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Case TitleWATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv01974
Date Filed2017-09-25
Date Closed2021-03-17
JudgeJudge Amy Berman Jackson
PlaintiffWATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC
Case DescriptionWatkins Law & Advocacy, representing a group of veterans, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Veterans Affairs for records concerning how a veteran was classified as mentally competent, and to the Department of Justice for records concerning the ability of veterans who were considered mentally incompetent to own guns. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after the agencies failed to respond, Watkins Law & Advocacy filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
TERMINATED: 09/30/2019
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
TERMINATED: 09/30/2019
DefendantBUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES
DefendantBUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES
TERMINATED: 09/30/2019
AppealD.C. Circuit 19-5341
Documents
Docket
Complaint
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Opinion/Order [34]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Justice failed to conduct adequate searches in response to FOIA requests submitted by Watkins Law & Advocacy for records concerning inter-agency agreements related to financially incompetent veterans that would disqualify them for gun ownership, but that the FBI's searches were sufficient. The VA searched three offices and disclosed records, withholding some under Exemption 5 (privileges). The agency also argued that after reviewing the request more closely it had decided that records created before 2013 were not responsive to the request. Watkins Law & Advocacy challenged that decision and Jackson agreed with the law firm. She noted that "the plain language of the request does not purport to limit the dates of the documents; it limits the procedures to which the documents pertain. To the extent that records that pre-date 2013 'set out or reflect' procedures that were in effect in 2013, they fall within the request." Although she rejected the agency's attempt to narrow the scope of the request, Jackson agreed with the agency that its claims under the attorney-client privilege and the deliberative process privilege were appropriate. The FBI's original search yielded a total of 12 responsive pages. Watkins Law & Advocacy faulted the agency's search, arguing that it had not included many of the search terms identified in the request. The agency conducted a second search incorporating almost all the requested search terms. The agency disclosed 37 pages in full, 22 pages in part, and withheld 40 pages in full. Jackson upheld the adequacy of the agency's searches based on the results of the second search. She noted that "while there have been some unexplained anomalies in the process, such as the lack of any documents from the past decade and the failure to unearth the two file numbers where many records were found, 'the issue to be resolved is not whether there might exist any other documents possibly responsive to the request, but rather whether the search for those documents was adequate.'" But she rejected a search by the Office of Information Policy because of the limited number of search terms. She observed that "here, the agency's four search terms are deficient because they exclude obvious topics such as mental health, which goes to the very heart of plaintiff's FOIA request, and commonly used abbreviations." Jackson found that the other agency involved â€" the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearmsâ€"had conducted an adequate search and properly withheld records under the deliberative process privilege.
Issues: Adequacy - Search
Opinion/Order [50]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-09-251COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5131334) filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Exhibit 6, # 7 Exhibit 7, # 8 Exhibit 8, # 9 Exhibit 9, # 10 Exhibit 10, # 11 Exhibit 11, # 12 Exhibit 12, # 13 Exhibit 13, # 14 Exhibit 14, # 15 Exhibit 15, # 16 Exhibit 16, # 17 Exhibit 17, # 18 Exhibit 18, # 19 Exhibit 19, # 20 Exhibit 20, # 21 Exhibit 21, # 22 Exhibit 22, # 23 Exhibit 23, # 24 Exhibit 24, # 25 Exhibit 25, # 26 Exhibit 26, # 27 Exhibit 27, # 28 Exhibit 28, # 29 Exhibit 29, # 30 Exhibit 30, # 31 Exhibit 31, # 32 Civil Cover Sheet, # 33 Summons to VA, # 34 Summons to DOJ, # 35 Summons to FBI, # 36 Summons to ATF, # 37 Summons to U.S. Attorney General, # 38 Summons to U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 09/25/2017)
2017-09-252Corporate Disclosure Statement by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 09/25/2017)
2017-09-25Case Assigned to Judge Amy Berman Jackson. (jd) (Entered: 09/27/2017)
2017-09-283SUMMONS (6) Issued Electronically as to BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Consent Forms)(jd) (Entered: 09/28/2017)
2017-10-184RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 10/18/2017. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 11/17/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-10-185RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 10/16/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-10-186RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS served on 10/16/2017 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-10-187RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 10/17/2017 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-10-188RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION served on 10/17/2017 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-10-189RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES served on 10/16/2017 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 10/18/2017)
2017-11-1310NOTICE of Appearance by Jeremy S. Simon on behalf of All Defendants (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 11/13/2017)
2017-11-1411Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to Complaint by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 11/14/2017)
