.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION served on 6/30/2017, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 7/3/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 07/20/2017)
2017-07-267NOTICE of Appearance by Wyneva Johnson on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 07/26/2017)
2017-07-268Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 07/26/2017)
2017-07-27MINUTE ORDER: Granting 8 Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer. The defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by September 8, 2017. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/27/17. (DJS) (Entered: 07/27/2017)
2017-08-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's answer or otherwise response to the complaint is due by 9/8/2017. (jth) (Entered: 08/01/2017)
2017-09-079Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Answer Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 09/07/2017)
2017-09-08MINUTE ORDER: Granting 9 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer. Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint by September 15, 2017. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 9/8/17. (DJS) (Entered: 09/08/2017)
2017-09-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 9/15/2017. (tb) (Entered: 09/08/2017)
2017-09-1510MOTION for Extension of Time to by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 09/15/2017)
2017-09-1511Memorandum in opposition to re 10 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer or Other Responsive Pleading filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 09/15/2017)
2017-09-2112REPLY to opposition to motion re 10 MOTION for Extension of Time to filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Deborah Winters)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 09/21/2017)
2017-09-22MINUTE ORDER: The USA's Motion 11 for Extension of the Answer due date is hereby GRANTED, except that the USA shall file its answer by 3:00 pm on October 4, 2017. In the absence of a timely filed answer, the parties shall appear for a Status Conference at 1:45 p.m. on October 5, 2017 in Courtroom 2. In addition to the US Attorney defending this action, counsel from the DOE shall appear at the hearing. To the extent Counsel do not have personal knowledge of the search efforts and the White House review, Counsel shall be accompanied by person(s) with such knowledge. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 9/22/17. (DJS) (Entered: 09/22/2017)
2017-09-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 10/4/2017. Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 10/5/2017 at 01:45 PM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 09/25/2017)
2017-10-0413NOTICE (Notice of Filing of Declarations) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Declaration (Supplemental Declaration of Deborah Winters), # 2 Declaration (Declaration of Marcella Goodridge-Keiller))(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 10/04/2017)
2017-10-0414ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 10/04/2017)
2017-10-04MINUTE ORDER: In light of the government's timely filed answer, and in accordance with the court's September 22, 2017 Minute Order, the Status Conference currently scheduled for October 5, 2017 at 1:45 p.m. is hereby vacated. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/4/2017. (lctsc2). (Entered: 10/04/2017)
2017-10-06MINUTE ORDER: Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. The requirements of LCvR 16.3 and Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil procedure appear to be inapplicable. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer and propose a schedule for proceeding in this matter. The schedule shall address the status of Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiff, whether a motion for an Open America stay is likely in this case, whether a Vaughn index will be required in this case, whether and when either party anticipates filing a dispositive motion, and any other pertinent issues. The parties shall file a joint status report that addresses these issues and that contains a proposed schedule and proposed order not later than 10/27/17. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/6/17. (DJS) (Entered: 10/06/2017)
2017-10-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/27/2017. (tb) (Entered: 10/10/2017)
2017-10-2715NOTICE of Appearance by Cerissa Cafasso on behalf of AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Cafasso, Cerissa) (Entered: 10/27/2017)
2017-10-2716STATUS REPORT AND PROPOSED SCHEDULE by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 10/27/2017)
2017-10-2717MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to the Court's October 6, 2017 Minute Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 10/27/2017)
2017-10-2718Memorandum in opposition to re 17 MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to the Court's October 6, 2017 Minute Order filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 10/27/2017)
2017-10-31MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for 11/9/17 at 2:30 pm in Courtroom 9. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/31/17. (DJS) (Entered: 10/31/2017)
2017-11-06Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 11/9/2017 at 02:30 PM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 11/06/2017)
2017-11-0819MOTION to Continue the November 9, 2017 Hearing by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 11/08/2017)
2017-11-09MINUTE ORDER granting 19 Motion to Continue the November 9, 2017 Hearing. The hearing is hereby rescheduled for November 28, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. The court shall not grant additional extensions or continuances absent a showing of extenuating circumstances.Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/9/2017. (lctsc2). (Entered: 11/09/2017)
2017-11-14MINUTE ORDER: In addition to the US Attorney defending this action, counsel from the DOE shall appear at the November 28, 2017 Status Conference. To the extent Counsel do not have personal knowledge of the search efforts and the White House review, Counsel shall be accompanied by person(s) with such knowledge. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/14/17. (DJS) (Entered: 11/14/2017)
2017-11-15MINUTE ORDER: The November 28, 2017 hearing currently scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. shall now begin at 11:00 a.m. on November 28, 2017. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/15/2017. (lctsc2). (Entered: 11/15/2017)
2017-11-16Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 11/28/2017 at (TIME CHANGE) 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 11/16/2017)
2017-11-28Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Status Conference held on 11/28/2017. Defendant is directed to meet and confer with Plaintiff by 12/11/2017 to propose a schedule for future proceedings in this matter. The schedule shall address those issues raised by the Court's Minute Order issued on 10/6/2017. The parties shall file a Joint Status Report that addresses those issues and that contains a proposed schedule and proposed order by 1/8/2018. (Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne) (jth) (Entered: 11/28/2017)
2017-11-2920TRANSCRIPT OF 11/28/17 STATUS HEARING before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan held on November 28, 2017. Page Numbers: 1-15. Date of Issuance: 11/29/17. Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form 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. 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. Redaction Request due 12/20/2017. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 12/30/2017. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 2/27/2018.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 11/29/2017)
2018-01-0821Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. Department of Education and by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(Cafasso, Cerissa) (Entered: 01/08/2018)
2018-01-10MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for January 19, 2018 at 10 a.m. in Courtroom 9. In addition to the Assistant U.S. Attorney defending this action, counsel from the Department of Education shall appear at the Status Conference. To the extent Department of Education counsel does not have personal knowledge regarding the search efforts, an individual from the Department with such knowledge shall also appear at the Status Conference. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 1/10/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 01/10/2018)
