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Case TitleKOWAL v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv02798
Date Filed2018-11-30
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Timothy J. Kelly
PlaintiffBARBARA KOWAL
Case DescriptionBarbara Kowal, a paralegal in the Federal Public Defender's Office for the Middle District of Florida, submitted FOIA requests to the Department of Justice and various components for records concerning the conviction of Daniel Troya, who had been represented by the Federal Public Defender's Office for the Middle District of Florida. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the request. The FBI located 416 pages, releasing 134 pages in full and withholding 141 pages entirely under Exemption 7 (law enforcement records). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms also disclosed records, withholding some under Exemption 7 as well. Kowal filed an administrative appeal of the FBI's decision, which was denied. She also inquired as to whether ATF's disclosure was a final appealable decision. After hearing nothing further from the agencies, Kowal filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DefendantBUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES
DefendantBUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES
TERMINATED: 09/24/2020
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20535
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DefendantDRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
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
Complaint attachment 11
Complaint attachment 12
Complaint attachment 13
Complaint attachment 14
Complaint attachment 15
Complaint attachment 16
Complaint attachment 17
Complaint attachment 18
Complaint attachment 19
Complaint attachment 20
Complaint attachment 21
Complaint attachment 22
Complaint attachment 23
Complaint attachment 24
Complaint attachment 25
Opinion/Order [29]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-11-301COMPLAINT for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief against All Defendants (Fee Status:Filing Fee Waived) filed by BARBARA KOWAL. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G, # 8 Exhibit H, # 9 Exhibit I, # 10 Exhibit J, # 11 Exhibit K, # 12 Exhibit L, # 13 Exhibit M, # 14 Exhibit N, # 15 Exhibit O, # 16 Exhibit P, # 17 Exhibit Q, # 18 Exhibit R, # 19 Exhibit S, # 20 Exhibit T, # 21 Civil Cover Sheet, # 22 Summons ATF, # 23 Summons DEA, # 24 Summons DOJ, # 25 Summons FBI)(Doss, Donald) (Entered: 11/30/2018)
2018-11-302NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by BARBARA KOWAL. Case related to Case No. 18-938. (Doss, Donald) (Entered: 11/30/2018)
2018-11-303MOTION for Waiver of Filing Fee by BARBARA KOWAL (Doss, Donald) (Entered: 11/30/2018)
2018-12-064ERRATA by BARBARA KOWAL. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement Complaint)(Doss, Donald) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-06Case Assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly. (zsb) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-065SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 12/06/2018)
2018-12-11MINUTE ORDER granting Plaintiff's 3 Motion to Waive Filing Fee. It is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is directed to waive the filing fee in this action, and the U.S. Marshals Service is directed to effect service on Defendants on Plaintiff's behalf. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/11/2018. (lctjk2) (Entered: 12/11/2018)
2018-12-115SUMMONS (6) Issued as to BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (zsb) (Entered: 12/12/2018)
2019-01-086RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 1/3/2019. (tth) (Entered: 01/15/2019)
2019-01-287NOTICE of Appearance by Scott Leeson Sroka on behalf of All Defendants (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 01/28/2019)
2019-02-078Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 02/07/2019)
2019-02-07MINUTE ORDER granting Defendants' 8 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' motion is GRANTED. Defendants shall answer or otherwise respond to Plaintiff's 1 Complaint by April 8, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 2/7/2019. (lctjk2) (Entered: 02/07/2019)
2019-02-229RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES served on 2/7/2019; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION served on 2/7/2019. (tth) (Entered: 02/27/2019)
2019-04-0810ANSWER to Complaint by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 04/08/2019)
2019-04-09MINUTE 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 May 6, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/9/2019. (lctjk2) (Entered: 04/09/2019)
2019-04-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule or Disclosure due by 5/6/2019. (kh) (Entered: 04/09/2019)
2019-05-0611PROPOSED BRIEFING SCHEDULE by BARBARA KOWAL. (Doss, Donald) (Entered: 05/06/2019)
2019-05-0612STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 05/06/2019)
