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Case TitleSCHNEIDER v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv00474
Date Filed2018-02-28
Date Closed2019-09-30
JudgeJudge Dabney L. Friedrich
PlaintiffBRANDON C. SCHNEIDER
Case DescriptionBrandon Schneider, a Catholic religious seminarian studying for the priesthood, had served a Summer Chaplain Internship at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. He was interviewed by the Office of Personnel Management for a background check at which he acknowledged certain allegations brought up by the OPM interviewer. As a result, Schneider considered himself ethically obligated to report those allegations to his seminary. He was then removed from the parish ministry and was not allowed to continue his pursuit of the priesthood. Schneider submitted a FOIA request to OPM for records concerning his interview. OPM denied his request under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). The FBI also responded to Schneider pertaining to records referred to it by OPM, denying some records under Exemption 7(E). Schneider filed an administrative appeal of the denial by both agencies. The FBI's denial was affirmed by OIP affirmed. Schneider submitted a separate FOIA request to the FBI for records pertaining to himself. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. After hearing nothing further from either agency, Schneider filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees, Adequacy - Search

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DefendantOFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Opinion/Order [23]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-02-281COMPLAINT against OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5352280) filed by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons)(Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 02/28/2018)
2018-03-01Case Assigned to Judge Dabney L. Friedrich. (jd) (Entered: 03/01/2018)
2018-03-012SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(jd) (Entered: 03/01/2018)
2018-03-163NOTICE of Appearance by Rhonda Lisa Campbell on behalf of OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 03/16/2018)
2018-03-264Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 03/26/2018)
2018-03-29MINUTE ORDER granting the defendants' 4 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint on or before May 5, 2018. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on March 29, 2018. (JPF) (Entered: 03/29/2018)
2018-05-045ANSWER to Complaint by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 05/04/2018)
2018-05-25MINUTE ORDER requiring the parties to MEET AND CONFER and file a Joint Status Report proposing a schedule for further proceedings. The parties shall file the Joint Status Report no later than June 22, 2018. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on May 25, 2018. (JK) (Entered: 05/25/2018)
2018-06-196MEET AND CONFER STATEMENT by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Campbell, Rhonda) Modified event title on 6/20/2018. (tth) (Entered: 06/19/2018)
2018-06-20NOTICE OF ERROR re 6 Status Report; emailed to rhonda.campbell@usdoj.gov, cc'd 4 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Incorrect event used, 2. Please do not refile. Correct has been made. (ztth, ) (Entered: 06/20/2018)
2018-06-22MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 6 Joint Status Report it is ORDERED that the defendants' motion for summary judgment shall be filed on or before August 31, 2018; the plaintiff's opposition brief and cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed on or before September 30, 2018; the defendants' opposition brief and reply shall be filed on or before October 15, 2018; the plaintiff's reply shall be filed on or before October 29, 2018. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on June 22, 2018. (JK) (Entered: 06/22/2018)
2018-06-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's opposition brief and cross-motion for summary judgment due by 9/30/2018. (jl) (Entered: 06/22/2018)
2018-08-317MOTION for Summary Judgment by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration Brewer, # 3 Declaration Hardy, # 4 Exhibit to Brewer Declaration, # 5 Exhibit to Hardy Declaration)(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 08/31/2018)
2018-09-028ERRATA Statement of Material Facts by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 7 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 09/02/2018)
2018-09-139SEALED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE DOCUMENT UNDER SEAL filed by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER (This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons.) (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 09/13/2018)
2018-09-17MINUTE ORDER granting the plaintiff's 9 Unopposed Motion to Seal. Accordingly, [7-5] Exhibits A through K to the Declaration of David Hardy shall be sealed and the defendants shall file a redacted version of these exhibits on or before September 28, 2018. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on 9/17/2018. (jl) (Entered: 09/17/2018)
2018-09-1910ERRATA Exhibits (Redacted) Pursuant to Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Order on Sealed Motion for Leave to File Document Under Seal,. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit redacted)(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 09/19/2018)
2018-09-2611SEALED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE DOCUMENT UNDER SEAL filed by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER (This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons.) (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Statement of Facts, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-09-2612Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-09-26MINUTE ORDER granting the plaintiff's 11 Unopposed Motion to Seal. The plaintiff shall file a redacted copy of his cross-motion for summary judgment, declaration, exhibit, and statement of facts on or before October 10, 2018. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on September 26, 2018. (JK) (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-09-26Set/Reset Deadlines: Redacted documents due by 10/10/2018. (JK) (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-09-2613Memorandum in opposition to re 7 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER. (See Docket Entry 12 to view document) (tth) (Entered: 10/01/2018)
