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Case TitleCALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD v. UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv00965
Date Filed2019-04-05
Date Closed2020-06-03
JudgeJudge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
PlaintiffCALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD
Case DescriptionThe California Air Resources Board submitted FOIA requests to the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration for records concerning vehicle fleet composition, new car sales, vehicle safety, battery technology, and other related matters. The agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. NHTSA denied several portions of CARB's requests with no explanation. The agency also withheld records under Exemption 4 (confidential business information) and Exemption 5 (privileges). CARB filed an administrative appeal of the denial by NHTSA. After hearing nothing further from either agency, CARB filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
DefendantNATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Opinion/Order [30]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-04-051COMPLAINT against NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-6043290) filed by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Summons to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, # 3 Summons Summons to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, # 4 Summons Summons to U.S. Attorney General, # 5 Summons Summons to U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia)(Hoffman, Ryan) (Entered: 04/05/2019)
2019-04-08Case Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (zef, ) (Entered: 04/08/2019)
2019-04-082SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General. (Attachments: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zef, ) (Entered: 04/08/2019)
2019-04-123ORDER ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES FOR CASES ASSIGNED TO JUDGE COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 4/12/19. (DM) (Entered: 04/12/2019)
2019-04-174NOTICE of Appearance by Margaret Elaine Meckenstock on behalf of CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Meckenstock, Margaret) (Entered: 04/17/2019)
2019-05-145Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint,, by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Seabrook, April) (Entered: 05/14/2019)
2019-05-14MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of Defendants' 5 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer, and Memorandum in Support Thereof. Currently, Defendants' Answer is due May 17, 2019. Defense counsel requests an extension of thirty days due to the complex nature of the subject matter of the FOIA request, the need to confer with agency-Defendants, and other litigation commitments. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED. Defendants are ORDERED to submit their Answer by JUNE 18, 2019. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 5/14/2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 05/14/2019)
2019-05-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Answer due by 6/18/2019. (dot) (Entered: 05/20/2019)
2019-06-186ANSWER to Complaint by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.(Seabrook, April) (Entered: 06/18/2019)
2019-06-197SCHEDULING ORDER. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 6/19/2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 06/19/2019)
2019-06-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Meet & Confer Statement due by 7/16/2019. (dot) (Entered: 06/24/2019)
2019-07-168Joint STATUS REPORT by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD. (Meckenstock, Margaret) (Entered: 07/16/2019)
2019-07-29MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of the parties' 8 Joint Status Report. Defendant EPA reports that it anticipates issuing its final response to part 12 of Plaintiff's FOIA request no later than August 7, 2019 and its final response to parts 1-11 no later than August 16, 2019. Defendant NHTSA has already issued its final response. The parties disagree on the next steps moving forward. Plaintiff requests that the Court grant partial summary judgment briefing on NHTSA's assertion of Exemption 5 with respect to records responsive to part 8 of Plaintiff's FOIA request. Plaintiff states that immediate action is required due to an impending deadline for submitting comments to a regulatory proposal issued by EPA and NHTSA. The Court will not allow partial summary judgment briefing at this time. Conducting summary judgment briefing on NHTSA's claimed exemption before EPA has completed its response is not an efficient use of the parties' or the Court's resources. Plaintiff's request for more immediate access to NHTSA's withheld information does not outweigh the inefficiency that bifurcating Plaintiff's FOIA request and conducting two rounds of summary judgment would cause. Instead, the Court ORDERS the parties to file a further Joint Status Report on AUGUST 16, 2019, advising the Court on the status of the matter and recommending steps for moving forward. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 7-29-2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 07/29/2019)
2019-07-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/16/2019, advising the Court on the status of the matter and recommending steps for moving forward. (dot) (Entered: 07/30/2019)
