Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleWITTES v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv00390
Date Filed2018-02-21
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Emmet G. Sullivan
PlaintiffBENJAMIN WITTES
Case DescriptionBenjamin Wittes, the editor of Lawfare, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning an article about Mar-a-Lago that was published on the website ShareAmerica, operated by the State Department's Bureau of International Programs and was linked to several other social media accounts run by the agency. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Wittes filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
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

2018-02-211COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5341021) filed by BENJAMIN WITTES. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit FOIA Request, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons)(Friedman, Robert) (Entered: 02/21/2018)
2018-02-23Case Assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (zsb) (Entered: 02/23/2018)
2018-02-232SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 02/23/2018)
2018-02-263STANDING ORDER: The parties are directed to read the attached Standing Order Governing Civil Cases Before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in its entirety upon receipt. The parties are hereby ORDERED to comply with the directives in the attached Standing Order. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 02/26/18. (mac) (Entered: 02/26/2018)
2018-03-164RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 3/2/2018, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 3/2/2018. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/1/2018.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 03/02/2018. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Receipt of Certified Mail to US Attorney General, # 2 Exhibit Tracking Information for Certified Mail Department of State, # 3 Exhibit Receipt of Certified Mail to US Attorney)(Friedman, Robert) (Entered: 03/16/2018)
2018-03-235NOTICE of Appearance by Jason Todd Cohen on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-03-236Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-03-23MINUTE ORDER granting 6 government's unopposed motion for extension of time to file answer. Therefore, the defendant shall answer, or otherwise respond, to the plaintiff's complaint by May 2, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 3/23/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 03/23/2018)
2018-03-26Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant Answer Or Otherwise Response To The Complaint due by 5/2/2018,. (mac) (Entered: 03/26/2018)
2018-05-027ANSWER to Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-06-13MINUTE ORDER. Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. 552. The parties are directed to meet and confer and propose a joint scheduling order for further proceedings in this case by no later than July 12, 2018. The parties' joint proposed scheduling order shall address the following: (1) The status of plaintiff's FOIA request; (2) The anticipated number of documents responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request; (3) The anticipated date(s) for release of documents responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request; (4) Whether a motion for an Open America stay is likely in this case; (5) Whether a Vaughn index will be required in this case; (6) Whether this case would benefit from referral to a magistrate judge or the District Court Mediation Program for purposes of settlement; and (7) A proposed briefing schedule for dispositive motions, if applicable. If the parties are unable to agree on a joint recommendation, the joint proposed scheduling order shall include each party's individual recommendations. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 6/13/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 06/13/2018)
2018-06-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 7/12/2018. (mac) (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-07-128Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 07/12/2018)
2018-07-16MINUTE ORDER in view of 8 parties' joint status report, the parties are directed to file a further joint status report by August 17, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 7/16/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 07/16/2018)
2018-07-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/17/2018. (mac) (Entered: 07/16/2018)
2018-08-179Joint STATUS REPORT by BENJAMIN WITTES. (Friedman, Robert) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-08-21MINUTE ORDER in view of 9 parties' joint status report, the defendant is directed to make its second production by September 13, 2018. The Court declines to set a summary judgment briefing schedule at this time, but directs the parties to submit an additional joint status report by no later than September 17, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/21/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 08/21/2018)
2018-08-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/17/2018. (mac) (Entered: 08/21/2018)
2018-09-1710Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 09/17/2018)
2018-09-18MINUTE ORDER in view of 10 parties' joint status report, the defendant is directed to make its final document production by October 15, 2018. The parties are directed to submit a joint status report by no later than October 22, 2018 recommending next steps for further proceedings. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 9/18/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 09/18/2018)
2018-09-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/22/2018. (mac) (Entered: 09/19/2018)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff
Skip to toolbar