2018-01-10Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 1/19/2018 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 01/10/2018)
2018-01-1822NOTICE of Appearance by John E. Bies on behalf of AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Bies, John) (Entered: 01/18/2018)
2018-01-19Minute Entry: Status Conference held on 1/19/2018 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Attorney Meet and Confer Conferences are set for 1/26/2018 and 02/28/18. Joint Status Report due by 3/16/2018. Status Conference set for 3/23/2018 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (Court Reporter Bryan Wayne) (ztb) (Entered: 01/22/2018)
2018-01-2923TRANSCRIPT OF 1/19/18 STATUS HEARING before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan held on January 19, 2018. Page Numbers: 1-27. Date of Issuance: January 29, 2018. Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form 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. 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. Redaction Request due 2/19/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 3/1/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 4/29/2018.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 01/29/2018)
2018-03-1524Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 03/15/2018)
2018-03-1925Joint MOTION to Continue Status Conference by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 03/19/2018)
2018-03-19MINUTE ORDER: The parties' 25 Joint Motion to continue the status conference is hereby granted in part and denied in part. The court hereby vacates the status conference currently scheduled for Friday, March 23, 2018. The court is unavailable for a status on the parties' requested date of May 11, 2018. By Friday, March 23, 2018, the parties shall file a joint notice, in which they shall provide three alternative dates and times for a status conference. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/19/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 03/19/2018)
2018-03-2326Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-04-03MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for 5/21/18 at 10:30 am in Courtroom 9. In addition to the Assistant U.S. Attorney defending this action, counsel from the Department of Education shall appear at the Status Conference. To the extent Department of Education counsel does not have personal knowledge regarding the search efforts, an individual from the Department with such knowledge shall appear at the Status Conference. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/3/18. (DJS) (Entered: 04/03/2018)
2018-04-03Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 5/21/2018 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (jl) (Entered: 04/04/2018)
2018-05-0427Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 05/04/2018)
2018-05-0728ENTERED IN ERROR.....Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) Modified on 5/7/2018 (zjf). (Entered: 05/07/2018)
2018-05-07NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: Document No. re 28 Status Report was entered in error and counsel will refile in the correct case. (jf) (Entered: 05/07/2018)
2018-05-15MINUTE ORDER: The status conference currently scheduled for May 21, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. is hereby rescheduled for July 9, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/15/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 05/15/2018)
2018-05-16Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 7/9/2018 at 10:30 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 05/16/2018)
2018-06-2029Joint MOTION to Continue Status Conference by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 06/20/2018)
2018-07-02MINUTE ORDER: Granting 29 the parties' Joint Motion for Continuance. The parties are hereby ordered to submit a Joint Status report by July 11, 2018. The status conference currently scheduled for July 9, 2018 is hereby continued until July 19, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/2/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 07/02/2018)
2018-07-02Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 7/11/2018; Status Conference reset for 7/19/2018 at 12:30 PM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (jth) (Entered: 07/03/2018)
2018-07-1130Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to file Joint Status Report by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 07/11/2018)
2018-07-12ORDER granting 30 Motion for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report. The parties are hereby ordered to submit a Joint Status report by July 12, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/12/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 07/12/2018)
2018-07-1231Joint STATUS REPORT AND MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 07/12/2018)
2018-07-1232MOTION to Continue by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT; (See docket entry no. 31 to view.) (ztd) (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2018-07-13MINUTE ORDER: Granting 31 the parties' Joint Motion for a Continuance. The parties shall file a Joint Status report that contains a proposed schedule and proposed order by August 31, 2018. The status conference currently scheduled for July 19, 2018 is hereby rescheduled for September 10, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/13/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2018-07-13Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 9/10/2018 at 11:45 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2018-08-3033Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Reschedule September 10, 2018 Hearing by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 08/30/2018)
2018-08-3134Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Johnson, Wyneva) (Entered: 08/31/2018)
2018-08-31MINUTE ORDER: Granting 33 Consent Motion to Vacate Status Conference. The conference previously set for September 10, 2018 is hereby VACATED. The parties shall file joint status report, accompanied by a proposed order, by October 3, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/31/18. (DJS) (Entered: 08/31/2018)
2018-09-05Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/3/2018. (tb) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
2018-10-0335Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 10/03/2018)
2018-10-22MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' joint status report, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another joint report by 11/1/18 and every 60 days thereafter. To the extent the report includes a briefing schedule, the report shall also contain a proposed order. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/2/18. (DJS) (Entered: 10/22/2018)
2018-10-23Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/1/2018. (tb) (Entered: 10/23/2018)
2018-11-0136Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 11/01/2018)
2018-11-05MINUTE ORDER: Granting 36 Joint Motion for Extension of Time to File Status Report. Joint Report due 11/5/18. In all other respects this court's 10/22/2018 Minute Order remains unchanged. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/5/18. (DJS) (Entered: 11/05/2018)
2018-11-05Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Report due by 11/5/2018. (mac) (Entered: 11/05/2018)
2018-11-0537STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (France, Elizabeth) (Entered: 11/05/2018)
2018-11-09MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for 11/19/18 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 9. Both the AUSA and Agency Counsel shall appear at the conference and the Defendant shall be prepared to SHOW CAUSE why the court should not impose sanctions against the Defendant for failing to comply with its obligation to cooperate with the Plaintiff for the purpose of filing a Joint Status Report as ordered by this court on 11/5/18. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/9/18. (DJS) (Entered: 11/09/2018)
2018-11-13Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 11/19/2018 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 11/13/2018)
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