2019-08-169Joint STATUS REPORT by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD. (Hoffman, Ryan) (Entered: 08/16/2019)
2019-08-19MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of the parties' 9 Joint Status Report. The parties report that Defendants have finished responding to Plaintiff's FOIA requests and that summary judgment briefing is required to resolve the remaining issues. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is due OCTOBER 4, 2019; Defendants' Opposition and Cross-Motion is due NOVEMBER 1, 2019; Plaintiff's Opposition and Reply is due NOVEMBER 29, 2019; Defendants' Reply is due DECEMBER 27, 2019. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 8-19-2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 08/19/2019)
2019-08-19Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is due 10/4/2019; Defendants' Opposition and Cross-Motion is due 11/1/2019; Plaintiff's Opposition and Reply is due 11/29/2019; Defendants' Reply is due 12/27/2019. (kt) (Entered: 08/19/2019)
2019-10-0710MOTION for Summary Judgment by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Meckenstock Exhs 1-10, # 2 Declaration Hart Exhs 11-16, # 3 Declaration McCarthy Exh 17, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Meckenstock, Margaret) (Entered: 10/07/2019)
2019-10-0711ENTERED IN ERROR.....NOTICE regarding date of MSJ filing by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Meckenstock, Margaret) Modified on 10/9/2019 (znmw). (Entered: 10/07/2019)
2019-10-08NOTICE OF ERROR re 11 Notice (Other); emailed to Elaine.Meckenstock@doj.ca.gov, cc'd 4 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Please refile document, 2. See LcvR 5.1(a) and 5.1(d) (ztd, ) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
2019-10-0812NOTICE re timing of MSJ filing by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Meckenstock, Margaret) (Entered: 10/08/2019)
2019-10-2913Unopposed MOTION to Amend/Correct Set/Reset Deadlines, by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Seabrook, April) (Entered: 10/29/2019)
2019-10-29MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of the Defendants' 13 Unopposed Motion to Amend Briefing Schedule, and Memorandum in Support Thereof. Defendants' Opposition and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment is currently due November 1, 2019. Defendants request an extension because the parties are still negotiating the scope of Plaintiff's challenges to the EPA's FOIA response. An extension would allow the EPA to tailor its briefing and declaration to the disputed issues. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED. Defendants' Opposition and Cross-Motion is due DECEMBER 2, 2019; Plaintiff's Opposition and Reply is due JANUARY 2, 2020; Defendants' Reply is due FEBRUARY 2, 2020. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 10-29-2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 10/29/2019)
2019-10-29Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants' Cross Motion due by 12/2/2019. Response to Cross Motion due by 1/2/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 2/2/2020. Defendants' Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/2/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/2/2020. (dot) (Entered: 10/30/2019)
2019-11-0514Unopposed MOTION to Amend/Correct Set/Reset Deadlines by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Hoffman, Ryan) (Entered: 11/05/2019)
2019-11-07MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of the Plaintiff's 14 Unopposed Motion to Amend Briefing Schedule, and Memorandum in Support Thereof. Currently, Plaintiff's Opposition and Reply is due January 2, 2020 and Defendants' Reply is due February 2, 2020. Counsel reports that a deadline of January 2, 2020 is not workable due to long-standing holiday travel plans. The Court notes that the deadline of January 2, 2020 was previously proposed by the parties. See ECF No. 13. The Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion. Plaintiff's Opposition and Reply is due JANUARY 22, 2020; Defendants' Reply is due FEBRUARY 24, 2020. No further extensions will be granted. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 11-6-2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 11/07/2019)
2019-11-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Response to Cross Motion due by 1/22/2020. Defendants' Reply to Cross Motion due by 2/24/2020. Plaintiff's Reply to 10 Motion for Summary Judgment due by 1/22/2020. (dot) (Entered: 11/12/2019)
2019-11-2115NOTICE , Joint, of Agreement to Partially Defer Summary Judgment Briefing by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Hoffman, Ryan) (Entered: 11/21/2019)
2019-12-0216Unopposed MOTION to Amend/Correct Set/Reset Deadlines by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Seabrook, April) (Entered: 12/02/2019)
2019-12-03MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of the Defendants' 16 Unopposed Motion to Amend Briefing Schedule, and Memorandum in Support Thereof. Defendants' Opposition and Cross-Motion was due December 2, 2019. This is Defendants' second request for an extension. Defendants request an extension due to the unexpected illness of Defense counsel as well as an unexpected death in Defense counsel's family. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED nunc pro tunc. Defendants' Opposition and Cross-Motion is due DECEMBER 17, 2019; Plaintiff's Opposition and Reply is due FEBRUARY 6, 2020; and Defendants' reply is due MARCH 9, 2020. The Court recognizes that in its November 7, 2019 Minute Order it stated that no further extensions would be granted. However, the Court recognizes that the illness and death necessitating this extension were outside counsel's control. This briefing schedule is the final schedule. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 12-3-2019. (lcckk3) (Entered: 12/03/2019)