2019-05-07MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' separate status reports, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer and, after discussing their respective positions as to how best to move forward, file a joint status report in which they propose a mutually agreed-upon schedule for further proceedings or, if agreement cannot be reached, their respective proposals, no later than May 20, 2019. The Court is particularly troubled by Plaintiff's counsel's representation that counsel for Defendants failed to respond to multiple attempts to contact him. Accordingly, Defendants' counsel shall specifically address in that status report why he neglected to respond to Plaintiff's counsel and was otherwise unable to comply with the Court's order and confer with Plaintiff's counsel during the nearly four weeks the Court afforded the parties to do so. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 5/7/2019. (lctjk2) (Entered: 05/07/2019)
2019-05-2013Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 05/20/2019)
2019-05-21MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 13 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report, including, if necessary, a proposed briefing schedule, no later than July 19, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 5/21/2019. (lctjk2) (Entered: 05/21/2019)
2019-07-1714Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 07/17/2019)
2019-07-17MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 14 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report, including, if necessary, a proposed briefing schedule, no later than September 30, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 7/17/2019. (lctjk2) (Entered: 07/17/2019)
2019-09-3015Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 09/30/2019)
2019-09-30MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 15 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report, including, if necessary, a proposed briefing schedule, no later than October 30, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 9/30/2019. (lctjk2) (Entered: 09/30/2019)
2019-10-2916Joint STATUS REPORT by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 10/29/2019)
2019-10-29MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 16 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report, including, if necessary, a proposed briefing schedule, no later than November 29, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 10/29/19. (lctjk2) (Entered: 10/29/2019)
2019-11-2217Joint STATUS REPORT and Proposed Briefing Schedule by BARBARA KOWAL. (Doss, Donald) (Entered: 11/22/2019)
2019-11-25MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 17 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the following schedule will govern further proceedings: (1) Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by January 6, 2020; (2) Plaintiff shall file her opposition to Defendants' motion and her cross-motion by February 17, 2020; (3) Defendants shall file their opposition to Plaintiff's cross-motion and their reply in support of their motion by March 30, 2020; and (4) Plaintiff shall file her reply in support of her cross-motion by May 1, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 11/25/19. (lctjk2) (Entered: 11/25/2019)
2019-11-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Summary Judgment motion due by 1/6/2020. (zkh) (Entered: 11/25/2019)
2020-01-0618Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 01/06/2020)
2020-01-06MINUTE ORDER granting in part the parties' 18 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion for Summary Judgment and Enlargement of Briefing Schedule. It is hereby ORDERED that the following schedule will govern further proceedings: (1) Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by January 10, 2020; (2) Plaintiff shall file her opposition to Defendants' motion and her cross-motion by February 21, 2020; (3) Defendants shall file their opposition to Plaintiff's cross-motion and their reply in support of their motion by April 3, 2020; and (4) Plaintiff shall file her reply in support of her cross-motion by May 5, 2020. The Court notes that these new deadlines reflect the parties' requested 4-day "extension of time, up to and including January 10, 2020, for Defendants... to file their motion for summary judgment and for a commensurate enlargement of the briefing schedule for both parties," ECF No. 18 at 1, notwithstanding the specific dates proposed by Defendant that do not correspond to that request, see id. at 2. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 1/6/20. (lctjk2) (Entered: 01/06/2020)
2020-01-0919MOTION for Summary Judgment and Supporting Memorandum by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Declaration of Adam C. Siple, # 3 Exhibit ATF Vaughn Index, # 4 Exhibit ATF Supplemental Response, # 5 Declaration of Angela D. Hertel, # 6 Declaration of David M. Hardy, # 7 Exhibit A through S)(Sroka, Scott) (Entered: 01/09/2020)
2020-02-2020MOTION for Extension of Time to File Combined Opposition to Defendants Motion for Summary Judgment by BARBARA KOWAL (Doss, Donald) (Entered: 02/20/2020)
