Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleAMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL v. U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOM ENFORCEMENT et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv01614
Date Filed2018-07-09
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Amy Berman Jackson
PlaintiffAMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL
Case DescriptionThe American Immigration Council submitted FOIA requests to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning individuals who had been apprehended by CBP or ICE. AIC also requested a fee waiver. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. After hearing nothing further from the agencies, AIC filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
DefendantUNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
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
Opinion/Order [36]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ruled that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection improperly redacted identifying information from Excel spreadsheets the agencies provided to the American Immigration Council in response to its requests for database records concerning individuals who were apprehended , encountered, or removed from the United States between January 2016 and October 2017. Both agencies provided spreadsheets but ICE withheld birth dates of individuals while CBP withheld 13 of the 27 data elements requested by AIC. Both agencies cited Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy), and Exemption 7(C) (invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records) as the basis for the withholdings. Noting that birthdates enjoyed only a di minimis privacy interest and that there might well be an articulable public interest in the disclosure of such information under the circumstances, Berman Jackson split the difference. She pointed out that "the Court finds that there is no genuine dispute that the government can adequately protect whatever minimal privacy interests the detainees have in their birthdates by redacting the date but not the month and the year, because the agency has not identified any harm that would flow from a more limited disclosure, and the statute requires that reasonably segregable portions of documents should be provided." Both agencies withheld unique identifiers but for different reasons. ICE claimed that providing the information would force it to make interpretative assumptions that were required under FOIA while CBP claimed its identifiers were properly withheld under Exemption 7 (E) (investigative methods and techniques). Berman Jackson agreed with ICE that it was not required to create new records but found instead that ICE could have found more responsive data elements by searching other databases. Berman Jackson explained that "because ICE has produced data from [its Enforcement Integrated Database] in a recent case and its own declarant acknowledged that person-centric unique identifiers are reasonably likely to be found in EID, a genuine dispute of fact exists about whether ICE made a 'good faith effort to conduct a search for the requested records, using methods which can be reasonably expected to produce the information requested.'" She rejected CBP's Exemption 7(E) claim, noting that "the agency has not come forward with information to show that the mere possession of unique identifying information would facilitate one's ability to hack into CBP's system or that it would make hacking more likely. In other words, the harm the exemption is designed to avert " the circumvention of the law " would not be caused or advanced by the disclosure of the data in question, and it depends upon the hypothetical commission of a crime that is independent of the disclosure of the data the defendant seeks to withhold." Berman Jackson upheld CBP's Exemption 7(E) claims related to other data elements.
Issues: Adequacy - Search, Exemption 7(C) - Invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records, Exemption 7(E) - Investigative methods or techniques
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-07-091COMPLAINT For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5576653) filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons for Atty General, # 3 Summons for CBP, # 4 Summons for ICE, # 5 Summons for US Atty DC, # 6 Exhibit A, # 7 Exhibit B, # 8 Exhibit C, # 9 Exhibit D, # 10 Exhibit E)(Magid, Creighton) (Attachment 1 replaced on 7/9/2018) (zjd). (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-092LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-09Case Assigned to Judge Amy Berman Jackson. (zjd) (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-093ENTERED IN ERROR.....SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zjd) Modified on 7/10/2018 (zmd). (Entered: 07/09/2018)
2018-07-11NOTICE OF CORRECTED DOCKET ENTRY: re 3 Summons Issued Electronically as to U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, U.S. Attorney & U.S. Attorney General, was entered in error and counsel was instructed to refile said pleading because FOIA summons were not submitted. (zmd) (Entered: 07/11/2018)
2018-07-164AMENDED COMPLAINT against All Defendants filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E)(Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 07/16/2018)
2018-07-205REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE re 4 Amended Complaint, 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. Related document: 4 Amended Complaint filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL, 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL.(Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 07/20/2018)
2018-07-206REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE re 4 Amended Complaint, 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. Related document: 4 Amended Complaint filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL, 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons)(Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 07/20/2018)
