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Case TitleGRAVES GARRETT, LLC et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv01447
Date Filed2018-06-19
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Trevor N. McFadden
PlaintiffGRAVES GARRETT, LLC
PlaintiffJOHN BENTON HURST
Case DescriptionJohn Benton Hurst, an attorney at the law firm of Graves Garrett submitted 32 FOIA requests to the Department of Health and Human Services, 24 of which were sent to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, for records concerning the Ramazzini Institute. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. NIEHS told Hurst that the requests fell within the unusual circumstances exception. Portions of the requests to HHS were referred to the Centers for Disease Control for response. CDC withheld 143 pages under Exemption 5 (privileges). Garrett Graves filed an administrative appeal of the CDC decision, but after hearing nothing further from NIEHS or HHS pertaining to any of its 32 requests, Graves Garrett filed suit
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Documents
Docket
Complaint
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Complaint attachment 12
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Complaint attachment 16
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-06-191COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5542301) filed by GRAVES GARRETT, LLC, JOHN BENTON HURST. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - 11-29-2017 Letter from HHS to Plaintiffs re HHS Request 280, 284, # 2 Exhibit 2 - 12-15-2017 Letter from Plaintiffs to HHS re HHS Requests 280, 284, # 3 Exhibit 3 - 01-05-2018 Letter from Plaintiffs to HHS re HHS Requests 280, 284, # 4 Exhibit 4 - 02-23-2018 Email Correspondence between Plaintiffs and HHS re HHS Requests 280, 284, # 5 Exhibit 5 - 04-27-2018 Letter from Plaintiffs to HHS re Delays in Production HHS Requests 280, 284, # 6 Exhibit 6 - 01-25-2018 Letter from HHS to Plaintiffs re Referral of Records HHS Request 271, # 7 Exhibit 7 - 01-25-2018 Letter from HHS to Plaintiffs re Withholding of Records HHS Request 271, # 8 Exhibit 8 - 04-20-2018 Plaintiffs Administrative Appeal of Withholding of Records HHS Request 271, # 9 Exhibit 9 - 02-20-2018 Letter from HHS to Plaintiffs re Production and Withholding HHS Requests 270, 277, # 10 Exhibit 10 - 05-01-2018 Plaintiffs Administrative Appeal of Withholding of Records HHS Requests 270, 277, 279, 282, 283, # 11 Exhibit 11 - 02-20-2018 Letter from HHS to Plaintiffs re Production and Withholding HHS Requests 279, 283, # 12 Exhibit 12 - 02-02-2018 Letter from HHS to Plaintiffs re Production and Withholding HHS Request 282, # 13 Civil Cover Sheet, # 14 Summons Attorney General of the United States, # 15 Summons United States Attorney's Office, # 16 Summons United States Department of Health and Human Services)(Hurst, John). (Attachment 13 replaced on 6/29/2018) (zmd). (Entered: 06/19/2018)
2018-06-192Corporate Disclosure Statement by GRAVES GARRETT, LLC. (Hurst, John) (Entered: 06/19/2018)
2018-06-19Case Assigned to Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (zmd) (Entered: 06/21/2018)
2018-06-213SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent) (zmd) (Entered: 06/21/2018)
2018-06-214STANDING ORDER Establishing Procedures for Cases Before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. The parties are hereby ORDERED to read and comply with the directives in the attached standing order. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 6/21/2018. (lctnm3) (Entered: 06/21/2018)
2018-07-095NOTICE of Appearance by Rhonda Lisa Campbell on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-106RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES served on 6/25/2018 (Hurst, John) (Entered: 07/10/2018)
2018-07-107RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 6/25/2018. (Hurst, John) (Entered: 07/10/2018)
2018-07-108RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 6/25/2018. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 7/25/2018. (Hurst, John) (Entered: 07/10/2018)
2018-07-259ANSWER to Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 07/25/2018)
2018-07-31MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court are a complaint and an answer in this FOIA case. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer and file a Joint Status Report proposing a schedule for proceeding in this matter. The schedule should address, among other things, 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, and a briefing schedule for dispositive motions, if required. The parties shall file the schedule on or before August 21, 2018. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 7/31/2018. (lctnm3) (Entered: 07/31/2018)
2018-07-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/21/2018. (hmc) (Entered: 07/31/2018)
2018-08-2110Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 08/21/2018)
2018-08-21MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 10 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties will file a further update on or before September 11, 2018 that shall include a proposed records production schedule. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 8/21/2018. (lctnm3) (Entered: 08/21/2018)
2018-08-22Set/Reset Deadlines: A further Joint Status Report is due by 9/11/2018. (hmc) (Entered: 08/22/2018)
2018-09-0711NOTICE of Appearance by Edward D. Greim on behalf of GRAVES GARRETT, LLC, JOHN BENTON HURST (Greim, Edward) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
2018-09-1112Joint STATUS REPORT by GRAVES GARRETT, LLC, JOHN BENTON HURST. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Hurst, John) (Entered: 09/11/2018)
2018-09-1213SCHEDULING ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 12 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall adhere to the briefing and status report schedule outlined in the attached Order. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 9/12/2018. (lctnm3) (Entered: 09/12/2018)
2018-09-12Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's production of half of all records due by 10/11/2018. Defendant's production of all remaining records due by 11/9/2018. Defendant's Vaughn Index due by 12/3/2018. Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/17/2018. Plaintiffs' opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion due by 1/4/2019. Defendant's reply in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and opposition to Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion due by 1/18/2019. Plaintiffs' reply in support of their Cross-Motion due by 2/1/2019. Joint Status Report due by 10/11/2018. (hmc) (Entered: 09/12/2018)
2018-10-1114Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Stabile)(Campbell, Rhonda) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-12MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, a status conference is hereby set for October 26, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2 before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. The parties shall present proposed production schedules and reasons in support thereof during the conference. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 10/12/2018. (lctnm3) (Entered: 10/12/2018)
2018-10-12Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 10/26/2018 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (hmc) (Entered: 10/12/2018)
2018-10-26Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Trevor N. McFadden: Status Conference held on 10/26/2018. The Court's 13 Scheduling Order is vacated in its entirety. The Defendant's rolling production of documents shall begin on 12/1/2018, producing no less than 500 pages per month until production is complete. A Joint Status Report is due monthly beginning 12/10/2018, and continuing on or before the 10th of every month until production is complete. (Court Reporter: Lisa Edwards.) (hmc) (Entered: 10/26/2018)
2018-10-3015TRANSCRIPT OF STATUS CONFERENCE before Judge Trevor N. McFadden held on October 26, 2018; Page Numbers: 1-24. Date of Issuance: October 30, 2018. Court Reporter/Transcriber Lisa Edwards. Telephone number (202) 354-3269. 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 re porter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, 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 11/20/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 11/30/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 1/28/2019.(Edwards, Lisa) (Entered: 10/30/2018)
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