2017-11-14MINUTE ORDER granting defendants' 11 consent motion for an extension of time to answer the complaint. Defendants' shall file their answer or otherwise respond by December 18, 2017. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 11/14/2017. (lcabj3) (Entered: 11/14/2017)
2017-12-1812ANSWER to Complaint by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 12/18/2017)
2017-12-18MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. The requirements of Local Civil Rule 16.3 and Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure appear to be inapplicable. Defendants shall file a dispositive motion or, in the alternative, a report setting forth the schedule for the completion of its production of documents to plaintiff, on or before January 16, 2018. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 12/18/2017. (lcabj3) (Entered: 12/18/2017)
2018-01-1613STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 01/16/2018)
2018-01-18MINUTE ORDER. The parties shall file an updated joint status report by March 15, 2018. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 01/18/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 01/18/2018)
2018-03-1514Joint STATUS REPORT by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 03/15/2018)
2018-03-18MINUTE ORDER. The parties must submit a updated joint status report by April 30, 2018.Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 03/18/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 03/18/2018)
2018-04-3015Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/30/2018)
2018-05-02MINUTE ORDER. The Court will adopt the following briefing schedule proposed by the parties: defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by July 11, 2018. Plaintiff's opposition and cross motion, supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities, will be due August 14, 2018. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross opposition, will be due September 14, 2018. Plaintiff's cross reply, will be due October 15, 2018. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 05/02/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-07-0516Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment and for Adjustment of Related Deadlines in Briefing Schedule by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 07/05/2018)
2018-07-06MINUTE ORDER granting Consent Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by August 22, 2018. Plaintiff's opposition and cross motion, supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities, will be due September 26, 2018. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross opposition, will be due October 30, 2018. Plaintiff's cross reply, will be due November 30, 2018. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 07/06/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-08-1717Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to for Defendants to File Motion for Summary Judgment and for Adjustment of Related Deadlines by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-08-17MINUTE ORDER granting 17 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. The briefing schedule is adjusted as follows: Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by November 9, 2018. Plaintiff's opposition and cross motion, supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities, will be due December 7, 2018. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross opposition, will be due January 10, 2019. Plaintiff's cross reply, will be due February 6, 2019. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 08/17/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-11-0518Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment and for Adjustment of Related Deadlines by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 11/05/2018)
2018-11-07MINUTE ORDER granting 18 Motion for Extension of Time. At the request of the parties the Court adopts the following briefing schedule: Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by November 19, 2018. Plaintiff's opposition and cross motion, supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities, will be due December 17, 2018. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross opposition, will be due January 22, 2019. Plaintiff's cross reply will be due February 19, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 11/07/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 11/07/2018)
2018-11-1419Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment and for Adjustment of Related Deadlines by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 11/14/2018)
2018-11-16MINUTE ORDER granting 19 Motion for Extension of Time. The Court hereby adopts the following briefing schedule: Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by December 10, 2018. Plaintiff's opposition and cross motion, supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities, will be due January 11, 2019. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross opposition, will be due February 11, 2019. Plaintiff's cross reply will be due February 25, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 11/16/2018. (lcabj3, ) (Entered: 11/16/2018)
2018-12-1020MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Brinkmann Declaration, # 3 Siple Declaration, # 4 Knight Declaration, # 5 Hardy Declaration, # 6 Exhibit 1 (10.24.18 email))(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 12/10/2018)
2019-01-1121Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, # 2 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins, # 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 Statement of Facts Response to Defendants, # 12 Statement of Facts of Plaintiff, # 13 Text of Proposed Order)(Watkins, Seth) . (Entered: 01/11/2019)
2019-01-16NOTICE OF ERROR. Counsel is directed to refile pleading using the "MEMORANDUM OF OPPOSITION" (zjf, ) Modified on 1/18/2019 (zjf). (Entered: 01/16/2019)
2019-01-1722Memorandum in opposition to re 20 MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins, # 2 Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit 2, # 4 Exhibit 3, # 5 Exhibit 4, # 6 Exhibit 5, # 7 Exhibit 6, # 8 Exhibit 7, # 9 Exhibit 8, # 10 Statement of Facts Response to Defendants, # 11 Statement of Facts of Plaintiff, # 12 Text of Proposed Order)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 01/17/2019)
