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Case TitleA.B. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv00598
Date Filed2019-03-04
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Carl J. Nichols
PlaintiffA. B.
Case DescriptionA.B., a Salvadoran woman appealing the denial of her asylum application, submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice's Mail Referral Unit for records concerning former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to certify to himself A.B.'s asylum case. The agency asked A.B. to resubmit her request to the Office of Information Policy. A.B. requested expedited processing, which was denied. Despite several attempts to contact OIP, after hearing nothing further from the agency, A.B. filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees, Adequacy - Search

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE an agency of the Department of Homeland Security
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 9
Opinion/Order [40]
User-contributed Documents
 Exhibit E (redacted replacement) to complaint exhibits
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-03-061COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-5985490) filed by A. B.. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Exhibit Exh. A, # 5 Exhibit Exh. B, # 6 Exhibit Exh. C, # 7 Exhibit Exh. D, # 8 Exhibit Exh. E, # 9 Exhibit Exh. F)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Attachment 1 replaced on 3/6/2019) (zef, ). (Entered: 03/06/2019)
2019-03-062MOTION to Proceed Under Pseudonym and for Protective Order by A. B. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Declaration of Eunice Lee)(Wiegmann, Yakov). Added MOTION for Protective Order on 3/25/2019 (znmw). (Entered: 03/06/2019)
2019-03-063SEALED DOCUMENT filed by A. B. re 2 MOTION to Proceed Under Pseudonym and for Protective Order (This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons.)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 03/06/2019)
2019-03-074ORDER GRANTING 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed Under Pseudonym. See Order for further details. Signed by Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell on 3/7/2019. (zmd) (Entered: 03/07/2019)
2019-03-07Case Assigned to Judge Amit P. Mehta. (zef, ) (Entered: 03/07/2019)
2019-03-075SUMMONS (2) Issued Electronically as to U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zef, ) (Entered: 03/07/2019)
2019-03-146MOTION Seal Exhibit E to Complaint re 1 Complaint, by A. B. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 03/14/2019)
2019-03-147ERRATA by A. B.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exh. E)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 03/14/2019)
2019-03-15MINUTE ORDER granting Plaintiff's Motion to Seal Exhibit E to the Complaint. The clerk of court shall seal Exhibit E to the Complaint, found at ECF No. 1-8. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/15/2019. (lcapm1) (Entered: 03/15/2019)
2019-05-248VACATED PURSUANT TO 10 ORDER FILED 5/31/2019.....AFFIDAVIT FOR DEFAULT by A. B. (Wiegmann, Yakov) Modified on 5/31/2019 (zjd). (Entered: 05/24/2019)
2019-05-309MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint and Vacate Affidavit in Support of Default (ECF No. 8) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Truong, John). Added MOTION to Vacate on 6/4/2019 (znmw). (Entered: 05/30/2019)
2019-05-3110ORDER granting 9 Defendant's Motion for an Extension to Respond to Plaintiff's Complaint and Vacate Affidavit in Support of Default. Defendant shall respond to Plaintiff's Complaint on or before July 1, 2019. Plaintiff's Affidavit in Support of Default, ECF No. 8, is hereby vacated. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 05/31/2019. (lcapm1) (Entered: 05/31/2019)
2019-05-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant's Responsive Pleading due by 7/1/2019. (zjd) (Entered: 05/31/2019)
2019-06-24Case directly reassigned to Judge Carl J. Nichols. Judge Amit P. Mehta is no longer assigned to the case. (rj) (Entered: 06/24/2019)
2019-07-0111ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Truong, John) (Entered: 07/01/2019)
2019-07-2212AMENDED COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE filed by A. B.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 07/22/2019)
2019-08-0113ANSWER to 12 Amended Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Truong, John) (Entered: 08/01/2019)
2019-08-14MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this Freedom of Information Act case are a Complaint and an Answer. The requirements of Local Civil Rule 16.3 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) appear to be inapplicable. It is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall confer and file a Joint Status Report on or before September 16, 2019. The Joint Status Report shall address: (1) the status of Plaintiff's FOIA request; (2) the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request; (3) the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiff; (4) whether a motion for stay is likely under Open America v. Watergate Special Prosecution Force , 547 F.2d 605 (D.C. Cir. 1976); and (5) whether the parties anticipate summary judgment briefing and, if so, a proposed briefing schedule. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on August 14, 2019. (lccjn1) (Entered: 08/14/2019)
2019-08-15Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/16/2019. (mac) (Entered: 08/15/2019)
2019-09-1614Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Truong, John) (Entered: 09/16/2019)
2019-09-20MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Parties' 14 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall submit an additional Joint Status Report on or before September 30, 2019. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on September 20, 2019. (lccjn3) (Entered: 09/20/2019)
2019-09-20Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 9/30/2019. (zcdw) (Entered: 09/22/2019)
2019-09-3015Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Truong, John) (Entered: 09/30/2019)
2019-10-23MINUTE ORDER. The Court has reviewed the Parties' 15 Joint Status Report and notes the Parties' disagreement regarding an appropriate schedule for OIP to search for and process records responsive to Plaintiff's request. It is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall file an additional Joint Status Report on or before November 15, 2019. Thereafter, the Court may convene a conference to resolve any continuing areas of disagreement. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on October 23, 2019. (lccjn3) Modified on 11/18/2019 (lcdf). (Entered: 10/23/2019)
