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Case TitlePROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv02202
Date Filed2017-10-24
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Randolph D. Moss
PlaintiffPROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.
Case DescriptionThe Protect Democracy Project submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning the agency's involvement and interactions with unaffiliated border enforcement groups. The Protect Democracy Project also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told the Protect Democracy that it would need to know the email extensions for various groups in order to search for email correspondence. The Protect Democracy Project told the agency it had no ability to provide such information. The Protect Democracy Project also made a number of FOIA requests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for records about the agency's involvement with unaffiliated border enforcement groups in various regions. The agency acknowledged receipt of those requests, but after hearing nothing further from the agency as to any of its requests, the Protect Democracy Project filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantCUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
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

2017-10-241COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5173166) filed by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Related Case Notice, # 5 Summons Attorney General, # 6 Summons US Attorney DC, # 7 Summons Customs and Border Protection, # 8 Summons Dept of Homeland Security)(Barnett, Kevin) (Attachment 1 replaced on 10/25/2017) (zsth). (Entered: 10/24/2017)
2017-10-242LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (Barnett, Kevin) (Entered: 10/24/2017)
2017-10-24Case Assigned to Judge Randolph D. Moss. (sth) (Entered: 10/25/2017)
2017-10-243NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. Case related to Case No. 17cv2118. (sth) (Entered: 10/25/2017)
2017-10-254SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent)(sth) (Entered: 10/25/2017)
2017-10-255RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 10/25/2017. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 11/24/2017. (Barnett, Kevin) (Entered: 10/25/2017)
2017-10-276STANDING ORDER: The parties are hereby ORDERED to comply with the directives set forth in the Court's Standing Order. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 10/27/2017. (lcrdm1, ) (Entered: 10/27/2017)
2017-10-307RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION served on 10/30/2017; DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 10/30/2017, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 10/30/2017. (Barnett, Kevin) (Entered: 10/30/2017)
2017-11-088NOTICE of Appearance by Nikhil Vikas Gore on behalf of PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 11/08/2017)
2017-11-209NOTICE of Appearance by Scott Leeson Sroka on behalf of All Defendants (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 11/20/2017)
2017-11-2210Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 11/22/2017)
2017-11-27MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Defendants' Motion for Extension of Time 10 , the motion is hereby GRANTED. Defendants shall respond to the Complaint on or before December 15, 2017. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 11/27/17. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 11/27/2017)
2017-11-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants shall respond to the Complaint on or before 12/15/2017. (kt) (Entered: 11/27/2017)
2017-12-1511ANSWER to Complaint by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.(Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 12/15/2017)
2017-12-15MINUTE ORDER: The parties are hereby ORDERED to appear for a status conference on January 19, 2018, at 10:15 a.m. in Courtroom 21. The parties are further ORDERED to meet and confer prior to the status conference to discuss scheduling for further proceedings. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 12/15/17. (lcrdm3, ) Modified on 12/18/2017 to correct date (kt). (Entered: 12/15/2017)
2017-12-18Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 1/19/2018, at 10:15 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 12/18/2017)
2017-12-22MINUTE ORDER: The status conference currently set for January 19, 2018, is hereby VACATED and RESCHEDULED for January 4, 2018, at 10:25 a.m. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 12/22/17. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 12/22/2017)
2017-12-22Set/Reset Hearings: The Status Conference set for 1/19/2018 is VACATED and RESCHEDULED to 1/4/2018, at 10:25 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 12/22/2017)
2018-01-0212NOTICE of Appearance by Jennifer H. Saperstein on behalf of PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (Saperstein, Jennifer) (Entered: 01/02/2018)
2018-01-0213NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. Attorney Kevin Travers Barnett terminated. (Barnett, Kevin) (Entered: 01/02/2018)
2018-01-04Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 1/4/2018. Joint Status Report due by 3/3/2018. A further Status Conference is set for 3/13/2018, at 10:15 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 01/04/2018)
2018-03-0214Joint STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 03/02/2018)
2018-03-1215STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 03/12/2018)
2018-03-13Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 3/13/2018. Defendants shall provide Plaintiffs and the Court with a production schedule by 4/13/2018. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 03/13/2018)
2018-03-14MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall submit a joint status report on or before April 27, 2018, identifying the issues remaining in this litigation and proposing a schedule for further proceedings. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 3/14/18. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 03/14/2018)
