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Case TitleWITTES v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv01073
Date Filed2018-05-07
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Christopher R. Cooper
PlaintiffBENJAMIN WITTES
Case DescriptionBenjamin Wittes, editor of the online publication Lawfare, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning payments made by the agency to the Trump International Hotel to reimburse accommodations of foreign diplomats. Wittes also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request, but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Wittes filed suit.
Complaint issues: Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation - Vaughn index, Adequacy - Search, Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-05-071COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5466473) filed by BENJAMIN WITTES. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons, # 6 Summons)(Schwartztol, Laurence) (Attachment 1 replaced on 5/8/2018) (zmd). (Entered: 05/07/2018)
2018-05-07Case Assigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper. (zmd) (Entered: 05/08/2018)
2018-05-082SUMMONS (3)Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent) (zmd) (Entered: 05/08/2018)
2018-05-183NOTICE of Appearance by Damon William Taaffe on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 05/18/2018)
2018-05-214RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/15/2018. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/14/2018. (Schwartztol, Laurence) (Entered: 05/21/2018)
2018-05-215RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/15/18. (Schwartztol, Laurence) (Entered: 05/21/2018)
2018-05-216RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 5/15/2018 (Schwartztol, Laurence) (Entered: 05/21/2018)
2018-06-147ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-06-148NOTICE of Appearance by Damon William Taaffe on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-06-26MINUTE ORDER: Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall confer and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure by July 12, 2018. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 6/26/2018. (lccrc3) (Entered: 06/26/2018)
2018-06-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 7/12/2018 (lsj) (Entered: 06/27/2018)
2018-07-129Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 07/12/2018)
2018-07-18MINUTE ORDER: Defendant shall make its first release of responsive records by August 31, 2018, and make monthly releases thereafter to the extent necessary. The parties shall also file a Joint Status Report by September 7, 2018, in which they will report on their progress and propose a briefing schedule if necessary. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 7/18/2018. (lccrc3) (Entered: 07/18/2018)
2018-07-19Set/Reset Deadlines: First release of responsive records due by 8/31/2018; monthly releases due thereafter to the extent necessary. Joint Status Report due by 9/7/2018. (jl) (Entered: 07/19/2018)
2018-08-0310NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to BENJAMIN WITTES. (Murphy, Allison) (Entered: 08/03/2018)
2018-09-0511Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
2018-09-05MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 11 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report by October 15, 2018, in which they will report on their progress and propose a briefing schedule if necessary. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 09/05/2018. (lccrc3) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
2018-09-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/15/2018 (lsj) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
2018-10-1512Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 10/15/2018)
2018-10-17MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 12 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further status report on or before November 15, 2018, to include a proposed briefing schedule if necessary. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 10/17/2018. (lccrc3) (Entered: 10/17/2018)
2018-10-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Further Status Report due by 11/15/2018 (lsj) (Entered: 10/17/2018)
2018-11-1413Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 11/14/2018)
2018-11-16MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further status report on or before December 14, 2018, to include a proposed briefing schedule if necessary. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 11/16/2018. (lccrc3) (Entered: 11/16/2018)
2018-11-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report and Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 12/14/2018 (lsj) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-12-1414Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 12/14/2018)
2018-12-17MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further status report on or before January 18, 2019. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall adhere to the following briefing schedule: Defendant shall file its motion for summary judgment on or before February 4, 2019; Plaintiff shall file his opposition on or before February 25, 2019; Defendant shall file its reply on or before March 8, 2019. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 12/17/2018. (lccrc3) (Entered: 12/17/2018)
2018-12-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 1/18/2019. Summary Judgment motions due by 2/4/2019. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/25/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 3/8/2019. (lsj) (Entered: 12/18/2018)
2019-01-1815MOTION to Stay by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Coles-Huff, Doris) (Entered: 01/18/2019)
2019-01-18MINUTE ORDER granting 15 Motion to Stay. All deadlines in this case are hereby stayed. Defendant shall notify the Court when necessary appropriations are renewed. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 01/18/2019. (lccrc3) (Entered: 01/18/2019)
2019-01-3016NOTICE of Restored Government Funding by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 01/30/2019)
2019-02-01MINUTE ORDER: In light of the restoration of appropriations, the stay in this case is lifted. The parties shall provide a joint status report on or before February 8, 2019, which shall include a proposed schedule for future proceedings. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 02/01/2019. (lccrc3) (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-02-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report and Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 2/8/2019 (lsj) (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-02-0617Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Taaffe, Damon) (Entered: 02/06/2019)
2019-02-06MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 17 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall adhere to the following briefing schedule: Defendant shall file its motion for summary judgment on or before April 5, 2019; Plaintiff shall file his opposition on or before April 26, 2019; Defendant shall file its reply on or before May 10, 2019. Signed by Judge Christopher R. Cooper on 02/06/2019. (lccrc3) (Entered: 02/06/2019)
2019-02-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motions due by 4/5/2019. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/26/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/10/2019. (znbn) (Entered: 02/07/2019)
2019-02-1518NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Christopher Charles Hair on behalf of All Defendants (Hair, Christopher) (Entered: 02/15/2019)
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