2019-02-0423Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Reply and Opposition and to Adjust Remaining Deadlines in Briefing Schedule by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 02/04/2019)
2019-02-06MINUTE ORDER granting 23 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross opposition, will be due March 13, 2019. Plaintiff's cross-reply will be due March 28, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 02/06/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 02/06/2019)
2019-03-1224MOTION for Extension of Time to File Opposition and Reply (Partial Consent Motion for Extension of the Remaining Deadlines in Briefing Schedule and for Establishment of a Separate Schedule to Address the FOIA Request Directed to the FBI) by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 03/12/2019)
2019-03-14MINUTE ORDER granting 24 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants VA, OAG, and ATF must file their reply and opposition to plaintiff's cross-motion supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities by April 3, 2019. Plaintiff's cross-reply will be due April 18, 2019. In light of the FBI's supplemental search, the FBI and plaintiff must file a joint status report by June 18, 2019 with a proposal for further proceedings. In the meantime, the FBI's reply and opposition to plaintiff's cross-motion is stayed. The Court anticipates that defendant FBI will file a supplemental declaration related to the supplemental search and that plaintiff will be updating its motion for summary judgment. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 03/14/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 03/14/2019)
2019-04-0325Memorandum in opposition to re 21 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Response to Plaintiff's Local Rule 7(h) Statement filed by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit 1 (VBA Letter Dated April 4, 2018))(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/03/2019)
2019-04-0326REPLY to opposition to motion re 20 MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum (Duplicate of Docket Entry No. 25) filed by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Ex. 1 (VBA Letter of April 4, 2018))(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/03/2019)
2019-04-1827REPLY to opposition to motion re 21 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 04/18/2019)
2019-06-1828Joint STATUS REPORT by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 06/18/2019)
2019-06-20MINUTE ORDER. The FBI must file by July 31, 2019, a supplement to its pending motion for summary judgment, which will include its opposition/reply to plaintiff's cross-motion/opposition and a supplemental declaration. Plaintiff must file by August 14, 2019, a response to that supplemental filing, which will reply to the FBI's opposition and include any additional arguments that plaintiff may have regarding the adequacy of the FBI's search. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 06/20/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 06/20/2019)
2019-07-3129Memorandum in opposition to re 21 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (FBI's Combined Opposition and Reply) filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Attachments: # 1 Second Declaration of David M. Hardy, # 2 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 07/31/2019)
2019-07-3130REPLY to opposition to motion re 20 MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum (FBI's Combined Opposition and Reply) (duplicate of docket entry number 29) filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Attachments: # 1 Second Declaration of David M. Hardy, # 2 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 07/31/2019)
2019-08-1431REPLY to opposition to motion re 21 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins, # 2 Exhibit 9, # 3 Exhibit 10)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 08/14/2019)
2019-09-13MINUTE ORDER. In order to assist the Court in making a responsible de novo determination, defendant ATF is directed to deliver to chambers for in camera inspection the document described as the "internal briefing paper providing talking points and legal guidance from the Office of the Chief Counsel to ATF' s executive staff regarding the applicability of Federal firearms disabilities to VA adjudications," in the declaration of Adam Siple [Dkt. # 20-3], on or before September 17, 2019. See Ray v. Turner, 587 F.2d 1187, 1195 (D.C. Cir. 1978). SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 09/13/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
2019-09-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Documents for in camera inspection due by 9/17/2019. (tg) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
2019-09-1632NOTICE of Compliance with September 13, 2019 Order by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 09/16/2019)
2019-09-3033ORDER. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56, and for the reasons stated in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, it is hereby ORDERED that defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 20 is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, and plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment 21 is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. Judgment is entered in favor of the VA, FBI, and ATF. The case is remanded to the DOJ to conduct an adequate search. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 09/30/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 09/30/2019)
2019-09-3034MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 09/30/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 09/30/2019)
2019-11-2935NOTICE OF APPEAL TO DC CIRCUIT COURT as to 34 Memorandum & Opinion, 33 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment,,,,, by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. Filing fee $ 505, receipt number ADCDC-6604162. Fee Status: Fee Paid. Parties have been notified. (Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 11/29/2019)
