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Case TitleGRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS et al v. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2017cv02825
Date Filed2017-12-28
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Tanya S. Chutkan
PlaintiffGRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS on behalf of itself and its members
PlaintiffSOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY on behalf of itself and its members
PlaintiffCONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION
Case DescriptionGrand Staircase Escalante Partners, the Society of Vertebrae Paleontology, and the Conservation Lands Foundation submitted FOIA requests to the Department of the Interior, the Council for Environmental Quality, and OMB for records concerning the review process that resulted in the land area of Grand Staircase National Monument being reduced in size as a result of President Trump's executive order on the management of federal lands. Some of the agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, while others did not. After hearing nothing further from any of the agencies, the requesters filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
DefendantCOUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
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
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2017-12-281COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5267305) filed by GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit 5, # 6 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 7 Summons DOI Summons, # 8 Summons CEQ Summons, # 9 Summons OMB Summons, # 10 Summons Civil Process Clerk Summons, # 11 Summons Sessions Summons)(Rose, Garett) (Entered: 12/28/2017)
2017-12-282Corporate Disclosure Statement by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Rose, Garett) (Entered: 12/28/2017)
2017-12-283NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by All Plaintiffs. Case related to Case No. 17-2587, 17-2591. (Rose, Garett) (Entered: 12/28/2017)
2017-12-284NOTICE of Appearance by Garett Robert Rose on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Rose, Garett) (Entered: 12/28/2017)
2017-12-285NOTICE of Appearance by Gary S. Guzy on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 12/28/2017)
2017-12-28Case Assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (jd) (Entered: 01/03/2018)
2018-01-036SUMMONS (5) Issued Electronically as to COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(jd) (Entered: 01/03/2018)
2018-02-027NOTICE of Appearance by Jeremy S. Simon on behalf of COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 02/02/2018)
2018-02-058Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to Complaint by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 02/05/2018)
2018-02-06MINUTE ORDER: Granting 8 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer. The Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by March 7, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 2/6/18. (DJS) (Entered: 02/06/2018)
2018-02-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 3/7/2018. (tb) (Entered: 02/07/2018)
2018-03-069ANSWER to Complaint by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET.(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 03/06/2018)
2018-04-05MINUTE 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 5/7/18. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/5/18. (DJS) (Entered: 04/05/2018)
2018-04-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report and Proposed Order due by 5/7/2018. (tb) (Entered: 04/06/2018)
2018-05-0710Joint STATUS REPORT and Proposed Scheduling Orders by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Plaintiffs' Proposed Order, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Defendants' Proposed Order)(Rose, Garett) (Entered: 05/07/2018)
2018-05-08MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for 5/22/18 at 11:30 am in Courtroom 9. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/8/18. (DJS) (Entered: 05/08/2018)
2018-05-08Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 5/22/2018 at 11:30 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 05/08/2018)
2018-05-08NOTICE OF ERROR re 10 Status Report; emailed to grose@cov.com, cc'd 3 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Do not Refile. FYI for future filings, the electronic signature and signature on the document should match. (ztd, ) (Entered: 05/08/2018)
2018-05-0911Consent MOTION to Continue May 22 Status Conference by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 05/09/2018)
2018-05-09MINUTE ORDER: Granting 11 Consent Motion to Continue. The Status Conference previously set for 5/22/18 is hereby rescheduled for 5/21/18 at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 9. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/9/18. (DJS) (Entered: 05/09/2018)
2018-05-10Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 5/21/2018 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 05/10/2018)
2018-05-1512NOTICE of Four Related Cases and Filing of Motion for Reassignment/Consolidation by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Motion)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 05/15/2018)
2018-05-16MINUTE ORDER: In light of the Notice of Related Case filed by the Defendants 12 and the motion to consolidated filed in Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance v. Dept of Interior, No. 17-cv-2314-EGS (D.D.C.), the Status Conference set for 5/21/18 is hereby VACATED. Within 5 days after Judge Sullivan issues a ruling on the motion to consolidate, if necessary, the parties shall file a joint notice in the present action that includes a proposed order for moving forward with this case. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/16/18. (DJS) (Entered: 05/16/2018)
2018-05-2913RESPONSE re 12 Notice (Other) Plaintiffs' Objection to Related Case Designation filed by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Rose, Garett) (Entered: 05/29/2018)
2018-05-30NOTICE OF ERROR re 13 Response to Document; emailed to grose@cov.com, cc'd 3 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Do Not Refile. FYI for future filings, electronic filings must be made by the person who signs the document. (ztd, ) (Entered: 05/30/2018)
2018-06-0514NOTICE Regarding Plaintiffs' Objection to Defendants' Notice of Four Related Cases by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/05/2018)
2018-06-1215NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. Attorney Garett Robert Rose terminated. (Rose, Garett) (Entered: 06/12/2018)
2018-06-1416NOTICE of Appearance by John Mizerak on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Mizerak, John) (Main Document 16 replaced on 6/20/2018) (ztd). (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-06-2717Joint STATUS REPORT in light of denial of Motion to Consolidate by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 06/27/2018)
2018-08-22MINUTE ORDER: A Status Conference is hereby set for 9/11/18 at 9:45 am in Courtroom 9. The parties shall file an updated joint status report by 9/6/18. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/22/18. (DJS) (Entered: 08/22/2018)
2018-08-22Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 9/6/2018. Status Conference set for 9/11/2018 at 09:45 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 08/22/2018)
2018-09-0618NOTICE of Appearance by Shruti Chaganti Barker on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Barker, Shruti) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
2018-09-0619Joint STATUS REPORT by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
2018-09-11Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Status Conference held on 9/11/2018. Written Scheduling Order to be issued by the Court. (Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne) (jth) (Entered: 09/11/2018)
