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Case TitlePUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv00158
Date Filed2018-01-25
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
PlaintiffPUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
Case DescriptionPublic Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning the Strategic National Risk Assessment. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, PEER filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-01-251COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5302038) filed by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Declaration Corporate Disclosure, # 3 Summons Attorney General, # 4 Summons DHS, # 5 Summons USAO)(Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 01/25/2018)
2018-01-252LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (md) (Entered: 01/25/2018)
2018-01-25Case Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (md) (Entered: 01/25/2018)
2018-01-253SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent) (md) (Entered: 01/25/2018)
2018-01-304ORDER ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES FOR CASES ASSIGNED TO JUDGE COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 1/30/18. (DM) (Entered: 01/30/2018)
2018-02-075RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 1/31/2018. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 3/2/2018. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 02/07/2018)
2018-02-076RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 1/30/2018 (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 02/07/2018)
2018-02-077RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 1/31/2018. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 02/07/2018)
2018-02-128NOTICE of Appearance by Marina Utgoff Braswell on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 02/12/2018)
2018-03-029ANSWER to 1 Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.(Braswell, Marina) Modified to add link on 3/5/2018 (znmw). (Entered: 03/02/2018)
2018-03-2010ORDER. The parties shall file the schedule not later than APRIL 19, 2018 . Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on March 20, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 03/20/2018)
2018-03-20Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Schedule due by 4/19/2018. (dot) (Entered: 03/20/2018)
2018-04-1911MEET AND CONFER STATEMENT. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 04/19/2018)
2018-05-02MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 11 Joint Meet and Confer Report, which indicates that Defendant's Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") and National Protection and Programs Directorate ("NPPD") have identified certain documents and expect to make an interim release by May 9, 2018, and to complete processing by June 15, 2018. Accordingly, the Court adopts the parties' proposal that they file a Joint Status Report by JUNE 25, 2018 , confirming the status of Defendant's productions, identifying how Plaintiff intends to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on May 2, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-05-02Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 6/25/2018, confirming the status of Defendant's productions, identifying how Plaintiff intends to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. (dot) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-06-2512Joint MEET AND CONFER Statement by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) Modified on 7/5/2018 (zrdj). (Entered: 06/25/2018)
2018-07-09MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 12 Joint Meet and Confer Report, which indicates that FEMA and NPPD have made "final" productions to Plaintiff. It is not clear whether the parties are currently negotiating over the finality of those productions, as they represent that "[a]fter plaintiff's FOIA request has been fully processed and produced," further time will be necessary to enable Plaintiff to identify its proposed next steps in this litigation. In any event, the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by JULY 31, 2018 , indicating how Plaintiff intends to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on July 9, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/31/2018. (kt) (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-3113Joint STATUS REPORT by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 07/31/2018)
2018-08-07MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, which indicates that Defendant has completed its processing of Plaintiff's FOIA request, that the parties continue to discuss certain exemptions asserted by FEMA, and that FEMA is preparing a Vaughn declaration for Plaintiff. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 , indicating how the parties intend to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 7, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 08/07/2018)
2018-08-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/10/2018,indicating how the parties intend to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. (dot) (Entered: 08/07/2018)
2018-09-1014Joint STATUS REPORT by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 09/10/2018)
2018-09-17MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, which indicates that Defendant has prepared a Vaughn declaration for Plaintiff and that Plaintiff intends to review this declaration to determine whether to make any challenges. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by OCTOBER 15, 2018 , indicating whether the parties plan to settle or how they otherwise intend to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on September 17, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 09/17/2018)
2018-09-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/15/2018. (dot) (Entered: 09/19/2018)
2018-10-1515Joint STATUS REPORT by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 10/15/2018)
2018-10-16MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 15 Joint Status Report, which indicates that Plaintiff continues to review the Vaughn index and that the parties intend to confer upon completion of that review. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by NOVEMBER 15, 2018 , indicating whether they plan to settle or how they otherwise intend to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on October 16, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 10/16/2018)
2018-10-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/15/2018, indicating whether they plan to settle or how they otherwise intend to proceed, and proposing a briefing schedule, if necessary. (dot) (Entered: 10/17/2018)
2018-11-1516Joint STATUS REPORT by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 11/15/2018)
2018-11-28MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 16 Joint Status Report, which indicates that Plaintiff has completed its review of the Vaughn index and that it disagrees with the claimed exemption. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by DECEMBER 14, 2018 , including their proposed briefing schedule, if briefing remains necessary. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on November 28, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 11/28/2018)
2018-11-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/14/2018. (tb) (Entered: 11/29/2018)
2018-12-1217JOINT STATUS REPORT and PROPOSED BRIEFING SCHEDULE , , by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) Modified text on 12/13/2018 (ztd). (Entered: 12/12/2018)
2018-12-14MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 17 Joint Status Report and Proposd [sic] Briefing Schedule for Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court shall adopt the parties' generous proposed schedule in the accompanying Scheduling and Procedures Order. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on December 14, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 12/14/2018)