2018-07-207REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE ICE and US DC Atty re 4 Amended Complaint, 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. Related document: 4 Amended Complaint filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL, 1 Complaint, filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # 1 Summons)(Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 07/20/2018)
2018-07-258SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (jf) (Entered: 07/25/2018)
2018-07-259MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Trina Realmuto, :Firm- American Immigration Council, :Address- 100 Summer Street, 23rd Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Phone No. - 857-305-3600. Fax No. - 202-507-7516 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5604831. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Trina Realmuto, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 07/25/2018)
2018-08-02MINUTE ORDER granting 9 Motion for Leave of Trina Realmuto to Appear Pro Hac Vice only upon condition that the lawyer admitted, or at least one member of the lawyer's firm, undergo CM/ECF training, obtain a CM/ECF username and password, and agree to file papers electronically. No court papers will be mailed to any lawyer. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 8/2/18. (DMK) (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-0210RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 7/26/18. (Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-0211RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorneya. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney 7/26/2018. Answer due for ALL D.C. DEFENDANTS by 8/16/2018. (Magid, Creighton) Modified on 8/3/2018 to edit text to reflect correct party served (zrdj). (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-0212RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION served on 7/11/2018 (Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-0213RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT served on 7/11/2018 (Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 08/02/2018)
2018-08-0814NOTICE of Appearance by Joshua M. Kolsky on behalf of U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 08/08/2018)
2018-08-0815Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 4 Amended Complaint by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 08/08/2018)
2018-08-09MINUTE ORDER granting 15 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants must respond to plaintiff's amended complaint by August 16, 2018. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 08/09/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 08/09/2018)
2018-08-1616Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 4 Amended Complaint by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 08/16/2018)
2018-08-17MINUTE ORDER granting 16 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants shall respond to plaintiff's amended complaint by September 17, 2018. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 08/17/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 08/17/2018)
2018-09-1717ANSWER to 4 Amended Complaint by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT.(Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 09/17/2018)
2018-09-18MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. The requirements of Local Civil Rule 16.3 and Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure appear to be inapplicable. Defendants shall file a dispositive motion or, in the alternative, a report setting forth the schedule for the completion of their production of documents to plaintiff, on or before October 16, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 09/18/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 09/18/2018)
2018-10-1618STATUS REPORT by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 10/16/2018)
2018-10-17MINUTE ORDER. The parties must submit a joint status report by November 15, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 10/17/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 10/17/2018)
2018-11-1519Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 11/15/2018)
2018-11-16MINUTE ORDER. The parties must submit an updated joint status report by December 6, 2018. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 11/16/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 11/16/2018)
2018-12-0620Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Kolsky, Joshua) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-10MINUTE ORDER. The parties must submit an updated joint status report by January 7, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 12/10/2018. (lcabj3) (Entered: 12/10/2018)
2018-12-1821NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Paul Cirino on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Joshua M. Kolsky (Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 12/18/2018)
2018-12-2122NOTICE of Change of Address by Trina Ann Realmuto (Realmuto, Trina) (Entered: 12/21/2018)
2019-01-0423MOTION to Stay in Light of Lapse in Appropriations by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 01/04/2019)
2019-01-07MINUTE ORDER granting 23 Motion to Stay. Defendants must notify the Court within two business days of the resumption of government operations and propose a revised schedule for filing the joint status report due on January 7, 2019 at that time. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 1/7/19. (DMK) (Entered: 01/07/2019)
2019-01-2924NOTICE of Restored Government Funding and Proposed Schedule by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 01/29/2019)
