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DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv01008
Date Filed2018-04-30
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Emmet G. Sullivan
Case DescriptionThe Campaign Legal Center submitted a FOIA request to the General Services Administration for Senior Federal Travel Reports. CLC also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency denied CLC's request on the basis that the travel information was in the custody and control of the individual agencies and not GSA. CLC filed an administrative appeal, which was denied. CLC then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Expedited processing, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

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User-contributed Documents
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-04-301COMPLAINT against GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5449885) filed by CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Civil Cover Sheet, # 6 Summons as to Attorney General, # 7 Summons as to General Services Administration, # 8 Summons as to United States Attorney)(Noti, Adav) (Entered: 04/30/2018)
2018-04-302LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER (Noti, Adav) (Entered: 04/30/2018)
2018-04-303NOTICE of Appearance by Mark P. Gaber on behalf of CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER (Gaber, Mark) (Entered: 04/30/2018)
2018-05-01Case Assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. (zsb) (Entered: 05/01/2018)
2018-05-014SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 05/01/2018)
2018-05-025STANDING 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 05/02/18. (Attachment: # 1 Exhibit 1) (mac) (Entered: 05/02/2018)
2018-05-116RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION served on 5/9/2018 (Gaber, Mark) (Entered: 05/11/2018)
2018-05-117RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 05/11/2018. (Gaber, Mark) (Entered: 05/11/2018)
2018-05-118RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/11/2018. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/10/2018. (Gaber, Mark) (Entered: 05/11/2018)
2018-05-249NOTICE of Appearance by Denise M. Clark on behalf of All Defendants (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 05/24/2018)
2018-06-0710ANSWER to Complaint by GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 06/07/2018)
2018-07-13MINUTE 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 August 1, 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 7/13/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2018-07-13Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Proposed Scheduling Order due by 8/1/2018. (mac) (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2018-08-0111Joint STATUS REPORT by CAMPAIGN LEGAL CENTER. (Noti, Adav) (Entered: 08/01/2018)
2018-08-03MINUTE ORDER. The Court has reviewed 11 joint status report, in which the parties include their opposing positions regarding a briefing schedule for dispositive motions. The Court has considered both parties' arguments and declines to set a briefing schedule at this time. However, the Court hereby DIRECTS the GSA to refer to each agency the responsive records it has in its possession for review and determination by no later than September 1, 2018. When an agency receives a FOIA request for records in its possession, "it must take responsibility for processing the request," even if the documents originated elsewhere. McGehee v. CIA, 697 F.2d 1095, 1110 (D.C. Cir. 1983). Referrals to the originating agency are appropriate, but a referral system constitutes withholding "if its net effect is significantly to impair the requester's ability to obtain the records or significantly to increase the amount of time [s]he must wait to obtain them." Id. Withholding is "'improper' unless the agency can offer a reasonable explanation for its procedure." Id. The Court agrees, at least at this stage, that it appears that it was proper for the GSA to refer the documents to the originating agencies for their review. See Sussman v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 494 F.3d 1106, 1108 (D.C. Cir. 2007). However, GSA only referred the plaintiff's FOIA request to the applicable agencies. In the cases GSA cites in support of its position, the primary agency referred the responsive documents to the originating agency for review and determination. See, e.g., Inst. for Pol'y Stud. v. CIA, 885 F. Supp. 2d 120, 241 (D.D.C. 2012); Wilson v. DOT, 730 F. Supp. 2d 140, 154 (D.D.C. 2010). In light of the plaintiff's statements regarding the contradictory responses received thus far from the various agencies, it is appropriate to direct GSA to refer to each agency the responsive documents it has in its possession for review and determination. The parties are further ordered to file another joint status report to update the Court on the status of the production by no later than September 17, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 8/3/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 08/03/2018)
2018-08-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/17/2018. (mac) (Entered: 08/03/2018)
2018-09-1712Joint STATUS REPORT by GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 09/17/2018)
2018-09-1813ERRATA re: Final Joint Status Report by GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 12 Status Report filed by GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION. (Attachments: # 1 Errata)(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 09/18/2018)
2018-09-18MINUTE ORDER in view of 13 joint status report, the parties are directed to file another status report by October 12, 2018. The Court expects the remaining eleven (11) agencies to respond promptly to GSA's request; the Court will consider setting a briefing schedule for a final determination after October 12, 2018. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on 9/18/2018. (lcegs3) (Entered: 09/18/2018)
2018-09-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 10/12/2018 (mac) (Entered: 09/19/2018)
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