2019-12-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants' Cross Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/17/2019. Response to Cross Motion due by 2/6/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 3/9/2020. Defendants' Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 12/17/2019. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/6/2020. (dot) (Entered: 12/03/2019)
2019-12-1717Memorandum in opposition to re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit List, # 2 Statement of Facts - Responsive, # 3 Statement of Facts, # 4 Text of Proposed Order, # 5 Exhibit 1 - DiMarsico Decl., # 6 Exhibit 2 - Schade Decl., # 7 Exhibit 3 - Charmley Decl., # 8 Exhibit 4 - Email of 8/15/2019, # 9 Exhibit 5 - Emails of 07/2019)(Seabrook, April) (Entered: 12/17/2019)
2019-12-1718MOTION for Summary Judgment by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit List, # 3 Statement of Facts - Responsive, # 4 Statement of Facts, # 5 Text of Proposed Order, # 6 Exhibit 1 - DiMarisco Decl., # 7 Exhibit 2 - Schade Decl., # 8 Exhibit 3 - Charmley Decl., # 9 Exhibit 4 - Email of 8/15/2019, # 10 Exhibit 5 - Emails of 7/2019)(Seabrook, April) (Entered: 12/17/2019)
2020-02-0619Memorandum in opposition to re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment Cross filed by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Responsive, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Declaration Supplemental)(Hoffman, Ryan) (Entered: 02/06/2020)
2020-02-0620REPLY to opposition to motion re 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Responsive, # 2 Text of Proposed Order, # 3 Declaration Supplemental)(Hoffman, Ryan) (Entered: 02/06/2020)
2020-03-0421MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Seabrook, April) (Entered: 03/04/2020)
2020-03-04MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of the Defendants' 21 Motion for Leave to Exceed Page Limit. Defendant requests that its Reply brief be allowed to span 37 pages. Plaintiff has taken no position on this Motion. Due to the number of issues that need to be addressed, as well as the need to respond to Plaintiff's allegations of bad faith, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 3-4-2020. (lcckk3) (Entered: 03/04/2020)
2020-03-0922REPLY to opposition to motion re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 4 - Second Schade Declaration, # 2 Exhibit 5 - Second Charmley Declaration, # 3 Exhibit 3 - Email of 7.15.2019)(Seabrook, April) (Entered: 03/09/2020)
2020-03-1323ERRATA Filing Revised Exhibits by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - DiMarisco Decl. and Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit 2 - Schade Decl. and Exhibit)(Seabrook, April) (Entered: 03/13/2020)
2020-03-1324ERRATA Filing Revised Exhibits by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 17 Memorandum in Opposition,, filed by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - DiMarisco Decl. and Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit 2 - Schade Decl. and Exhibit)(Seabrook, April) (Entered: 03/13/2020)
2020-04-0925NOTICE of Development by CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD (Meckenstock, Margaret) (Entered: 04/09/2020)
2020-04-09MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of Plaintiff's 25 Notice. The Court ORDERS Defendants to file a Response by no later than APRIL 22, 2020.. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 4-9-2020. (lcckk3) (Entered: 04/09/2020)
2020-04-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants' Response due by 4/22/2020. (dot) (Entered: 04/09/2020)
2020-04-1426NOTICE of Appearance by Brian J. Field on behalf of All Defendants (Field, Brian) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-04-1527Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response to Plaintiff's Notice by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (Field, Brian). Added MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply on 4/16/2020 (ztd). (Entered: 04/15/2020)
2020-04-16MINUTE ORDER. The Court is in receipt of Defendants' 27 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Response to Plaintiff's Notice. Defendant's response is currently due April 22, 2020. Defense counsel requests an extension because he has only recently been assigned to this case and has multiple other litigation deadlines pending. Defendants' Motion is GRANTED. Defendants' Response is due MAY 15, 2020. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 4-16-2020. (lcckk3) (Entered: 04/16/2020)
2020-04-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants' Response due by 5/15/2020. (dot) (Entered: 04/17/2020)
2020-05-1528RESPONSE re 25 Notice (Other) filed by NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 05/15/2020)
2020-06-0329ORDER denying 10 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting 18 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 6-3-2020. (lcckk3) (Entered: 06/03/2020)
2020-06-0330MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 6-3-2020. (lcckk3) (Entered: 06/03/2020)
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