2019-01-30MINUTE ORDER. In light of the government's notice 24 , the stay in this case is lifted and the parties must submit a joint status report by February 11, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 01/30/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 01/30/2019)
2019-01-3125MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Michelle S. Grant, :Firm- Dorsey & Whitney LLP, :Address- 50 South Sixth Street, Suite 1500, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Phone No. - 612-340-5671. Fax No. - 612-240-2868 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5919354. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Michelle S. Grant, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Magid, Creighton) (Entered: 01/31/2019)
2019-01-31MINUTE ORDER granting 25 Motion for Leave of Michelle S. Grant to Appear Pro Hac Vice only upon condition that the lawyer admitted, or at least one member of the lawyer's firm, undergo CM/ECF training, obtain a CM/ECF username and password, and agree to file papers electronically. No court papers will be mailed to any lawyer. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 1/31/19. (DMK) (Entered: 01/31/2019)
2019-02-1126Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 02/11/2019)
2019-02-12MINUTE ORDER. The Court will adopt the following briefing schedule proposed by the parties 26 : Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by March 29, 2019. Plaintiff's opposition and cross-motion, supported by the same memorandum of points and authorities, will be due April 26, 2019. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross-opposition, will be due May 17, 2019. Plaintiff's cross-reply, will be due May 31, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 02/12/2019. (lcabj3, ) (Entered: 02/12/2019)
2019-03-2927MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration of Patricia J. de Castro, # 3 Declaration of Fernando Pineiro, # 4 Declaration of Patrick Howard, # 5 ICE Vaughn Index, # 6 CPB Vaughn Index, # 7 Statement of Facts, # 8 Text of Proposed Order)(Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 03/29/2019)
2019-04-2628Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Declaration of Guillermo Cantor, # 4 Exhibit 1, # 5 Exhibit 2, # 6 Declaration of Emily Ryo, # 7 Declaration of Michelle S. Grant, # 8 Exhibit A, # 9 Text of Proposed Order)(Grant, Michelle) (Entered: 04/26/2019)
2019-04-2629Memorandum in opposition to re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # 1 Plaintiff's Response to Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, # 2 Declaration of Guillermo Cantor, # 3 Exhibit 1, # 4 Exhibit 2, # 5 Declaration of Emily Ryo, # 6 Declaration of Michelle S. Grant, # 7 Exhibit A, # 8 Text of Proposed Order)(Grant, Michelle) (Entered: 04/26/2019)
2019-05-0730Joint MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment , 28 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 05/07/2019)
2019-05-13MINUTE ORDER granting 30 Motion for Extension of Time. Defendants' reply, combined with their cross-opposition, will be due May 31, 2019. Plaintiff's cross-reply, will be due June 28, 2019. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 05/13/2019. (lcabj3) (Entered: 05/13/2019)
2019-05-3131Memorandum in opposition to re 28 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration (Supplemental) of Patricia J. de Castro, # 2 Declaration (Supplemental) of Patrick Howard, # 3 Declaration of Robert M. Lewandowski, # 4 Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Facts, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 05/31/2019)
2019-05-3132REPLY to opposition to motion re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration (Supplemental) of Patricia J. de Castro, # 2 Declaration (Supplemental) of Patrick Howard, # 3 Declaration of Robert M. Lewandowski, # 4 Response to Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Facts)(Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 05/31/2019)
2019-06-2833REPLY to opposition to motion re 28 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Guillermo Cantor)(Grant, Michelle) (Entered: 06/28/2019)
2020-04-2634NOTICE of Appearance by Emily Creighton on behalf of AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL (Creighton, Emily) (Entered: 04/26/2020)
2020-05-2735ORDER. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 56 and 58, and for the reasons set for in the accompanying memorandum opinion, defendants' 27 motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in PART and DENIED in PART, and plaintiff's 28 cross-motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in PART and DENIED in PART. See Order for full details. In addition, it is ORDERED that the parties must submit a joint status report by June 30, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 5/27/2020. (lcabj3) (Main Document 35 replaced on 5/27/2020) (zjth). (Entered: 05/27/2020)
2020-05-2736MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 5/27/2020. (lcabj3) (Entered: 05/27/2020)
2020-06-2937NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. Attorney Trina Ann Realmuto terminated. (Realmuto, Trina) (Entered: 06/29/2020)
2020-06-3038Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Cirino, Paul) (Entered: 06/30/2020)
2020-07-14MINUTE ORDER. In light of the parties' 38 joint status report, the parties must file another status report by August 17, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 7/14/2020. (lcabj3) (Entered: 07/14/2020)
2020-08-1739Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL. (Grant, Michelle) (Entered: 08/17/2020)
2020-08-19MINUTE ORDER. In light of 39 the parties' joint status report, the parties shall file another joint status report by September 28, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 8/19/20. (DMK) (Entered: 08/19/2020)
2020-08-19Set/Reset Deadline: The parties shall file another Joint Status Report by 9/28/2020. (jth) (Entered: 08/19/2020)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff
Skip to toolbar