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Case TitleNATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO INC. et al v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2018cv03066
Date Filed2018-12-21
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Carl J. Nichols
PlaintiffNATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.
PlaintiffREBECCA HERSHER
Case DescriptionNational Public Radio Science Reporter Rebecca Hersher submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning video tapes of ballistics tests run on handguns and rifles using common ammunition. NPR requested a fee waiver. The FBI acknowledged receipt of the request and denied the request under Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods and techniques). Hersher filed an administrative appeal arguing that 7(E) was inapplicable because the use of these ballistics tests was publicly known. The FBI denied her administrative appeal and Hersher and NPR filed suit.
Complaint issues: Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20535
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
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
Opinion/Order [36]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-12-211COMPLAINT for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act against FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5854293) filed by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Civil Cover Sheet, # 6 Summons FBI, # 7 Summons US Atty General, # 8 Summons US Atty DC)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 12/21/2018)
2018-12-26Case Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (zef, ) (Entered: 12/26/2018)
2018-12-262SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zef, ) (Entered: 12/26/2018)
2019-01-023RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION served on 12/27/2018 (Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 01/02/2019)
2019-01-024RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 12/27/2018. (Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 01/02/2019)
2019-01-025RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 12/27/2018. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 1/26/2019. (Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 01/02/2019)
2019-01-036ORDER ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES FOR CASES ASSIGNED TO JUDGE COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLLY. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 01/03/19. (DM) (Entered: 01/03/2019)
2019-01-257MOTION to Stay , MOTION for Extension of Time to by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 01/25/2019)
2019-01-29MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation's ("FBI") 7 Motion for a Stay and Extension of Time in Light of Lapse of Appropriations. Defendant fails to acknowledge the tardiness of its request pursuant to the Court's 6 standing order. See Order Establishing Procedures for Cases Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, ECF No. 6 , ¶ 7(A). Plaintiff does not oppose the relief sought in this motion. The Court understands that Congress and the President restored appropriations on January 25, 2019, but that the agencies presumably did not resume operations until the first business day thereafter, January 28, 2019. Accordingly, the Court shall GRANT-in-PART and DENY-in-PART Defendant's 7 Motion. There is no longer a need to stay this case. However, the Court shall permit the requested extension of 14 days and shall use the date of the resumption of operations as the basis for the further deadline. Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the 1 Complaint by FEBRUARY 11, 2019 . Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on January 29, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 01/29/2019)
2019-01-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer to 1 due by 2/11/2019. (dot) (Entered: 01/29/2019)
2019-02-118ANSWER to Complaint by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 02/11/2019)
2019-02-149ORDER. The parties shall file the schedule not later than MARCH 18, 2019 . Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on February 14, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 02/14/2019)
2019-02-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Meet & Confer Statement due by 3/18/2019. (dot) (Entered: 02/14/2019)
2019-03-0410AMENDED COMPLAINT against FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. Department of Justice filed by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Comparison of Complaint and Amended Complaint)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 03/04/2019)
2019-03-0411REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE re 10 Amended Complaint filed by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. Related document: 10 Amended Complaint filed by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC..(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 03/04/2019)
2019-03-0512SUMMONS (1) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (ztd) (Entered: 03/05/2019)
2019-03-1813RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 3/12/2019 (Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 03/18/2019)
2019-03-1814Joint STATUS REPORT by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. (Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 03/18/2019)
2019-03-1815ANSWER to 10 Amended Complaint by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 03/18/2019)
2019-03-25MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received Plaintiffs' 10 Amended Complaint, Defendants' 15 Answer thereto, and the parties' 14 Joint Status Report. The parties have conferred, and Defendants are now ready to begin their search for responsive records. While the parties agree that a further Joint Status Report is the next step in these proceedings, they propose differing deadlines for such Report, and Plaintiffs additionally seek an April 17, 2019, deadline for a Vaughn index. The Court finds that it would be premature to set such a deadline for a Vaughn index when Defendants are only now beginning their search. Rather, by APRIL 17, 2019 , the parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report identifying the status of Defendants' search and review and proposing a schedule for further proceedings. The parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report no later than every thirty days thereafter, unless and until the Court orders otherwise. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on March 25, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 03/25/2019)
2019-03-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/17/2019. (dot) (Entered: 03/25/2019)
2019-04-1716Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 04/17/2019)
2019-05-0217MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Thomas R. Burke, :Firm- Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, :Address- 505 Montgomery Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111-6533. Phone No. - (415) 276-6500. Fax No. - (415) 276-6599 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-6098913. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of T. Burke, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 05/02/2019)
2019-05-06MINUTE ORDER: The Court has received the 17 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Thomas R. Burke. That motion is GRANTED CONTINGENT upon Mr. Burke's submission of a declaration by MAY 13, 2019 , stating that he has reviewed and is familiar with the Local Rules of this Court. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on May 6, 2019. (lcckk1) (Entered: 05/06/2019)
2019-05-1018AFFIDAVIT re Order on Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice, revised Declaration of T. Burke by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. (Burke, Thomas) (Entered: 05/10/2019)
2019-05-1719Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 05/17/2019)
2019-06-1720Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 06/17/2019)
2019-06-24Case directly reassigned to Judge Carl J. Nichols. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly is no longer assigned to the case. (ztnr) (Entered: 06/24/2019)
2019-07-1721Joint STATUS REPORT by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 07/17/2019)
2019-07-22MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the Parties' 21 Joint Status Report, which indicates that Defendants have completed their review of potentially responsive records but that the Parties have reached an impasse regarding when Defendants should produce a Vaughn index, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants produce their Vaughn index on or before August 15, 2019. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on July 22, 2019. (lccjn1) (Entered: 07/22/2019)
