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Case TitleBUZZFEED INC. v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv01352
Date Filed2019-05-09
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Amit P. Mehta
PlaintiffBUZZFEED, INC.
Case DescriptionBuzzFeed submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning communications between the Bureau of Medical Services and University of Miami physician Michael Hoffer regarding injuries to U.S. diplomats in Cuba. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied the request entirely under Exemption 7(A) (interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). BuzzFeed filed an administrative appeal. The agency acknowledged receipt of the appeal but told BuzzFeed that it would be unable to respond within the statutory time limit. BuzzFeed then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF STATE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-05-091COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-6114415) filed by BUZZFEED INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 3 Summons Summons)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 05/09/2019)
2019-05-092NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew Topic on behalf of BUZZFEED INC. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 05/09/2019)
2019-05-093LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by BUZZFEED INC. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 05/09/2019)
2019-05-10Case Assigned to Judge Amit P. Mehta. (zsb) (Entered: 05/10/2019)
2019-05-104SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 05/10/2019)
2019-06-145REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE filed by BUZZFEED INC..(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 06/14/2019)
2019-06-196SUMMONS (1) Reissued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF STATE (jf) (Entered: 06/19/2019)
2019-06-217RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/22/2019. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 06/21/2019)
2019-06-218RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/22/2019. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/21/2019. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 06/21/2019)
2019-06-219ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Clark, Denise) (Entered: 06/21/2019)
2019-06-2410ORDER. Both a Complaint and an Answer are now before the court in this FOIA case. It is hereby ordered that the parties shall meet and confer and file a Joint Status Report on or before July 8, 2019. The Joint Status Report shall include (1) the status of Plaintiffs FOIA request; (2) the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiffs 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. Please see the attached Order for details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 6/21/2019. (lcapm2) (Entered: 06/24/2019)
2019-06-24Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/8/2019. (zjd) (Entered: 06/25/2019)
2019-07-0811Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 07/08/2019)
2019-07-09MINUTE ORDER. By August 8, 2019, the parties shall file a Joint Status Report that updates the court on whether Defendant has agreed to produce records to Plaintiff and, if so, proposes a production schedule. If Defendant takes the position that Plaintiff is not entitled to records or no responsive records exist, the parties shall propose a briefing schedule. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 7/9/2019. (lcapm2) (Entered: 07/09/2019)
2019-07-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/8/2019. (zjd) (Entered: 07/09/2019)
2019-07-1812RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 7/2/2019 (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 07/18/2019)
2019-08-0613NOTICE of Appearance by Merrick Jason Wayne on behalf of BUZZFEED INC. (Wayne, Merrick) (Entered: 08/06/2019)
2019-08-0814Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 08/08/2019)
2019-08-09MINUTE ORDER. The parties shall file a Joint Status Report by October 2, 2019, updating the court on Defendant's production efforts, and, if necessary, proposing a briefing schedule. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 8/9/2019. (lcapm2) (Entered: 08/09/2019)
2019-08-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/2/2019. (zjd) (Entered: 08/12/2019)
2019-10-0215Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 10/02/2019)
2019-10-03MINUTE ORDER. Defendant shall make rolling productions every six weeks starting from September 18, 2019. The parties shall file their next Joint Status Report by November 5, 2019. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 10/03/2019. (lcapm2) (Entered: 10/03/2019)
2019-10-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/5/2019. (zjd) (Entered: 10/04/2019)
2019-11-0516Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Clark, Denise) (Entered: 11/05/2019)
2019-11-05MINUTE ORDER. The parties shall file their next Joint Status Report by December 18, 2019. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 11/05/2019. (lcapm2) (Entered: 11/05/2019)
2019-11-05Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/18/2019. (zjd) (Entered: 11/06/2019)
2019-11-2717NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Michelle D. Jackson on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Denise M. Clark (Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 11/27/2019)
2019-12-1818Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 12/18/2019)
2019-12-18MINUTE ORDER. The parties shall file their next Joint Status Report by January 31, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 12/18/2019. (lcapm2) (Entered: 12/18/2019)
2019-12-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 1/31/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 12/20/2019)
2020-01-3119Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-02-04MINUTE ORDER. The parties shall file their next Joint Status Report by March 18, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 02/04/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 02/04/2020)
2020-02-04Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 3/18/2020 (zjch) (Entered: 02/04/2020)
2020-03-1820Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 03/18/2020)
2020-03-18MINUTE ORDER. The parties shall file their next Joint Status Report by April 29, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/18/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 03/18/2020)
2020-03-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/29/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 03/19/2020)
2020-04-1421Unopposed MOTION to Stay re Order by DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Jackson, Michelle) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-04-1422ORDER granting 21 Motion for Stay. Defendant's processing and production deadlines are hereby stayed. The parties shall file a joint status report on or before May 29, 2020, and every 30 days thereafter, to apprise the court of Defendant's FOIA operations and staffing. See attached Order for further details. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/14/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-04-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 5/29/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 04/15/2020)
2020-05-1423NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Kristin Brudy-Everett on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF STATE Substituting for attorney Michelle D. Jackson (Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-2924Joint STATUS REPORT by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 05/29/2020)
2020-06-2425Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 06/24/2020)
2020-07-2326Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 07/23/2020)
2020-07-24MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by August 25, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 07/24/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 07/24/2020)
2020-07-24Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/25/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 07/27/2020)
2020-08-2527Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 08/25/2020)
2020-08-27MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by September 25, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 08/27/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 08/27/2020)
2020-08-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/25/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 08/31/2020)
2020-09-2528Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 09/25/2020)
2020-09-25MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by October 23, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 09/25/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 09/25/2020)
2020-09-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/23/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 09/25/2020)
2020-10-2329Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 10/23/2020)
2020-10-23MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by November 23, 2020. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 10/23/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 10/23/2020)
2020-10-23Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/23/2020. (zjd) (Entered: 10/26/2020)
2020-11-2330Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 11/23/2020)
2020-11-24MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by January 22, 2021. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 11/24/2020. (lcapm2) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
2020-11-24Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 1/22/2021. (zjd) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
2021-01-2231Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 01/22/2021)
2021-01-28MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by March 22, 2021. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 1/28/2021. (lcapm2) (Entered: 01/28/2021)
2021-03-2232Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Brudy-Everett, Kristin) (Entered: 03/22/2021)
2021-03-23MINUTE ORDER. The parties' next Joint Status Report shall be filed by May 21, 2021. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 3/23/2021. (lcapm2) (Entered: 03/23/2021)
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