2020-02-24MINUTE ORDER treating as opposed and granting Plaintiff's 20 Motion for Extension of Time to File Her Combined Opposition to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. It is hereby ORDERED that the following schedule will govern further proceedings: (1) Plaintiff shall file her opposition to Defendants' motion and her cross-motion by March 6, 2020; (2) Defendants shall file their opposition to Plaintiff's cross-motion and their reply in support of their motion by April 17, 2020; and (3) Plaintiff shall file her reply in support of her cross-motion by May 19, 2020. The Court notes that these new deadlines reflect Plaintiff's requested "fourteen-day extension of time," ECF No. 20 at 1, notwithstanding the date proposed by Plaintiff that does not correspond to that request, see id. at 4. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 2/24/20. (lctjk2) (Entered: 02/24/2020)
2020-03-0621RESPONSE re 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Supporting Memorandum Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment filed by BARBARA KOWAL. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Declaration, # 2 Exhibit Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit D, # 6 Exhibit Exhibit E, # 7 Exhibit Exhibit F, # 8 Exhibit Exhibit G, # 9 Exhibit Exhibit H, # 10 Exhibit Exhibit I, # 11 Exhibit Exhibit J, # 12 Exhibit Exhibit K, # 13 Exhibit Exhibit L, # 14 Exhibit Exhibit M, # 15 Exhibit Exhibit N, # 16 Exhibit Exhibit O, # 17 Exhibit Exhibit P, # 18 Exhibit Exhibit Q, # 19 Exhibit Exhibit R, # 20 Exhibit Exhibit S, # 21 Exhibit Exhibit T, # 22 Exhibit Exhibit U, # 23 Exhibit Exhibit V, # 24 Exhibit Exhibit W, # 25 Exhibit Exhibit X, # 26 Exhibit Exhibit Y)(Doss, Donald) (Entered: 03/06/2020)
2020-03-0622Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by BARBARA KOWAL. (See Docket Entry 21 to view document) (ztth) (Entered: 03/09/2020)
2020-04-1423NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Jeremy S. Simon on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Scott L. Sroka (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-04-1524Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Combined Reply and Opposition by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/15/2020)
2020-04-15MINUTE ORDER granting Defendants' 24 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Combined Reply and Opposition. It is hereby ORDERED, for good cause shown, that Defendants' 24 Motion is GRANTED. Defendants shall file their opposition to Plaintiff's cross-motion and their reply in support of their motion by June 1, 2020, and Plaintiff shall file her reply in support of her cross-motion by July 6, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 4/15/20. (lctjk2) (Entered: 04/15/2020)
2020-06-0125REPLY to opposition to motion re 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Supporting Memorandum filed by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Excerpts from Second Hardy Declaration in Shapiro v. DOJ)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/01/2020)
2020-06-0126Memorandum in opposition to re 22 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Reply in Support of Defendants' Motion (duplicate of docket entry number 25) filed by BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES, DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Excerpts from Second Hardy Declaration in Shapiro v. DOJ)(Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 06/01/2020)
2020-07-0227Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply to Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion by BARBARA KOWAL (Doss, Donald) (Entered: 07/02/2020)
2020-07-05MINUTE ORDER granting, for good cause shown, Plaintiff's 27 Motion for Extension of Time. It is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file her reply brief by July 20, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 7/5/20. (lctjk2) (Entered: 07/05/2020)
2020-07-2028REPLY to 22 CrossMOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BARBARA KOWAL. (Doss, Donald). Modified event title on 7/22/2020 (znmw). (Entered: 07/20/2020)
2020-09-2429MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendants' 19 Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's 21 Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 9/24/20. (lctjk2) (Entered: 09/24/2020)
2020-10-0930STATUS REPORT (Joint Proposed Briefing Schedule) by DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Simon, Jeremy) (Entered: 10/09/2020)
2020-10-11In light of the Parties' 30 Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that (1) Defendants shall file their renewed motion for summary judgment and the revised Vaughn index no later than November 20, 2020; (2) Plaintiff shall file any opposition and cross-motion no later than December 21, 2020; (3) Defendants shall file their Reply and Opposition to Cross-Motion no later than January 21, 2021; and (4) Plaintiff shall file a reply by February 22, 2021. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 10/11/20. (lctjk2) (Entered: 10/11/2020)
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