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Case TitleDEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv00479
Date Filed2018-02-28
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Tanya S. Chutkan
PlaintiffDEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION
Case DescriptionThe Democracy Forward Foundation submitted FOIA requests to the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning the extension of the EB-5 visa program, which provides a pathway to citizenship for wealthy foreign nationals who invest in U.S. development projects. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests, but after hearing nothing further from either agency, the Democracy Forward Foundation filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantUNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES
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
 ANSWER
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-02-281COMPLAINT against U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5352744) filed by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit, # 6 Civil Cover Sheet, # 7 Summons, # 8 Summons, # 9 Summons, # 10 Summons, # 11 Summons)(Guzman, Javier) (Entered: 02/28/2018)
2018-02-282LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Guzman, Javier) (Entered: 02/28/2018)
2018-02-28Case Assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (zsb) (Entered: 02/28/2018)
2018-02-283SUMMONS (5) Issued Electronically as to DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION, UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 02/28/2018)
2018-03-204RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 3/7/2018. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/6/2018.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 3/7/18., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. All Defendants (Attachments: # 1 Declaration)(Guzman, Javier) (Entered: 03/20/2018)
2018-04-025NOTICE by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Guzman, Javier) (Entered: 04/02/2018)
2018-04-066Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 04/06/2018)
2018-04-09MINUTE ORDER: Granting 6 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer. Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by April 16, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/9/18. (DJS) (Entered: 04/09/2018)
2018-04-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 4/16/2018. (tb) (Entered: 04/10/2018)
2018-04-167Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 04/16/2018)
2018-04-20MINUTE ORDER: Granting 7 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by April 20, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/20/18. (DJS) (Entered: 04/20/2018)
2018-04-208ANSWER to Complaint by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 04/20/2018)
2018-04-239NOTICE of Appearance by Josephine T. Morse on behalf of DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 04/23/2018)
2018-04-24MINUTE 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 Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiff, 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 no later than 5/24/18. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/24/18. (DJS) (Entered: 04/24/2018)
2018-04-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report and proposed order due by 5/24/2018. (tb) (Entered: 04/25/2018)
2018-05-2410Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 05/24/2018)
2018-05-31MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' Joint Status Report 10 ,it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another report by July 2, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/31/18. (DJS) (Entered: 05/31/2018)
2018-06-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/2/2018. (tb) (Entered: 06/01/2018)
2018-07-0211Joint STATUS REPORT and Plaintiff's Request for Status Conference by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 07/02/2018)
2018-07-0212MOTION for Hearing by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (See docket entry 11 to view document)(zrdj) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-06MINUTE ORDER: Granting 12 Motion for Hearing. A Status Conference is hereby set July 26, 2018 at 11:00 am in Courtroom 9. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 7/6/18. (DJS) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-06Set/Reset Hearings: A Status Conference is set 7/26/2018 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (jth) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-26Minute Entry: Status Conference held on 7/26/2018 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Parties are to meet and confer before the next status hearing. Status Report due by 9/26/2018. Status Conference set for 10/5/2018 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (Court Reporter Bryan Wayne) (tb) (Entered: 07/27/2018)
2018-09-2613Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-10-05Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Status Conference held on 10/5/2018. For the reasons stated on the record, the Government is ORDERED to bring in a representation from the United States Department of State, as well as from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at the next Status Conference. A Joint Status Report is due by 11/5/2018. Further Status Conference is set for 11/14/2018 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (Court Reporter Lisa Moreira) (nbn) (Entered: 10/05/2018)
2018-11-0514Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 11/05/2018)
2018-11-14Minute Entry: Status Conference held on 11/14/2018 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: Status Report and Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 1/2/2019. (Court Reporter Lisa Edwards) (tb) (Entered: 11/14/2018)
2018-11-1615MOTION for Extension of Time to Conduct the Telephome Conference Call Between Plaintiff's Counsel and the Department of Homeland Security FOIA Officials by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 11/16/2018)
2018-11-19MINUTE ORDER: Defendants' November 16, 2018 motion 15 for an extension of time to conduct the telephone conference call between Plaintiff's counsel and the Department of Homeland Security FOIA officials is GRANTED. The call shall take place by November 21, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 11/19/2018. (lctsc1) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-12-0716MOTION for Hearing for Immediate Status Conference by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Morse, Josephine) Modified event on 12/10/2018 (ztd). (Entered: 12/07/2018)
2018-12-0817CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION re 16 MOTION for Order for Immediate Status Conference . (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 12/08/2018)
2018-12-10MINUTE ORDER: Plaintiff's December 7, 2018 motion 16 for a status conference is GRANTED. A status conference is set for December 19, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. The Government is ORDERED to bring in a Department of Homeland Security representative who is prepared to discuss the status of Plaintiff's request, the number of documents pending processing, and anticipated production dates. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 12/10/2018. (lctsc1) (Entered: 12/10/2018)
