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Case TitleAMERICAN OVERSIGHT v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv00534
Date Filed2018-03-08
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Ketanji Brown Jackson
PlaintiffAMERICAN OVERSIGHT
Case DescriptionAmerican Oversight submitted FOIA requests to all cabinet-level departments, the EPA, and the Small Business Administration for records concerning calendar entries for political appointees. All the agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests and several agencies asked American Oversight for clarification. But after hearing nothing further from any of the agencies, American Oversight filed suit.
Complaint issues: Litigation - Attorney's fees, Litigation - Vaughn index, Adequacy - Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Public Interest Fee Waiver

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
DefendantU.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
DefendantU.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
DefendantU.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
TERMINATED: 04/04/2018
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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
Complaint attachment 12
Complaint attachment 13
Complaint attachment 14
Complaint attachment 15
Complaint attachment 16
Complaint attachment 17
Complaint attachment 18
Complaint attachment 19
Complaint attachment 20
Complaint attachment 21
Complaint attachment 22
Complaint attachment 23
Complaint attachment 24
Complaint attachment 25
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-03-081COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5364205) filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G, # 8 Exhibit H, # 9 Civil Cover Sheet, # 10 Summons as to USAO, # 11 Summons as to AG, # 12 Summons as to Commerce, # 13 Summons as to Education, # 14 Summons as to DOE, # 15 Summons as to EPA, # 16 Summons as to DHS, # 17 Summons as to DOI, # 18 Summons as to DOL, # 19 Summons as to DOT, # 20 Summons as to HHS, # 21 Summons as to HUD, # 22 Summons as to SBA, # 23 Summons as to State, # 24 Summons as to Treasury, # 25 Summons as to USDA)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 03/08/2018)
2018-03-082LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 03/08/2018)
2018-03-08Case Assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (jd) (Entered: 03/09/2018)
2018-03-093SUMMONS (16) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(jd) (Entered: 03/09/2018)
2018-03-204GENERAL ORDER AND GUIDELINES FOR CIVIL CASES BEFORE JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON. The Court will hold the parties and counsel responsible for following these directives, and parties and counsel should pay particular attention to the Courts instructions for briefing motions and filing exhibits. Failure to adhere to this Order may, when appropriate, result the imposition of sanctions and/or sua sponte denial of non-conforming motions. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 3/20/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 03/20/2018)
2018-03-265RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 3/16/2018. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/15/2018.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 3/16/18., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 3/16/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR served on 3/15/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY served on 3/16/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION served on 3/15/2018; U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY served on 3/15/2018; U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION served on 3/15/2018 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 03/26/2018)
2018-04-036NOTICE of Appearance by James C. Luh on behalf of All Defendants (Attachments: # 1 Certification of Familiarity with Local Rules of Court)(Luh, James) (Entered: 04/03/2018)
2018-04-047NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal re U.S. Small Business Administration (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 04/04/2018)
2018-04-208MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint,,, , MOTION Separate Trial , MOTION to Sever , MOTION to Stay (Defendants' Motion to Sever Claims or, in the Alternative, for Separate Trial and to Stay Defendants' Response to the Complaint) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Luh, James) (Entered: 04/20/2018)
2018-04-26MINUTE ORDER. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' obligation to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint in this matter is STAYED until further Order of this Court. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 04/26/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 04/26/2018)
2018-04-279Memorandum in opposition to re 8 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint,,, MOTION Separate Trial MOTION to Sever MOTION to Stay (Defendants' Motion to Sever Claims or, in the Alternative, for Separate Trial and to Stay Defendants' Response to the Complaint) filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 04/27/2018)
2018-04-27MINUTE ORDER setting a Status Conference for 5/15/2018 at 2:30 PM in Courtroom 17 before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file a response to Defendants 8 Motion to Sever Claims or for Separate Trials on or before 5/4/2018. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 04/27/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 04/27/2018)
2018-05-0110RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 4/5/2018; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION served on 4/2/2018 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 05/01/2018)
2018-05-0411REPLY to opposition to motion re 8 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint,,, MOTION Separate Trial MOTION to Sever MOTION to Stay (Defendants' Motion to Sever Claims or, in the Alternative, for Separate Trial and to Stay Defendants' Response to the Complaint) (Defendants' Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Sever Claims or, in the Alternative, for Separate Trial and to Stay Defendants' Response to the Complaint) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Luh, James) (Entered: 05/04/2018)
2018-05-10MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' arguments, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' 8 Motion to Sever Claims or, in the Alternative, for Separate Trials, is DENIED. The Status Conference currently set for 5/15/2018 at 2:30 PM is hereby VACATED, and Defendants are hereby ORDERED to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint in this matter, on or before 5/24/2018. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 5/10/2018. (lckbj2) (Entered: 05/10/2018)
