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Case TitleHARDWAY et al v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv01433
Date Filed2017-07-19
Date Closed2020-04-20
JudgeJudge Timothy J. Kelly
PlaintiffDAN HARDWAY
PlaintiffEDWIN LOPEZ
PlaintiffG. ROBERT BLAKEY
Case DescriptionDan Hardaway, Edwin Lopez, G. Robert Blakey, and the Assassination Archives and Research Center submitted FOIA requests to the CIA for all records concerning themselves. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Hardaway and the others filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Washington, DC 20505
DefendantCENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
Opinion/Order [23]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Timothy Kelly has ruled that the CIA has not yet shown that it conducted an adequate search for records concerning Dan Hardway, Edwin Lopez, and G. Robert Blakey, former congressional staffers who worked on investigations in the 1970s pertaining to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The agency's search turned up only two records �" non-disclosure agreements signed by Blakey when he worked for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The agency told the court that it could not locate Office of Security files on Hardway, Lopez, and Blakey because they had since been destroyed. Hardway, Lopez, and Blakey argued that the search was inadequate because their FOIA request had asked the agency to provide documentation for record destruction claims. But Kelly pointed out that "that instruction did not, as Plaintiffs allege, require the CIA to undertake a separate search for potential records about the destruction of the records they requested." He added that "although agencies must construe FOIA requests liberally, FOIA does not permit plaintiffs to demand 'proof' that particular records they requested were destroyed, or otherwise dictate how defendants carry out searches for responsive records. Of course, if Plaintiffs now wish to submit a FOIA request for records about the destruction of their personal security files, they are free to do so." Kelly also rejected the requesters' claim that the JFK Assassination Records Act required the agency to maintain assassination-related records. He noted that "Plaintiffs' theory in this case that it would have been illegal for the CIA to destroy their personnel security files is based solely on their bald assertion �" uninformed by the actual contents of the records and inadequately explained in their briefing �" that those records must have fallen within the JFK Act's definition of 'assassination records.' That speculation does not undermine the presumption of good faith to which agency declarations such as [these here] are entitled." Kelly, however, found that the CIA had not sufficiently explained its search of operational records. The agency had conducted a name search but had decided that the Directorate of Operations was unlikely to have any responsive records. Kelly found this explanation insufficient. Instead, he noted that the agency's affidavit "provides no other details, such as the record systems the CIA searched using those terms, why it selected those systems, and how those systems can be queried. And as for non-operational records about Plaintiffs, [the agency's affidavit] includes no description of the CIA's search methodology at all." Kelly found that the agency had properly redacted names of agency employees under Exemption 3 (other statutes).
Issues: Adequacy - Search, Search - Detailed description of search
Opinion/Order [32]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-07-191COMPLAINT against CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5037824) filed by Dan Hardway, G. Robert Blakey, EDWIN LOPEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit 2, # 3 Civil Cover Sheet, # 4 Summons Attorney General, # 5 Summons US Attorney, # 6 Summons CIA)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 07/19/2017)
2017-07-19Case Assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (sth) (Entered: 07/21/2017)
2017-07-212ERRATA Correcting Caption Page by G. Robert Blakey, Dan Hardway, EDWIN LOPEZ. (Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 07/21/2017)
2017-07-213SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(sth) (Attachment 3 replaced to include signature on 7/24/2017) (zsb). (Entered: 07/21/2017)
2017-08-024NOTICE of Appearance by Johnny Hillary Walker, III on behalf of CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 08/02/2017)
2017-08-235CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ for Summonses and Complaint . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit CIA Service, # 2 Exhibit US Attorney Service)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/23/2017)
2017-08-236ERRATA by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ 5 Certificate of Service filed by DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ, G. ROBERT BLAKEY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Omitted Certificate of Service Exhibit C)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/23/2017)
2017-08-24NOTICE OF ERROR re 5 Certificate of Service; emailed to dan@hardwaylaw.com, cc'd 2 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Incorrect event used, 2. Please refile document, 3. Refile using correct events on the Service of Process menu (Summons Returned Executed as to US Attorney, US Attorney General, federal defendant). (znmw, ) (Entered: 08/24/2017)
2017-08-247RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY served on 7/31/2017 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/24/2017)
2017-08-248RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 07/31/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/24/2017)
2017-08-249RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/31/2017. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 8/30/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/24/2017)
2017-08-3010ANSWER to Complaint by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 08/30/2017)
2017-08-31MINUTE 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 Plaintiffs' FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiffs' FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiffs, 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 9/21/17. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/31/17. (DJS) (Entered: 08/31/2017)
2017-09-04Set/Reset Deadlines: The parties shall file a joint status report that contains a proposed schedule and proposed order by 9/21/17. (jth) (Entered: 09/04/2017)
2017-09-0411NOTICE of Appearance by James H. Lesar on behalf of G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ (Lesar, James) (Entered: 09/04/2017)
2017-09-18Case directly reassigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan is no longer assigned to the case. (ztnr) (Entered: 09/18/2017)
2017-09-2112Joint PROPOSED BRIEFING SCHEDULE by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Walker, Johnny) Modified event title on 9/22/2017 (znmw). (Entered: 09/21/2017)
2017-09-28MINUTE ORDER: In light of the 12 Joint Proposed Schedule filed by the parties and the representations therein, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a proposed new schedule for proceeding in this matter on or before October 23, 2017. The schedule shall address the status of Plaintiffs' FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiffs' FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiffs, 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. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 9/28/2017. (ad) (Entered: 09/28/2017)