2018-12-12Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 12/19/2018 at 02:30 PM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb) (Entered: 12/12/2018)
2018-12-1218TRANSCRIPT OF 7/26/18 STATUS HEARING before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan held on July 26, 2018. Page Numbers: 1-9. Date of Issuance: 12/12/18. 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 transcri pt may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (PDF, 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 1/2/2019. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/12/2019. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/12/2019.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 12/12/2018)
2018-12-1819NOTICE of Supplemental Information by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B)(Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 12/18/2018)
2018-12-1920NOTICE of Appearance by Adam Anderson Grogg on behalf of DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Grogg, Adam) (Entered: 12/19/2018)
2018-12-19Minute Entry: Status Conference held on 12/19/2018 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan: The attorneys will meet and confer by 1/9/2019. Status Report due date extended to 1/28/2019. (Court Reporter Bryan Wayne) (tb) (Entered: 12/20/2018)
2018-12-2321TRANSCRIPT OF 12/19/18 STATUS HEARING before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, held on December 19, 2018. Page Numbers: 1-21. Date of Issuance: 12/23/18. Court Reporter: Bryan A. Wayne. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form at www.dcd.uscourts.gov. 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 transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (PDF, 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 1/13/2019. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 1/23/2019. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 3/23/2019.(Wayne, Bryan) (Entered: 12/23/2018)
2019-01-0922MOTION to Stay by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Coles-Huff, Doris) (Entered: 01/09/2019)
2019-01-16MINUTE ORDER granting 22 Motion to Stay. All deadlines are hereby STAYED pending further order of the Court. Defendants' counsel shall notify the Court promptly after Congress has appropriated funds for the Justice Department. Once the stay is lifted, within one week thereafter Plaintiff and representatives of Defendant Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will confer about DHS's response to Plaintiff's FOIA request; and (2) within four weeks of the lifting of the stay the parties will file a joint status report. The joint status report shall be accompanied by a proposed order. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 1/16/19. (DJS) (Entered: 01/16/2019)
2019-02-2223Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 02/22/2019)
2019-02-27MINUTE ORDER LIFTING STAY: Having considered the parties' joint status report 23 , the previously imposed stay is hereby lifted. It is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another joint status report by 3/15/19 and every 45 days thereafter. To the extent the parties propose a production schedule and/or briefing schedule, the status report shall include a proposed order Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 2/27/19. (DJS) (Entered: 02/27/2019)
2019-03-1524Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 03/15/2019)
2019-04-1225Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 04/12/2019)
2019-04-2326Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File the Parties' Joint Status Report by UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 04/23/2019)
2019-04-24MINUTE ORDER finding as moot 26 Motion for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report. Consistent with this court's 02/27/2019 Minute Order the next joint status report is due 4/29/19. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/24/19. (DJS) (Entered: 04/24/2019)
2019-04-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/29/2019. (tb) (Entered: 04/25/2019)
2019-04-2527MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Aman George, :Firm- Democracy Forward Foundation, :Address- 1333 H St. NW, Washington, DC, 20005. Phone No. - 202-701-1783. Fax No. - 202-701-1783 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-6082757. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION (Attachments: # 1 Declaration, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Grogg, Adam) (Entered: 04/25/2019)
2019-04-2928Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Guzman, Javier) (Entered: 04/29/2019)
2019-05-0129NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. Attorney Josephine T. Morse terminated. (Morse, Josephine) (Entered: 05/01/2019)
2019-05-02MINUTE ORDER: Granting in part and denying in part 27 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice. Attorney Aman George may be heard in open court on behalf of Plaintiff, but may not file papers in this court. See Local Civil Rule 83.2(c)(2) ("An attorney who engages in the practice of law from an office located in the District of Columbia must be a member of the District of Columbia Bar AND the Bar of this Court to file papers in this Court."). Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 5/2/19. (DJS) (Entered: 05/02/2019)
2019-06-1330Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (George, Aman) (Entered: 06/13/2019)
2019-06-2431NOTICE of Appearance by Damon William Taaffe on behalf of All Defendants (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 06/24/2019)
2019-07-2932Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (George, Aman) (Entered: 07/29/2019)
2019-08-1233Joint STATUS REPORT by DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(George, Aman) (Entered: 08/12/2019)
2019-08-1234NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to DEMOCRACY FORWARD FOUNDATION. Attorney Adam Anderson Grogg terminated. (Grogg, Adam) (Entered: 08/12/2019)
2019-08-13MINUTE ORDER: Having reviewed the parties' joint status report 33 , the court hereby orders the parties to adhere to the following briefing schedule: Defendant's motion for summary judgment shall be filed on or before September 20, 2019; Plaintiff's opposition and cross-motion shall be filed on or before October 17, 2019; Defendant's reply and opposition shall be filed on or before October 31, 2019; and Plaintiff's reply in support of its cross-motion shall be filed on or before November 11, 2019. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/13/2019. (lctsc1) (Entered: 08/13/2019)
2019-08-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Cross Motion due by 10/17/2019. Response to Cross Motion due by 10/31/2019. Reply to Cross Motion due by 11/11/2019. Summary Judgment motion due by 9/20/2019. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 10/17/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 10/31/2019. (tb) (Entered: 08/14/2019)
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