2018-10-0314REDACTED DOCUMENT- to Order on Sealed Motion for Leave to File Document Under Seal, by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Declaration, # 4 Exhibit)(Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 10/03/2018)
2018-10-1115Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 12 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-11MINUTE ORDER granting 15 Defendants' Unopposed Motion for an Extension of Time to File Their Reply in Support of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. The defendants' opposition brief shall be filed on or before November 1, 2018, and the plaintiff's reply shall be filed on or before November 16, 2018. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on October 11, 2018. (JK) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-11Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Opposition due by 11/1/2018. Plaintiff's Reply due by 11/16/2018. (kh) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-11-0116REPLY to opposition to motion re 12 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration 2nd Hardy Declaration)(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 11/01/2018)
2018-11-1617REPLY to opposition to motion re 12 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER. (Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 11/16/2018)
2019-04-2918NOTICE of Appearance by Mark Steven Zaid on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Zaid, Mark) (Entered: 04/29/2019)
2019-04-2919NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to BRANDON C. SCHNEIDER. Attorney Scott Allan Hodes terminated. (Hodes, Scott) (Entered: 04/29/2019)
2019-05-23ENTER IN ERROR.....MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the defendants 18 Status Report and the plaintiffs 19 Reply, it is ORDERED as follows: the defendants motion for summary judgment shall be filed on or before July 18, 2019; the plaintiffs opposition/cross-motion for summary judgment shall be filed on or before August 19, 2019; the defendants opposition/reply shall be filed on or before September 16, 2019; and the plaintiffs reply shall be filed on or before October 7, 2019. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on May 23, 2019. (lcdlf3) Modified on 6/3/2019 (zcal). (Entered: 05/23/2019)
2019-05-23ENTERED IN ERROR.....Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 7/18/2019. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 8/19/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 9/16/2019. Cross Motions due by 8/19/2019. Response to Cross Motions due by 9/16/2019. Reply to Cross Motions due by 10/7/2019. (zcal) Modified on 6/3/2019 (zcal). (Entered: 05/23/2019)
2019-05-23NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: MINUTE ORDER filed 5/23/2019 was entered in error. Incorrect case number. (zcal) (Entered: 06/03/2019)
2019-09-03MINUTE ORDER. Having reviewed the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court has determined that it does not have sufficient information to issue a ruling on the pending motions. Accordingly, the Court directs defendants to file a supplemental declaration addressing the following issues: (1) In its briefs, defendant U.S. Department of Justice appears to invoke FOIA Exemption 7(E) to "categorically" withhold documents that were obtained as a result of a National Agency Check. See Def.'s Br. at 11, Dkt. 7 ; First Hardy Decl., ¶¶ 48, 52, Dkt. [7-3]. Yet the record suggests that DOJ invoked Exemption 7(E) to redact rather than to withhold certain documents that were obtained from the National Agency Check. See id. ¶¶ 56, 60. Thus, the supplemental declaration shall clarify whether DOJ invoked Exemption 7(E) to either categorically withhold or to redact each document it processed, and it shall provide specific justification for each withholding or redaction. (2) The declarations are unclear about the systems the FBI searched in response to the plaintiff's request. In their Motion for Summary Judgment, the defendants state that the FBI searched the National Name Check Program records using different iterations of the plaintiff's name. See Def.'s Br. at 5-6. But the Hardy Declaration does not describe any specific search of the National Name Check Program. See Hardy Decl., ¶¶ 16-18. (3) Defendant DOJ also suggests that the Central Records System is the only records system likely to maintain responsive records about the 2005 investigation, see Hardy Decl. ¶ 29, but the declarations do not explain why other components of DOJ that investigate and prosecute such matters would not also have responsive records. Defendants shall file a supplemental declaration that addresses these issues on or before September 9, 2019. The plaintiff shall file a response, if any, to the defendants' supplemental declaration on or before September 16, 2019. So Ordered by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on September 3, 2019. (lcdlf3) (Entered: 09/03/2019)
2019-09-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Response, if any, due by 9/16/2019. (kh) (Entered: 09/04/2019)
2019-09-0620Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File a Supplemental Declaration , MOTION for Extension of Time to File by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 09/06/2019)
2019-09-06MINUTE ORDER granting in part the defendants' 20 Motion for Extension of Time to File a Supplemental Declaration. The defendants shall file their supplemental declarations on or before September 13, 2019, and the plaintiffs shall file a response, if any, on or before September 20, 2019. The Court will grant no further extensions in this case. So Ordered by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on September 6, 2019. (Entered: 09/06/2019)
2019-09-1321RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re Order,,,,,,,,, Set Deadlines,,,,,,,, filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Hardy)(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
2019-09-2822ORDER granting the defendants' 7 Motion for Summary Judgment and denying the plaintiff's 12 Cross Motion for Summary Judgment. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on September 28, 2019. (lcdlf3) (Entered: 09/28/2019)
2019-09-2823MEMORANDUM OPINION regarding the defendants' 7 Motion for Summary Judgment and the plaintiff's 12 Cross Motion for Summary Judgment. See text for details. Signed by Judge Dabney L. Friedrich on September 28, 2019. (lcdlf3) (Entered: 09/28/2019)
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