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Case TitleNATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv01673
Date Filed2018-07-16
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Timothy J. Kelly
PlaintiffNATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK
Case DescriptionThe National Student Legal Defense Network submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Education for records concerning letters of credit issued under the Higher Education Act. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told NSLDN that its request was too broad. However, the agency said it could provide a list of letters of credit issued in 2016. In response to a previous request for letters of credit issued so far in 2018, the agency had provided some records, but then closed the request. NSLDN had filed an administrative appeal of that decision, but after hearing nothing further from agency on either request, 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
Complaint attachment 8
Complaint attachment 9
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-07-161COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5589518) filed by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Exhibit 6, # 7 Exhibit 7, # 8 Civil Cover Sheet, # 9 Summons)(Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 07/16/2018)
2018-07-162LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 07/16/2018)
2018-07-16Case Assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly. (zsth) (Entered: 07/17/2018)
2018-07-173SUMMONS (1) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsth) (Entered: 07/17/2018)
2018-07-234RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/23/2018. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 8/22/2018.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 07/23/2018., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION served on 7/20/2018 (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit A)(Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 07/23/2018)
2018-08-135NOTICE of Appearance by Jason Todd Cohen on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 08/13/2018)
2018-08-136Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 08/13/2018)
2018-08-13MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant's 6 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to Complaint. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall respond to Plaintiff's complaint by September 21, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 8/13/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 08/13/2018)
2018-09-217ANSWER to Complaint by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.(Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 09/21/2018)
2018-09-21MINUTE ORDER: Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall meet, confer, and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure by October 19, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 9/21/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 09/21/2018)
2018-09-24Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule or Disclosure due by 10/19/2018. (kh) (Entered: 09/24/2018)
2018-10-198Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 10/19/2018)
2018-10-22MINUTE ORDER: Upon review of the 8 Joint Status Report filed by the parties, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file another joint status report by November 19, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 10/22/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 10/22/2018)
2018-11-019MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Robyn K. Bitner, :Firm- National Student Legal Defense Network, :Address- 1015 15th Street NW Suite 600, Washington DC 20005. Phone No. - (202) 734-7495. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-5770419. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Bitner, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 11/01/2018)
2018-11-05MINUTE ORDER granting Plaintiff's 9 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Attorney Robyn K. Bitner is hereby admitted pro hac vice to appear in this matter. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 11/5/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 11/05/2018)
2018-11-1910Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-11-20MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 10 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by December 19, 2018. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 11/20/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 11/20/2018)
2018-12-1911Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 12/19/2018)
2018-12-21MINUTE 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 January 18, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/21/2018. (lctjk3) (Entered: 12/21/2018)
2019-01-0812MOTION to Stay by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Coles-Huff, Doris) (Entered: 01/08/2019)
2019-01-10MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that the parties' next joint status report, currently due by January 18, 2019, shall instead be due by February 8, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 1/10/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 01/10/2019)
2019-01-28MINUTE ORDER denying Defendant's 12 Motion to Stay. Given the restoration of funding to the Department of Justice, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's motion to stay the case is DENIED AS MOOT. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 1/28/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 01/28/2019)
2019-01-3013Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 01/30/2019)
2019-02-01MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by March 1, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 2/1/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-03-0114Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 03/01/2019)
2019-03-01MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by April 1, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 3/1/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 03/01/2019)
2019-04-0115Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 04/01/2019)
2019-04-02MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 15 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by June 3, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/2/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 04/02/2019)
2019-04-3016NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. Attorney Martha Upton Fulford terminated. (Upton Fulford, Martha) (Entered: 04/30/2019)
2019-05-2317MOTION to Compel by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bitner, Robyn) Modified event title on 5/28/2019 (znmw). (Entered: 05/23/2019)
2019-06-0318Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 06/03/2019)
2019-06-0519Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 17 MOTION to Compel by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 06/05/2019)
2019-06-05MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant's 19 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall file its response to Plaintiff's 17 Motion to Compel by June 13, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 6/5/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 06/05/2019)
2019-06-1320Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 17 MOTION to Compel by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION (Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 06/13/2019)
2019-06-14MINUTE ORDER granting in part Defendant's 20 Second Motion for Extension of Time. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall file its response to Plaintiff's 17 Motion to Compel by July 3, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 6/14/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 06/14/2019)
2019-07-0321Memorandum in opposition to re 17 MOTION to Compel filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Ann Marie Pedersen)(Cohen, Jason) (Entered: 07/03/2019)
2019-07-0722MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 07/07/2019)
2019-07-09MINUTE ORDER granting, for good cause shown, Plaintiff's 22 Motion for Extension of Time. It is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file its reply in support of its 17 Motion to Compel by July 17, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 7/9/2019. (lctjk3) (Entered: 07/09/2019)
2019-07-1723REPLY to opposition to motion re 17 MOTION to Compel filed by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 07/17/2019)
2019-11-2424NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Sean Michael Tepe on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Substituting for attorney Jason Cohen (Tepe, Sean) (Entered: 11/24/2019)
2020-02-13MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED that, by February 28, 2020, the parties shall submit a joint status report regarding certain issues raised in Plaintiff's 17 Motion to Compel. In that report: (1) the parties shall address whether Plaintiff has received all documents it requested from fiscal year 2017, or a detailed log of those documents, as Defendant represented it would by August 2019; (2) Defendant shall address why it is unable to provide Plaintiff the requested documents from fiscal year 2018, or a detailed log of those documents, well before August 2020, in light of Plaintiff's representations in its 23 Reply concerning information Defendant has already disclosed to third parties and the timing of those disclosures; and (3) the parties shall inform the Court of any additional developments related to the motion that have occurred since briefing was completed. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 2/13/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 02/13/2020)
2020-02-2825Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 02/28/2020)
2020-03-02MINUTE ORDER: The parties' 25 Joint Status Report does not contain any relevant information from Defendant regarding the first two issues the Court requested that the parties address in its Minute Order of February 13, 2020. Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED that by March 6, 2020, Defendant shall submit a supplemental status report. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 3/2/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 03/02/2020)
2020-03-0626STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Tepe, Sean) (Entered: 03/06/2020)
2020-03-13MINUTE ORDER denying without prejudice Plaintiff's 17 Motion to Compel. In Defendant's 26 Status Report, it represents that it has offered to produce a spreadsheet it believes is responsive to the first part of Plaintiff's request by March 23, 2020. It also represents that it is willing to search for documents responsive to the second part of Plaintiff's request and "is currently attempting to estimate the volume and how long it would take to process this portion of the FOIA request." Because the parties appear to be conferring in good faith and working toward resolution of this litigation, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff's 17 Motion to Compel is DENIED without prejudice. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report apprising the Court of their progress by April 13, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 3/13/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 03/13/2020)
2020-04-1327Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. (Tepe, Sean) (Entered: 04/13/2020)
2020-04-15MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 27 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by June 1, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/15/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 04/15/2020)
2020-06-0128Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 06/01/2020)
2020-06-02MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 28 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by July 1, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 6/2/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 06/02/2020)
2020-07-0129Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 07/01/2020)
2020-07-02MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 29 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by August 3, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 7/2/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 07/02/2020)
2020-08-0330Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 08/03/2020)
2020-08-03MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 30 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by September 3, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 8/3/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 08/03/2020)
2020-09-0331Joint STATUS REPORT by NATIONAL STUDENT LEGAL DEFENSE NETWORK. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bitner, Robyn) (Entered: 09/03/2020)
2020-09-04MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 31 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by November 2, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 9/4/2020. (lctjk3) (Entered: 09/04/2020)
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