2018-03-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/27/2018. (kt) (Entered: 03/14/2018)
2018-04-1316STATUS REPORT and Proposed Production Schedule by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 04/13/2018)
2018-04-2717Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 04/27/2018)
2018-04-27MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the Joint Motion for Extension of Time 17 , it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. The parties shall file a joint status report on or before May 4, 2018. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 4/27/18. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 04/27/2018)
2018-04-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 5/4/2018. (dot) (Entered: 04/30/2018)
2018-05-0418Joint STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 05/04/2018)
2018-05-07MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' Joint Status Report 18 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall appear for a status conference on May 14, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 21. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 5/7/18. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 05/07/2018)
2018-05-07Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 5/14/2018, at 2:00 PM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 05/07/2018)
2018-05-14Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 5/14/2018. Document productions shall proceed as ordered on the record. A further Status Conference is set for 7/6/2018, at 12:30 PM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 05/14/2018)
2018-07-0519STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 07/05/2018)
2018-07-06Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 7/6/2018. The parties shall meet and confer regarding the scope and timing of the search. Joint Status Report due by 8/17/2018. A further Status Conference is set for 9/5/2018, at 10:15 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-08-1720Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Status Report by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-08-1721STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-08-17MINUTE ORDER: In light of Defendants' Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Status Report 20 , it is ORDERED that the motion is hereby GRANTED. The parties shall file their joint status report on or before August 24, 2018. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/17/2018. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-08-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/24/2018. (dot) (Entered: 08/20/2018)
2018-08-2422STATUS REPORT by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 08/24/2018)
2018-08-2423Supplemental STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 08/24/2018)
2018-08-27MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report 22 , it is hereby ORDERED that the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") shall file a declaration on or before August 31, 2018, explaining why it cannot review and release responsive, non-exempt records at the rate proposed by Plaintiff. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/27/2018. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 08/27/2018)
2018-08-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") shall file a declaration on or before 8/31/2018. (kt) (Entered: 08/27/2018)
2018-08-3024RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re Order, Notice of Filing filed by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of James V.M.L. Holzer)(Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 08/30/2018)
2018-09-05Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 9/5/2018. Order forthcoming. (Court Reporter Jeff Hook.) (dot) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
2018-09-10MINUTE ORDER: In light of the status conference held on September 5, 2018, it is hereby ORDERED that Customs and Border Protection ("CPB") shall promptly conduct a new search narrowing the universe of documents to only those relating to the Arizona sector from October 2016 to present. It is further ORDERED that the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") shall process records at a minimum rate of 350 pages per month. It is further ORDERED that the parties' shall file a joint status report on or before October 5, 2018, alerting the Court to CPB's and DHS's progress. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 9/10/2018. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 09/10/2018)
2018-09-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/5/2018. (kt) (Entered: 09/10/2018)
2018-10-0525STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 10/05/2018)
2018-10-0526STATUS REPORT by CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 10/05/2018)
2018-10-10MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Plaintiff's status report 25 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall appear for a status conference on October 29, 2018, at 10:15 a.m. in Courtroom 21. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 10/10/2018. (lcrdm3, ) (Entered: 10/10/2018)
2018-10-10Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 10/29/2018, at 10:15 AM, in Courtroom 21, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. (kt) (Entered: 10/10/2018)
2018-10-2427Supplemental STATUS REPORT by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Gore, Nikhil) (Entered: 10/24/2018)
2018-10-29Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Status Conference held on 10/29/2018. On or before 11/5/2018, CBP shall provide Plaintiff with search taskers; The parties shall meet and confer, on or before 11/5/2018, about DHS providing Plaintiff with an informal redaction summary: On or before 11/12/2018, CBP shall provide Plaintiff with the number of items found in the second search; Joint Status Report due by 11/16/2018. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 10/29/2018)
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