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Case TitleNATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv01606
Date Filed2018-07-06
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Trevor N. McFadden
PlaintiffNATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK
Case DescriptionThe National Student Legal Defense Network submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Education for records concerning submissions by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools as a federally recognized accreditor. NSLDN also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told NSLDN that it would be unable to respond within 20 days. After hearing nothing further from the agency, NSLDN filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
Complaint attachment 7
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-07-061COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5574500) filed by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Civil Cover Sheet, # 7 Summons)(Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-062LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-063MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Alexander S. Elson, :Firm- National Student Legal Defense Network, :Address- 1015 15th Street NW #600, Washington, D.C. 20005. Phone No. - (202) 734-7495. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5574607. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-06Case Assigned to Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (zjd) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-064SUMMONS (1) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zjd) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-06MINUTE ORDER granting the 3 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Attorney Alexander S. Elson. Counsel shall promptly register for this Court's CM/ECF system. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 7/6/2018. (lctnm2) (Entered: 07/06/2018)
2018-07-135RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/13/2018. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 8/12/2018.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 07/13/2018., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION served on 7/12/2018 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Elson, Alexander) (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2018-08-136ANSWER to Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.(Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 08/13/2018)
2018-08-15MINUTE 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 Joint Status Report on or before September 6, 2018. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 8/15/2018. (lctnm2) (Entered: 08/15/2018)
2018-08-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/6/2018. (hmc) (Entered: 08/16/2018)
2018-09-067Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
2018-09-10NOTICE OF HEARING: The parties shall take notice that a Status Conference is set for 9/26/2018, at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (hmc) (Entered: 09/10/2018)
2018-09-26Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Trevor N. McFadden: Status Conference held on 9/26/2018. Parties shall file a Joint Status Report by 11/26/2018, and every two months thereafter. (Court Reporter: Patricia Kaneshiro-Miller.) (hmc) (Entered: 09/26/2018)
2018-11-268Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File the Parties' Joint Status Report by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 11/26/2018)
2018-11-28MINUTE ORDER granting 8 parties' Motion for Extension of Time. Upon consideration of the parties' 8 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file a Joint Status Report no later than November 30, 2018. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 11/28/2018. (lctnm2) Modified on 11/28/2018 (hmc). (Entered: 11/28/2018)
2018-11-28Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/30/2018. (hmc) (Entered: 11/28/2018)
2018-11-309Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 11/30/2018)
2018-12-06MINUTE ORDER granting 9 Motion for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report. Upon consideration of the parties' 9 Consent Motion for Extension of time, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file a Joint Status Report on or before December 14, 2018. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 12/6/2018. (lctnm2) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-0610STANDING 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 12/6/2018. (lctnm2) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-06Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/14/2018. (hmc) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-1711Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 12/17/2018)
2018-12-19MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties 11 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before January 14, 2019. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 12/19/2018. (lctnm2) (Entered: 12/19/2018)
2018-12-20Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 1/14/2019. (hmc) (Entered: 12/20/2018)
2019-01-1412Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File the Parties' Joint Status Report by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Elson, Alexander) (Entered: 01/14/2019)
2019-01-15MINUTE ORDER granting 12 Plaintiff's Motion for Extension. Upon considering the Plaintiff's 12 Motion for Extension of Time to File a Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that the Motion is granted. The parties shall file a Joint Status Report within seven days of Congress restoring appropriations to the Department of Justice. Because the Department of Education is unaffected by the current lapse in appropriations, it is further ordered that the Department must continue to fulfill its production obligations. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 1/15/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 01/15/2019)
2019-02-0413Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Elson, Alexander) (Entered: 02/04/2019)
2019-02-05MINUTE ORDER. Upon considering the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on March 1, 2019. The Joint Status Report should advise the Court of the status of the Defendant's processing of the Plaintiff's FOIA request and propose a schedule for proceeding in this matter. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 02/05/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 02/05/2019)
2019-02-05Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 3/1/2019. (hmc) (Entered: 02/05/2019)
2019-02-2814Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Haynes, Fred) (Entered: 02/28/2019)
2019-03-01MINUTE ORDER. Upon considering the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before March 28, 2019. The Joint Status Report should advise the Court of the status of the Defendant's processing of the Plaintiff's FOIA request and propose a schedule for proceeding in this matter. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 3/1/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 03/01/2019)
2019-03-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 3/28/2019. (hmc) (Entered: 03/01/2019)
2019-03-2815STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Elson, Alexander) (Entered: 03/28/2019)
2019-04-01MINUTE ORDER. Upon considering the parties' 15 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before May 31, 2019, and every 60 days thereafter. The Joint Status Report should advise the Court of the status of the Defendant's processing of the Plaintiff's FOIA request and propose a schedule for proceeding in this matter. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 04/01/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 04/01/2019)
2019-04-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 5/31/2019, and every 60 days thereafter. (hmc) (Entered: 04/01/2019)
2019-05-0116NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. Attorney Martha Upton Fulford terminated. (Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 05/01/2019)
2019-05-3117Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Elson, Alexander) (Entered: 05/31/2019)
2019-06-03MINUTE ORDER. Upon considering the parties' 17 Joint Status Report, the parties are hereby ordered to appear for a status conference on July 9, 2019 at 10 am in Courtroom 2 before Judge Trevor McFadden. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 06/03/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 06/03/2019)
2019-06-03Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 7/9/2019 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (hmc) (Entered: 06/03/2019)
2019-07-0818NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Diana Viggiano Valdivia on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Substituting for attorney Fred Haynes (Valdivia, Diana) (Entered: 07/08/2019)
2019-07-0819Joint STATUS REPORT and Consent Motion to Vacate July 9, 2019, Status Conference by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Valdivia, Diana) (Entered: 07/08/2019)
2019-07-08MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 19 Joint Status Report and Consent Motion to Vacate, it is hereby ordered that the status conference set for July 9, 2019 is vacated. It is further ordered that the parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before October 7, 2019. The Joint Status Report should advise the Court whether there are any issues remaining regarding the third-party submission and update the Court on the status of the Defendant's processing of the Plaintiff's FOIA request. The parties are further ordered to appear for a status conference before Judge Trevor N. McFadden on October 10, 2019 at 10 am in Courtroom 2. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 07/08/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 07/08/2019)
2019-07-0820MOTION to Vacate July 9, 2019 Status Conference by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (See Docket Entry 19 to view document) (tth) (Entered: 07/09/2019)
2019-07-09Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 10/7/2019; Status Conference scheduled for 10/10/2019, at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 2 before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (tg) (Entered: 07/09/2019)
2019-07-0921NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Benton Gregory Peterson on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Substituting for attorney Diana Valdivia (Peterson, Benton) (Entered: 07/09/2019)
2019-10-0722Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Elson, Alexander) (Entered: 10/07/2019)
2019-10-07MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the 22 Joint Status Report and Consent Motion to Vacate, it is hereby ordered that the status conference set for October 10, 2019, is VACATED. The parties shall file a further Joint Status Report on or before December 17, 2019. The Joint Status Report should advise the Court whether there are any remaining issues to litigate. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 10/7/2019. (lctnm2) (Entered: 10/07/2019)
2019-10-0723MOTION to Vacate by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (See Docket Entry 22 to view document). (ztth) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
2019-10-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/17/2019. (hmc) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
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