2019-12-0236Transmission of the Notice of Appeal, Order Appealed (Memorandum Opinion), and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals fee was paid this date re 35 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court. (jf) (Entered: 12/02/2019)
2019-12-03MINUTE ORDER. In light of this Court's 34 Memorandum Opinion, and 33 Order issued on 9/30/2019, it is hereby ORDERED that the Department of Justice shall file a Report on the Status of the Search on Remand by 1/31/2020. SO ORDERED. By Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 12/3/2019. (jth) (Entered: 12/03/2019)
2019-12-05USCA Case Number 19-5341 for 35 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court, filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (zrdj) (Entered: 12/06/2019)
2020-01-3137STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-01-31MINUTE ORDER. The parties must meet and confer and file a joint status report by February 14, 2020, informing the Court whether there are any further issues to be resolved - and if there are, proposing a scheduling order for doing so - or whether the matter is now terminated. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 1/31/2020. (lcabj3) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-02-1338Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 02/13/2020)
2020-03-02MINUTE ORDER. In light of the parties' 38 joint status report, the parties must submit another status report by March 18, 2020, with a proposed briefing schedule if the case has not been resolved by then. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/2/2020. (lcabj3) (Entered: 03/02/2020)
2020-03-1839Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 03/18/2020)
2020-03-20MINUTE ORDER. In light of the parties' 39 joint status report, the briefing schedule will be as follows: defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment must be submitted by May 1, 2020; plaintiff's opposition and renewed cross-motion must be submitted by May 15, 2020; defendant's opposition and reply must be submitted by June 15, 2020; and plaintiff's reply is due by June 29, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/20/2020. (lcabj3) (Entered: 03/20/2020)
2020-05-0140MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Second Declaration of Vanessa Brinkmann)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 05/01/2020)
2020-05-0541MANDATE of USCA as to 35 Notice of Appeal to DC Circuit Court, filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC ; USCA Case Number 19-5341. (Attachments: # 1 USCA Order)(zrdj) (Entered: 05/05/2020)
2020-05-1542Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment - Renewed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins, # 3 Exhibit 1, # 4 Exhibit 2, # 5 Exhibit 3, # 6 Exhibit 4, # 7 Exhibit 5, # 8 Exhibit 6, # 9 Statement of Facts Response to Defendant, # 10 Statement of Facts Not in Genuine Dispute, # 11 Text of Proposed Order)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 05/15/2020)
2020-05-1543RESPONSE re 40 MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins, # 2 Exhibit 1, # 3 Exhibit 2, # 4 Exhibit 3, # 5 Exhibit 4, # 6 Exhibit 5, # 7 Exhibit 6, # 8 Statement of Facts Response to Defendant, # 9 Statement of Facts Not in Genuine Dispute, # 10 Text of Proposed Order)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 05/15/2020)
2020-06-1044Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Opposition and Reply and for Adjustment of Remaining Briefing Deadlines by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/10/2020)
2020-06-11MINUTE ORDER granting 44 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants must file their opposition to plaintiff's 42 cross-motion and reply to plaintiff's opposition by June 22, 2020; and plaintiff must file its reply to defendants' opposition by July 2, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 6/11/2020. (lcabj3) (Entered: 06/11/2020)
2020-06-2245Memorandum in opposition to re 42 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment - Renewed filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/22/2020)
2020-06-2246REPLY to opposition to motion re 40 MOTION for Summary Judgment , Local Rule 7(h) Statement and Supporting Memorandum (duplicate of docket entry number 45) filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/22/2020)
2020-07-0247REPLY to opposition to motion re 42 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment - Renewed filed by WATKINS LAW & ADVOCACY, PLLC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Seth A. Watkins (Second Declaration)), # 2 Exhibit 7, # 3 Exhibit 8, # 4 Exhibit 9)(Watkins, Seth) (Entered: 07/02/2020)
2021-03-02MINUTE ORDER. In order to assist the Court in making a responsible de novo determination, defendant is directed to deliver to chambers for in camera inspection, on or before March 5, 2021, the documents it has withheld or redacted, which are listed in plaintiff's 42 opposition to defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment and in support of plaintiff's renewed cross-motion for summary judgment at pages 8-9, 12. Specifically, defendant should provide in full the documents designated as the 2013 Memorandum (found in redacted form as Exhibit 1 [42-3]), the Undated Report (shown as beginning on page 6 of the report and including an "Appendix B" in Exhibit 2 [42-4]), and the 2016 Report (shown as beginning on page 5 of the report and including an "Appendix B" in Exhibit 3 [42-5]). See Ray v. Turner, 587 F.2d 1187, 1195 (D.C. Cir. 1978). Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/2/21. (lcabj2) (Entered: 03/02/2021)
2021-03-0348NOTICE of Compliance with Court Order for In Camera Submission by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 03/03/2021)
2021-03-1749ORDER. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56 and 58, and for the reasons stated in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment 40 is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART, and plaintiff's Renewed Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment 42 is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/17/21. (lcabj2) (Entered: 03/17/2021)
2021-03-1750MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 3/17/21. (lcabj2) (Entered: 03/17/2021)
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