2018-05-2412ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.(Luh, James) (Entered: 05/24/2018)
2018-05-24MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall promptly confer and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure, on or before 6/7/2018. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 05/24/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 05/24/2018)
2018-06-0713RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re Order,, Set Deadlines, (Joint Status Report in Response to May 24, 2018, Order) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Luh, James) (Entered: 06/07/2018)
2018-06-07MINUTE ORDER. In light of the representations in the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before 7/10/2018, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 06/07/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 06/07/2018)
2018-07-1014Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 07/10/2018)
2018-07-1115MOTION Setting Production Schedule by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - FOIA Request, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Creighton, Sara) . (Entered: 07/11/2018)
2018-07-12MINUTE ORDER. In light of the representations in the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that they shall file a further joint status report on or before 8/9/2018, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 07/12/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 07/12/2018)
2018-07-2516Memorandum in opposition to re 15 MOTION Setting Production Schedule filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Ryan Law)(Hunt, Laura) (Entered: 07/25/2018)
2018-07-2517NOTICE of Appearance by Laura Ann Hunt on behalf of All Defendants (Hunt, Laura) (Entered: 07/25/2018)
2018-07-3018REPLY to opposition to motion re 15 MOTION Setting Production Schedule filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Attachments: # 1 Revised Proposed Order)(Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 07/30/2018)
2018-08-0919Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 08/09/2018)
2018-08-2720MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Katherine M. Anthony, :Firm- American Oversight, :Address- 1030 15th Street NW B-255, Washington, DC 20005. Phone No. - (202) 897-3918. Fax No. - (202) 871-6523 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5659754. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (Creighton, Sara) (Entered: 08/27/2018)
2018-08-28MINUTE ORDER granting 20 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. It is hereby ORDERED that Katherine M. Anthony is admitted pro hac vice in this matter as counsel for Plaintiff. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 08/28/2018. (lckbj1) (Entered: 08/28/2018)
2018-08-3021ORDER: On or before September 10, 2018, Treasury shall file a memorandum; FURTHER ORDERED, that on or before September 12, 2018, the parties shall file a further joint status report. (See Order for Details.) Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 8/30/2018. (lckbj3). (Entered: 08/30/2018)
2018-09-1022SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM to re 21 Order,, Set Deadlines, filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Ryan Law)(Hunt, Laura) (Entered: 09/10/2018)
2018-09-1223Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report in Response to August 30, 2018, Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Luh, James) (Entered: 09/12/2018)
2018-09-1324STATUS REPORT re 21 Order,, Set Deadlines, (Joint Status Report in Response to August 30, 2018, Order) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Luh, James) Modified event title on 9/19/2018 (znmw). (Entered: 09/13/2018)
2018-09-1325RESPONSE re 22 Supplemental Memorandum filed by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Anthony, Katherine) (Entered: 09/13/2018)
2018-09-1826ORDER granting in part and denying in part 15 Plaintiff's Motion for Production Schedule. Treasury shall begin its review and production with any responsive records from Secretary Mnuchin, and shall produce records to American Oversight at a rate of 500 pages every two months beginning on or about October 1, 2018, to be completed within fourteen months. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 9/18/18. (lckbj3,) (Entered: 09/18/2018)
2018-09-18MINUTE ORDER. Defendants Unopposed Motion 23 for Extension of Time is GRANTED. After considering the parties representations regarding production schedules and the filing of further status reports (see Joint Status Report, ECF No. 24, at 57), it is ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report on or before November 14, 2018, pertaining to Defendant Department of Labors production, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report on or before December 6, 2018, pertaining to each defendants production status, which shall contain a proposed schedule for further proceedings if litigation is going to be necessary. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 9/18/18. (lckbj3,) (Entered: 09/18/2018)
2018-09-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 12/6/2018. (gdf) (Entered: 09/19/2018)
2018-09-2627Unopposed MOTION to Clarify re 26 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY (Hunt, Laura) Modified on 10/24/2018 (ztl). (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-10-01MINUTE ORDER. Defendants' Unopposed Motion 27 to Clarify this Courts September 18, 2018 Order is GRANTED. It is hereby ORDERED that Treasury will commence processing of Secretary Mnuchins calendars on or before October 1, 2018. It is FURTHER ORDERED that on or before October 15, 2018, Treasury will produce responsive, non-exempt information from the Chief of Staffs calendars already processed prior to the date of this order. It is FURTHER ORDERED that Treasury will process 500 pages of responsive records every two months beginning with the Secretarys responsive records, and that Treasury will make a production of the non-exempt information at the end of each two-month cycle, the first production to be made on or before November 30, 2018. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 10/1/18. (lckbj3) (Entered: 10/01/2018)
2018-10-0128NOTICE of Change of Address by James C. Luh (Luh, James) (Entered: 10/01/2018)
2018-11-1429Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN OVERSIGHT. (Anthony, Katherine) (Entered: 11/14/2018)
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