2019-10-23Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 11/15/2019. (zcdw) (Entered: 10/24/2019)
2019-11-1516Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Gov. Exhibit I)(Truong, John) (Entered: 11/15/2019)
2019-11-19MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Parties' 16 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that on or before January 13, 2020, Defendant shall search for, process, and produce non-exempt documents that are related to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the three other identified custodians within the Office of the Attorney General assigned to immigration-related matters during the relevant time period. It is further ORDERED that the Parties shall submit an additional Joint Status Report on or before December 13, 2019. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on November 19, 2019. (lccjn3) (Entered: 11/19/2019)
2019-11-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/13/2019. (mac) (Entered: 11/19/2019)
2019-11-2617STATUS REPORT by A. B.. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 11/26/2019)
2019-12-0218RESPONSE to Plaintiff's Interim Status Report (ECF No. 17) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Truong, John) Modified to add link on 12/6/2019 (znmw). (Entered: 12/02/2019)
2019-12-04Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Telephone Conference set for 12/5/2019 at 11:00 AM before Judge Carl J. Nichols. (zcdw) (Entered: 12/04/2019)
2019-12-0919STATUS REPORT by A. B.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exh A)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 12/09/2019)
2019-12-1320Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Truong, John) (Entered: 12/13/2019)
2019-12-1621Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Truong, John) (Entered: 12/16/2019)
2019-12-23MINUTE ORDER. In light of Plaintiff's 19 Status Report and the Parties' 21 Joint Status Report, is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall submit an additional Joint Status Report on or before January 15, 2020. The Court notes the Parties' dispute about the excisions made under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5) in Defendant's December 13, 2019 production. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on December 23, 2019. (lccjn3) (Entered: 12/23/2019)
2019-12-23Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 1/15/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 12/24/2019)
2020-01-1522Joint STATUS REPORT by A. B.. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 01/15/2020)
2020-01-28MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Parties' 22 Joint Status Report, is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall submit an additional Joint Status Report on or before January 31, 2020. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on January 28, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 01/28/2020)
2020-01-28Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 1/31/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 01/30/2020)
2020-01-3123Joint STATUS REPORT by A. B.. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-02-03MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Parties' 23 Joint Status Report, is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall submit an additional Joint Status Report on or before February 21, 2020. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on February 3, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 02/03/2020)
2020-02-03Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 2/21/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 02/04/2020)
2020-02-2124Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Truong, John) (Entered: 02/21/2020)
2020-02-2825Joint STATUS REPORT by A. B.. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 02/28/2020)
2020-03-11MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of the Parties' 25 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that on or before March 31, 2020, Defendant shall file its Motion for Summary Judgment and submit its supporting Vaughn Index and Declaration; on or before April 15, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; on or before May 1, 2020, Defendant shall file its Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiffs Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; and on or before May 15, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Reply in Support of her Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on March 11, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 03/11/2020)
2020-03-11Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Summary Judgment motion due by 3/31/2020. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/15/2020. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/1/2020. Defendant's Vaughn Index due by 3/31/2020. Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 4/15/2020. Response to Cross Motion due by 5/1/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 5/15/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 03/11/2020)
2020-03-3026Consent MOTION to Modify Scheduling Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Truong, John) (Entered: 03/30/2020)
2020-03-30MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 26 Consent Motion to Modify Scheduling Order, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED and that the Court's March 11, 2020 Minute Order is MODIFIED: on or before April 14, 2020, Defendant shall file its Motion for Summary Judgment and submit its supporting Vaughn Index and Declaration; on or before April 29, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; on or before May 15, 2020, Defendant shall file its Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiffs Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; and on or before May 29, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Reply in Support of her Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on March 30, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 03/30/2020)
2020-04-0727MOTION to Modify March 30, 2020 Scheduling Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Truong, John) (Entered: 04/07/2020)