2018-09-1120ORDER: The parties shall submit a joint status report within forty-five days from the date of this Order. See Order for more details. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 9/11/2018. (lctsc2). (Entered: 09/11/2018)
2018-10-2521Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Complete Search by OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 10/25/2018)
2018-10-2622Joint STATUS REPORT by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 10/26/2018)
2018-10-29MINUTE ORDER: Granting 21 Consent Motion for Extension of Deadlines. The Office of Management and Budget has until November 2, 2018 to complete its search. The parties shall file a joint status report and proposed order by 11/20/18. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/29/18. (DJS) (Entered: 10/29/2018)
2018-10-30Set/Reset Deadlines: Search completion due by 11/2/2018. Joint Status Report due by 11/20/2018. (tb) (Entered: 10/30/2018)
2018-11-1923Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-11-19MINUTE ORDER: Granting 23 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report. The parties shall file a joint status report by 12/10/18, along with a proposed order. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/19/18. (DJS) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-12-1024Joint STATUS REPORT by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 12/10/2018)
2018-12-14MINUTE ORDER: A status conference is set for January 11, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., in Courtroom 9. The Government is ORDERED to bring in representatives from the Department of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of Management and Budget. The representatives shall be prepared to discuss the status of Plaintiffs' requests, the number of documents pending processing, and anticipated production dates. Further, the parties shall file an updated joint status report by January 4, 2019. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 12/14/2018. (lctsc1) (Entered: 12/14/2018)
2018-12-18Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 1/4/2019. Status Conference set for 1/11/2019 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 12/18/2018)
2019-01-0325Unopposed MOTION to Stay in Light of Lapse of Appropriations by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 01/03/2019)
2019-01-07MINUTE ORDER: Denying 25 Without Prejudice Motion to Stay for failure to comply with Local Civil Rule 7(c), which requires that "[e]ach motion... shall be accompanied by a proposed order." Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 1/7/19. (DJS) (Entered: 01/07/2019)
2019-01-0826Unopposed MOTION to Stay (renewed) in Light of Lapse in Appropriations by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 01/08/2019)
2019-01-10MINUTE ORDER: Granting 26 Motion to Stay. The hearing set for 1/11/19 is hereby VACATED. All deadlines are hereby STAYED. Defendant's counsel shall notify the Court within five days after Congress has appropriated funds for the Justice Department. It is further ordered that all current deadlines for the parties shall be extended commensurate with the duration of the lapse in appropriations. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 1/10/19. (DJS) (Entered: 01/10/2019)
2019-01-3027NOTICE of Restored Government Funding by COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 01/30/2019)
2019-02-0728Joint STATUS REPORT by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Plaintiffs' Proposed Order, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Defendants' Proposed Order)(Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 02/07/2019)
2019-02-19MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' notice 27 of restored government funding and joint status report 25 , the stay is hereby lifted and a status conference is set for March 12, 2019 at 11:15 a.m., in Courtroom 9. The Government is ORDERED to bring in representatives from the Department of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of Management and Budget. The representatives shall be prepared to discuss the status of Plaintiffs' requests, the number of documents pending processing, anticipated production dates, and Vaughn Index timing. Further, the parties shall file an updated joint status report on March 8, 2019. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 2/19/2019. (lctsc1) (Entered: 02/19/2019)
2019-02-21Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 3/8/2019. Status Conference set for 3/12/2019 at 11:15 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 02/21/2019)
2019-03-0829Joint STATUS REPORT by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Plaintiffs' Proposed Order, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Defendants' Proposed Order)(Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 03/08/2019)
2019-03-12Minute Entry: Status Conference held on 3/12/2019 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: It is hereby ordered that the DOI shall produce 1500 pages responsive to this litigation and a Vaughn Index each month. The COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY shall produce a Vaughn Index by 04/02/19, and the OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET shall produce a Vaughn Index on or before 04/02/19. Joint Status Report due by 4/26/2019. (Court Reporter Bryan Wayne) (tb) (Entered: 03/15/2019)
2019-03-1330TRANSCRIPT OF 3/12/19 STATUS HEARING, before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, held on March 12, 2019. Page Numbers: 1-17. Date of Issuance: 3/13/19. 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 tra nscript 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 4/3/2019. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 4/13/2019. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 6/11/2019.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 03/13/2019)
2019-03-1531Consent MOTION to Clarify Court's Order at March 12, 2019 Status Conference by DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 03/15/2019)
2019-03-19MINUTE ORDER: Granting Consent 31 Motion to Clarify. The Department of Interior (DOI) shall begin producing to Plaintiffs 1,500 pages of documents responsive to the Freedom of Information Act request at issue in this litigation beginning with DOI's April 2019 production, which DOI states is currently planned for on or about April 15, 2019. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 3/19/19. (DJS) (Entered: 03/19/2019)
2019-04-2632Joint STATUS REPORT by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 04/26/2019)
2019-05-07MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' joint status report 32 , it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another joint report and proposed order by June 12, 2019. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/7/19. (DJS) (Entered: 05/07/2019)
2019-05-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 6/12/2018. (tb) (Entered: 05/08/2019)
2019-06-1233Joint STATUS REPORT by CONSERVATION LANDS FOUNDATION, GRAND STAIRCASE ESCALANTE PARTNERS, SOCIETY OF VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY. (Guzy, Gary) (Entered: 06/12/2019)
2019-06-13MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' joint status report 33 it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another joint report by August 1, 2019 and every 60 days thereafter. To the extent the report contains a proposed production and/or briefing schedule, the report shall include a proposed order. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 6/13/19. (DJS) (Entered: 06/13/2019)
2019-06-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/1/2019. (tb) (Entered: 06/17/2019)
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