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Case TitlePROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv02440
Date Filed2017-11-13
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Rudolph Contreras
PlaintiffPROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.
Case DescriptionThe Protect Democracy Project submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and OMB for records concerning the government's response to Hurricane Maria. Both FEMA and OMB acknowledged receipt of Protect Democracy Project's request and indicated they would start processing the request. DHS did not acknowledge Protect Democracy Project's request. After hearing nothing from the agencies, Protect Democracy Project filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantFEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
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
Complaint attachment 9
Complaint attachment 10
Complaint attachment 11
Complaint attachment 12
Complaint attachment 13
Complaint attachment 14
Complaint attachment 15
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-11-131COMPLAINT against FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5201978) filed by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit Exhibit G, # 8 Exhibit Exhibit H, # 9 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 10 Declaration Certificate Rule LCvR 7.1, # 11 Summons AG Summons, # 12 Summons DHS Summons, # 13 Summons FEMA Summons, # 14 Summons OMB Summons, # 15 Summons US Atty Summons)(Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/13/2017)
2017-11-132LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (zsb) (Entered: 11/16/2017)
2017-11-163ERRATA by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. 1 Complaint,, filed by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Corrected Complaint)(Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/16/2017)
2017-11-16Case Assigned to Judge Rudolph Contreras. (zsb) (Entered: 11/17/2017)
2017-11-174SUMMONS (5) Issued Electronically as to FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 11/17/2017)
2017-11-295RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 11/27/2017. (Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/29/2017)
2017-11-296RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 11/27/2017. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 12/27/2017. (Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/29/2017)
2017-11-297RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY served on 11/27/2017; OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET served on 11/27/2017; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 11/27/2017 (Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 11/29/2017)
2017-12-248Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint,, by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 12/24/2017)
2017-12-26MINUTE ORDER granting 8 Motion for Extension of Time: It is hereby ORDERED that Defendants shall respond to the Complaint on or before January 11, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 12/26/2017. (lcrc3) (Entered: 12/26/2017)
2017-12-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 1/11/2018, (tj) (Entered: 12/27/2017)
2018-01-089MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Jamila G. Benkato, :Firm- The Protect Democracy Project, :Address- 2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW #163 Washington, DC 20006. Phone No. - (202) 751-4058. Fax No. - (929) 777-8428 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5277848. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 01/08/2018)
2018-01-10MINUTE ORDER granting 9 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice : Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.2, it is hereby ORDERED that Jamila G. Benkato is admitted to represent Plaintiff pro hac vice in this case. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 1/10/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 01/10/2018)
2018-01-1010MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Helen Gugel, :Firm- Ropes & Gray, :Address- 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone No. - 212 596 9398. Fax No. - 646 728 1849 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5281915. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 01/10/2018)
2018-01-1011MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Joan McPhee, :Firm- Ropes & Gray, :Address- 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone No. - 212-596-9443. Fax No. - 646-728-6230 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5281939. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by PROTECT DEMOCRACY PROJECT, INC. (Berwick, Benjamin) (Entered: 01/10/2018)
2018-01-1112ANSWER to 1 Complaint by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.(Skurnik, Matthew) Modified to add link on 1/12/2018 (znmw). (Entered: 01/11/2018)
2018-01-12MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall meet, confer, and submit a proposed briefing schedule on or before January 26, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 01/12/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 01/12/2018)
2018-01-2613PROPOSED BRIEFING SCHEDULE (Joint Proposed Schedule) by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 01/26/2018)
2018-01-26MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 13 the parties' Joint Proposed Schedule, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall comply with the schedule proposed in their submission for searching, processing, and producing records responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA requests and for keeping the Court apprised of the parties activities in these regards. SO ORDERED Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 1/26/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 01/26/2018)
2018-02-02MINUTE ORDER granting 10 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice : Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.2, it is hereby ORDERED that Helen Gugel is admitted to represent Plaintiff pro hac vice in this case. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 2/2/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 02/02/2018)
2018-02-02MINUTE ORDER granting 11 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice : Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 83.2, it is hereby ORDERED that Joan McPhee is admitted to represent Plaintiff pro hac vice in this case. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 2/2/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 02/02/2018)
2018-02-1614Joint STATUS REPORT (Joint Proposed Schedule) by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 02/16/2018)
2018-02-22MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 14 the parties' Joint Proposed Schedule: it is hereby ORDERED that DHS shall process the approximately 39 documents that it has identified and produce to Plaintiff all responsive, non-exempt records on or before March 2, 2018. It is FURTHER ORDERED that OMB will process documents at a rate of at least 300 documents per month and will making rolling productions of responsive, non-exempt records every 30 days, with the first production to be made on or before March 18, 2018. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report on or before May 23, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 2/22/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 02/22/2018)
2018-02-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 5/23/2018 (tj) (Entered: 02/22/2018)
2018-02-2615Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 02/26/2018)
2018-02-27MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 15 the parties' Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that FEMA will follow up with DHS HQ on a weekly basis beginning on March 2, 2018 to check on the status of the 38 pages of records identified in the Joint Status Report. It is FURTHER ORDERED that FEMA will either produce all response, non-exempt records subject to DHS HQ and White House consultation on or before March 12, 2018 or submit a joint status report on that date reporting the status of the consultation. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 2/27/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 02/27/2018)
2018-03-0116Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Process and Produce Responsive, Non-exempt Records by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 03/01/2018)
2018-03-01MINUTE ORDER granting 16 Motion for Extension of Time: It is hereby ORDERED that DHS shall process the approximately 55 pages of non-duplicate records that it has identified as potentially responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request and produce any responsive, non-exemept records on or before March 16, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Rudolph Contreras on 3/1/2018. (lcrc3) (Entered: 03/01/2018)
2018-03-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Production due by 3/16/2018. (tj) (Entered: 03/02/2018)
2018-03-1217Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 03/12/2018)
2018-03-2318Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-04-0619Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Skurnik, Matthew) (Entered: 04/06/2018)
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by FOIA Project Staff