2018-12-1418SCHEDULING AND PROCEDURES ORDER. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on December 14, 2018. (lcckk1) (Entered: 12/14/2018)
2018-12-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 2/25/2019. Response to Cross Motion due by 3/25/2019. Reply to Cross Motion due by 4/24/2019. Defendant's Summary Judgment Motion due by 1/24/2019. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/25/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 3/25/2019. Vaughn Index due by 1/24/2019. (dot) (Entered: 12/17/2018)
2019-01-1819Consent MOTION to Stay (Defendant's Consent Motion to Stay Proceedings in Light of Lapse of Appropriations) by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 01/18/2019)
2019-01-18MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received Defendant's 19 Consent Motion to Stay Proceedings in Light of Lapse of Appropriations. With Plaintiff's consent, and in an exercise of the Court's discretion, the Court shall GRANT Defendant's 19 Consent Motion. Except as provided below, the Court shall STAY this case, including the deadline for Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and any Vaughn declaration otherwise due by January 24, 2019. The parties shall file a notice within five business days of the restoration of the U.S. Department of Justice's funding and the resumption of its operations. Defendant has not indicated whether the agency personnel responsible for assisting with the preparation of the Motion for Summary Judgment and any Vaughn declaration have been deemed essential. To the extent that those agency personnel have been deemed essential, they should continue to assist in that preparation so that, upon restoration of funding, the Motion for Summary Judgment and any Vaughn declaration may be submitted more promptly. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on January 18, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 01/18/2019)
2019-02-0120Joint STATUS REPORT and Revised Briefing Schedule by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-02-01MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the parties' 20 Joint Status Report and Extended Briefing Schedule. The parties identify the restoration of government funding. Accordingly, the Court hereby LIFTS the stay in this matter. In the accompanying Amended Scheduling and Procedures Order, the Court adopts a slightly adjusted version of the parties' proposed extended schedule for summary judgment briefing. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on February 1, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-02-0121AMENDED SCHEDULING AND PROCEDURES ORDER. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on February 1, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-03-0122MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Bridges Declaration, # 2 Stainsby Declaration)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 03/01/2019)
2019-03-0523NOTICE (Notice of Filing of Table of Authorities and Paginated Vaughn Index in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment) by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY re 22 MOTION for Summary Judgment (Attachments: # 1 (Table of Authorities), # 2 (Vaughn Index))(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 03/05/2019)
2019-03-07MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received electronic copies of Defendant's 22 Motion for Summary Judgment and 23 Notice of Filing of Table of Authorities and Paginated Vaughn Index in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. However, the Court also expects Defendant to submit courtesy hard copies of these filings and their accompanying exhibits, which the Court has not yet received. See Am. Scheduling and Procedures Order, ECF No. 21 , ¶ 8. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on March 7, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 03/07/2019)
2019-03-2924Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and opposition to 22 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support memorandum of law, # 2 Declaration Dinerstein Declaration, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit A to Dinerstein Declaration, # 4 Statement of Facts Statement of Disputed Facts, # 5 Statement of Facts Statement of Undisputed Facts, # 6 Text of Proposed Order proposed order)(Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 03/29/2019)
2019-03-2925Memorandum in opposition to re 22 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY; (See docket entry no. 24 to view.) (ztd) (Entered: 04/01/2019)
2019-04-01NOTICE OF ERROR re 24 Motion for Summary Judgment; emailed to pdinerstein@peer.org, cc'd 6 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Two-part docket entry, 2. Remember to file all parts of your document. The second part of this has been entered on the docket by the Court. (ztd, ) (Entered: 04/01/2019)
2019-04-03MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received an electronic copy of Plaintiff's 24 Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. However, the Court also expects Plaintiff to submit a courtesy hard copy of this filing and its accompanying exhibits, which the Court has not yet received. See Am. Scheduling and Procedures Order, ECF No. 21 , ¶ 8. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on April 3, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 04/03/2019)
2019-04-2926Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Opposition/Reply Brief by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 04/29/2019)
2019-04-30MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received Defendant's 26 Unopposed Motion for Leave to File Motion for Extension of Time and Motion for Extension of Time of One Day. Defendant filed this motion on April 29, 2019, the date that its Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and its Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment ("Reply/Opposition") were due. Defendant acknowledges the tardiness of its extension request. See Am. Scheduling and Procedures Order, ECF No. 21 , ¶ 2(a). Nevertheless, because of unexpected delays in the completion of Defendant's declaration, and with the consent of Plaintiff, the Court shall GRANT, nunc pro tunc , Defendant's 26 Unopposed Motion for Leave to File Motion for Extension of Time and Motion for Extension of Time of One Day, for good cause shown. Defendant shall have until and including APRIL 30, 2019 , to file its Reply/Opposition. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on April 30, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 04/30/2019)
2019-04-3027Memorandum in opposition to re 24 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and opposition to 22 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, Response, # 2 Supplemental Stainsby Declaration)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 04/30/2019)
2019-04-3028REPLY to opposition to motion re 22 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Supplemental Stainsby Declaration)(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 04/30/2019)
2019-05-0129NOTICE (Notice of Filing of Table of Authorities in Support of Defendant's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment and in Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgement by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY re 28 Reply to opposition to Motion (Attachments: # 1 (Table of Authorities))(Braswell, Marina) (Entered: 05/01/2019)
2019-05-2930REPLY to opposition to motion re 24 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment and opposition to 22 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment filed by PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. (Dinerstein, Paula) (Entered: 05/29/2019)
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