2020-04-13MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 27 Motion to Modify Scheduling Order, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED and that the Court's March 11, 2020 Minute Order is further MODIFIED: on or before May 14, 2020, Defendant shall file its Motion for Summary Judgment and submit its supporting Vaughn Index and Declaration; on or before May 29, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; on or before June 15, 2020, Defendant shall file its Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; and on or before June 29, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Reply in Support of her Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on April 13, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 04/13/2020)
2020-04-13Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Defendant's Summary Judgment motion due by 5/14/2020. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/29/2020. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 6/15/2020. Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 5/29/2020. Response to Cross Motion due by 6/15/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 6/29/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-05-1428MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Declaration of Vanessa Brinkmann, # 4 Exhibit A to K, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit L (Vaughn Index), # 6 Exhibit Exhibit M (Disputed Exemptions))(Truong, John) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-2829MOTION to Modify April 13, 2020 Minute Order by A. B. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 05/28/2020)
2020-05-29MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Plaintiff's 29 Motion to Modify Scheduling Order, and considering that it is unopposed, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED and that: on or before June 5, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; on or before June 22, 2020, Defendant shall file its Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; and on or before July 6, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Reply in Support of her Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on May 29, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 05/29/2020)
2020-05-29Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 6/5/2020. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 6/22/2020. Cross Motion due by 6/5/2020. Response to Cross Motion due by 6/22/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 7/6/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 06/01/2020)
2020-06-0530Memorandum in opposition to re 28 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment filed by A. B.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Yakov P. Wiegmann, # 2 Exhibit A to the Declaration of Yakov P. Wiegmann, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 06/05/2020)
2020-06-0531Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by A. B. (View Docket Entry 30 to view document). (eg) (Entered: 06/08/2020)
2020-06-0832MOTION to Seal Document Seal Exhibit A to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by A. B. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Wiegmann, Yakov) Modified event on 6/10/2020 (znmw). (Entered: 06/08/2020)
2020-06-1833Unopposed MOTION to Modify May 29, 2020 Scheduling Order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Truong, John) (Entered: 06/18/2020)
2020-06-20MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Plaintiff's 32 Motion to Seal [30-2] Exhibit A to Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file a publicly available redacted version of Exhibit A. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on June 20, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 06/20/2020)
2020-06-22MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 33 Unopposed Motion to Modify Scheduling Order, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED and that: on or before June 29, 2020, Defendant shall file its Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiffs Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; and on or before July 13, 2020, Plaintiff shall file her Reply in Support of Her Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on June 22, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 06/22/2020)
2020-06-2234REDACTED DOCUMENT- Redacted Exhibit A to 30 Memorandum in Opposition, to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment by A. B.. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 06/22/2020)
2020-06-22Set/Reset Deadlines: Response to Cross Motion due by 6/29/2020. Reply to Cross Motions due by 7/13/2020. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 6/29/2020. (zcal) (Entered: 06/23/2020)
2020-06-2935Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiff's Filings (ECF No. 30) by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Truong, John) (Entered: 06/29/2020)
2020-06-3036REPLY to opposition to motion re 28 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Second Vanessa Brinkmann Declaration and Exhibits)(Truong, John) (Entered: 06/30/2020)
2020-06-3037Memorandum in opposition to re 31 MOTION for Summary Judgment (See ECF No. 36 for Declaration and Exhibits) filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Truong, John) (Entered: 06/30/2020)
2020-07-03MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 35 Consent Motion for a One-Day Extension of Time, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED and that Defendant's Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiffs Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment is deemed timely filed. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on July 3, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 07/03/2020)
2020-07-1338REPLY to opposition to motion re 31 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by A. B.. (Wiegmann, Yakov) (Entered: 07/13/2020)
2021-03-1939ORDER granting Defendant's 28 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying Plaintiff's 31 Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on March 19, 2021. (lccjn2) (Entered: 03/19/2021)
2021-03-1940MEMORANDUM AND OPINION. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on March 19, 2021. (lccjn2) (Entered: 03/19/2021)
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