2017-09-28Set/Reset Deadline: The parties shall file a proposed new schedule for proceeding in this matter on or before 10/23/2017. (ad) (Entered: 09/28/2017)
2017-10-2313Joint STATUS REPORT by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 10/23/2017)
2017-10-30MINUTE ORDER: In light of the 13 Joint Status Report filed by the parties and the representations therein, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file another joint status report by November 20, 2017. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 10/30/2017. (lctjk3) (Entered: 10/30/2017)
2017-10-30Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 11/20/2017. (tj) (Entered: 10/30/2017)
2017-11-1814Joint STATUS REPORT and Proposed Briefing Schedule by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 11/18/2017)
2017-11-20MINUTE ORDER granting 14 Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule. Defendant shall file its Motion for Summary Judgment by January 22, 2018. Plaintiffs shall file their Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and any Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by March 1, 2018. Defendant shall file its Reply in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to any Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by March 22, 2018. Plaintiffs shall file their Reply in support of any Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by April 12, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 11/20/2017. (lctjk3) (Entered: 11/20/2017)
2018-01-2215MOTION for Summary Judgment by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Declaration of Antoinette Shiner (with exhibit), # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 01/22/2018)
2018-03-0116RESPONSE re 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Cross Motion for Summary Judgment filed by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Response to Def Statement of Facts, # 2 Memorandum in Support Memorandum, # 3 Declaration Declaration of G. Robert Blakey, # 4 Declaration Declaration of Edwin Lopez, # 5 Declaration Declaration of Dan Hardway, # 6 Text of Proposed Order)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 03/01/2018)
2018-03-0117Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Plaintiffs' Statement of Facts, # 2 Memorandum in Support Memorandum, # 3 Declaration Declaration of G. Robert Blakey, # 4 Declaration Declaration of Edwin Lopez, # 5 Declaration Declaration of Dan Hardway, # 6 Text of Proposed Order)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 03/01/2018)
2018-03-2218Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment , 17 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 03/22/2018)
2018-03-22MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant's 18 Consent Motion for an Extension. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall file its Opposition to Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Reply in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment by March 23, 2018. It is further ORDERED that Plaintiffs shall file their Reply in support of their Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by April 13, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 3/22/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 03/22/2018)
2018-03-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Reply in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment due by 3/23/2018. (kh) (Entered: 03/22/2018)
2018-03-2319Memorandum in opposition to re 17 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Supplemental Declaration of Antoinette Shiner, # 2 Response to Plaintiffs' Statement of Material Facts as to Which There Is No Genuine Issue)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-03-2320REPLY to opposition to motion re 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Supplemental Declaration of Antoinette Shiner)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-04-1321REPLY to opposition to motion re 17 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Supplemental Hardway)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 04/13/2018)
2019-03-3122ORDER granting in part and denying without prejudice in part Defendant's 15 Motion for Summary Judgment and denying without prejudice Plaintiffs' 17 Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Memorandum opinion and order to follow within 30 days. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 3/31/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 03/31/2019)
2019-04-2823MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting in part and denying without prejudice in part Defendant's 15 Motion for Summary Judgment and denying without prejudice Plaintiffs' 17 Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Proposed briefing schedule due by May 24, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/28/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 04/28/2019)
2019-05-2424PROPOSED BRIEFING SCHEDULE (Joint) by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 05/24/2019)
2019-05-28MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 24 Proposed Briefing Schedule, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall file its renewed motion for summary judgment by June 21, 2019; Plaintiffs shall file their renewed cross-motion for summary judgment and response to Defendant's motion by August 2, 2019; Defendant shall file its reply in support of its motion and its response to Plaintiffs' cross-motion by August 23, 2019; and Plaintiffs shall file their reply in support of their cross-motion by September 16, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 5/28/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 05/28/2019)
2019-06-2125Second MOTION for Summary Judgment by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 2d Suppl Shiner Decl., # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 06/21/2019)
2019-08-0226RESPONSE re 25 Second MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts Response to Defendant Statement, # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/02/2019)
2019-08-0227Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Statement of Facts Response to Defendant's, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 08/02/2019)
2019-08-2228Memorandum in opposition to re 27 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Facts, # 2 3d Suppl. Shiner Decl.)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 08/22/2019)
2019-08-2229REPLY to opposition to motion re 25 Second MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 3d Suppl. Shiner Decl.)(Walker, Johnny) (Entered: 08/22/2019)
2019-09-1630REPLY to opposition to motion re 25 Second MOTION for Summary Judgment opposition Doc. No. 28 filed by G. ROBERT BLAKEY, DAN HARDWAY, EDWIN LOPEZ. (Attachments: # 1 Appendix)(Hardway, Dan) (Entered: 09/16/2019)
2020-04-1831ORDER granting Defendant's 25 Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment and denying Plaintiffs' 27 Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/18/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 04/18/2020)
2020-04-1832MEMORANDUM OPINION in support of 31 Order granting Defendant's 25 Motion for Summary Judgment and denying Plaintiffs' 27 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/18/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 04/18/2020)
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