2019-07-22Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Vaughn Index due by 8/15/2019. (zcdw) (Entered: 07/22/2019)
2019-08-1622Joint STATUS REPORT by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. (Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 08/16/2019)
2019-08-23MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of the Parties' 22 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall file any dispositive motions by October 16, 2019, with briefing to proceed thereafter in accordance with LCvR 7. The Court acknowledges the Parties' dispute over the adequacy of Defendant's Vaughn Index and will consider that issue at summary judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on August 23, 2019. (lccjn2) (Entered: 08/23/2019)
2019-08-23Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Dispositive Motions due by 10/16/2019. (zcdw) (Entered: 08/25/2019)
2019-10-1623MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Declaration Hardy, # 3 Exhibit A-H, # 4 Table of Contents, # 5 Table of Authorities)(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 10/16/2019)
2019-10-1624MOTION for Summary Judgment and Statement of Material Facts by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Lisa B. Zycherman, # 2 Zycherman Decl. Ex. 1 to 11, # 3 Zycherman Decl. Ex. 12 to 15, # 4 Zycherman Decl. Ex. 16 and 17, # 5 Zycherman Decl. Ex. 18 to 22, # 6 Text of Proposed Order)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 10/16/2019)
2019-10-2925Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 10/29/2019)
2019-10-29MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 25 Motion for Extension of Time, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. The Parties shall file their responses on the Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment by November 19, 2019 and their replies by November 26, 2019. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on October 29, 2019. (lccjn2) (Entered: 10/29/2019)
2019-10-29Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Responses to Cross Motions due by 11/19/2019. Replis to Cross Motions due by 11/26/2019. (zcdw) (Entered: 10/31/2019)
2019-11-1926RESPONSE re 23 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 11/19/2019)
2019-11-1927Memorandum in opposition to re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Statement of Material Facts filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Defendants' Reply to Plaintiffs' Statement of Material Facts)(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 11/19/2019)
2019-11-2628Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 23 MOTION for Summary Judgment , 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Statement of Material Facts by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 11/26/2019)
2019-11-26MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 28 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Reply, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. The Parties shall file their replies on the Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment by December 20, 2019. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on November 26, 2019. (lccjn2) (Entered: 11/26/2019)
2019-11-26Set/Reset Deadlines: Parties Replies On The Cross-Motions For Summary Judgment due by 12/20/2019. (mac) (Entered: 11/26/2019)
2019-11-2629NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Michelle D. Jackson on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Denise M. Clark (Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 11/26/2019)
2019-12-1830Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 23 MOTION for Summary Judgment by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 12/18/2019)
2019-12-19MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Plaintiff's 30 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Reply, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. Plaintiff shall reply to Defendant's 27 Memorandum in Opposition by January 10, 2020. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on December 19, 2019. (lccjn2) (Entered: 12/19/2019)
2019-12-19Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Plaintiff's reply due by 1/10/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 12/24/2019)
2019-12-2031REPLY to opposition to motion re 23 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Statement of Material Facts filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration)(Jackson, Michelle) Modified link on 1/15/2020 (znmw). (Entered: 12/20/2019)
2020-01-1032REPLY re 24 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Statement of Material Facts - Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion filed by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC.. (Zycherman, Lisa) Modified event title and link on 1/15/2020 (znmw). (Entered: 01/10/2020)
2020-05-14MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of the Parties's 23 , 24 Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that a hearing on the Cross-Motions is set for June 18, 2020 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 19. If Court operations remain affected by closures by that date, the hearing will proceed by alternative technological means. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on May 14, 2020. (lccjn2) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-14Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Motion Hearing set for 6/18/2020 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 19 before Judge Carl J. Nichols. (zcdw) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-1533NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Kristin Brudy-Everett on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Michelle D. Jackson (Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 05/15/2020)
2020-05-26MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Court's Standing Order 20-29, In re: Further Extension of Postponed Court Proceedings in Standing Order 20-9 and Limiting Court Operations in Exigent Circumstances Created by the COVID-19 Pandemic (D.D.C. May 26, 2020) (BAH), it is hereby ORDERED that the hearing on the Parties' 23 , 24 Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, set for June 18, 2020, is CONVERTED to a telephonic hearing on the record and RESET to June 10, 2020 at 10:00 AM. The Court will promulgate dial-in information separately. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on May 26, 2020. (lccjn2) (Entered: 05/26/2020)
2020-06-09Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Motion Hearing reset for 6/10/2020 at 10:00 AM in Telephonic/VTC before Judge Carl J. Nichols. (zcdw) (Entered: 06/09/2020)
2020-06-10Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Carl J. Nichols: Motion Hearing held on 6/10/2020 re 23 , 24 Cross Motions for Summary Judgment. Motions heard and taken under advisement. (Court Reporter: Nancy Meyer) (zcdw) (Entered: 06/21/2020)
2020-06-1134ORDER directing in camera review. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on June 11, 2020. (lccjn2) (Entered: 06/11/2020)
2020-08-2835ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendants' 23 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting Plaintiffs' 24 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on August 28, 2020. (lccjn2) (Entered: 08/28/2020)
2020-08-2836MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on August 28, 2020. (lccjn2) (Entered: 08/28/2020)
2020-08-28Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Carl J. Nichols: Telephone Status Conference held on 8/28/2020. (zcal) (Entered: 08/28/2020)
2020-09-0937Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs by REBECCA HERSHER, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Zycherman, Lisa) (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-09-10MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Plaintiffs' 37 Consent Motion for Extension of Time, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. Plaintiffs shall file their Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs by October 27, 2020. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on September 10, 2020. (lccjn2) (Entered: 09/10/2020)
2020-09-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs due by 10/27/2020. (zcal) (Entered: 09/10/2020)
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