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Case TitleSOLOMON v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv02019
Date Filed2019-07-08
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Trevor N. McFadden
PlaintiffJOHN SOLOMON
Case DescriptionJohn Solomon, an investigative reporter, submitted two FOIA requests to the Department of State. In his first FOIA request, Solomon asked for records concerning contacts between representatives of Blue Star Strategies and the agency pertaining to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. In his second FOIA request, Solomon asked for records concerning contacts between U.S. businessmen Hunter Biden and Devon Archer and the agency pertaining to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Solomon requested expedited processing and a fee waiver for both requests. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests and denied Solomon's request for expedited processing for both requests but granted Solomon's request for a fee waiver for both requests. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency pertaining to either request, Solomon filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantDEPARTMENT OF STATE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-07-081COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF STATE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-6238226) filed by JOHN SOLOMON. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Summons to Department of State, # 3 Summons Summons to Attorney General, # 4 Summons Summons to U.S. Attorney's Office)(Gustafson, Adam) (Attachment 1 replaced on 7/10/2019) (zeg). (Entered: 07/08/2019)
2019-07-082MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Kimberly S. Hermann, :Firm- Southeastern Legal Foundation, :Address- 560 W. Crossville Rd., Ste. 104, Roswell, GA 30075. Phone No. - (770) 977-2131. Fax No. - (770) 977-2134 Filing fee $ 100, receipt number 0090-6238296. Fee Status: Fee Paid. by JOHN SOLOMON (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Declaration of Kimberly S. Hermann, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Gustafson, Adam) (Entered: 07/08/2019)
2019-07-10Case Assigned to Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (zeg) (Entered: 07/10/2019)
2019-07-113SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zeg) (Entered: 07/11/2019)
2019-07-114STANDING ORDER establishing procedures for cases before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. The parties are directed to read and strictly comply with the attached Order. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 7/11/2019. (lctnm3) (Entered: 07/11/2019)
2019-07-11MINUTE ORDER granting the 2 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Attorney Kimberly S. Hermann shall promptly register for this Court's CM/ECF System. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 7/11/2019. (lctnm3) (Entered: 07/11/2019)
2019-07-115CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by JOHN SOLOMON re 2 MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice :Attorney Name- Kimberly S. Hermann, :Firm- Southeastern Legal Foundation, :Address- 560 W. Crossville Rd., Ste. 104, Roswell, GA 30075. Phone No. - (770) 977-2131. Fax No. - (770) 977-2134 Fili . (Gustafson, Adam) (Entered: 07/11/2019)
2019-08-026RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 7/16/2019. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 8/15/2019. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proof of Service to Department of State, # 2 Exhibit Proof of Service to U.S. Attorney General, # 3 Exhibit Proof of Service to U.S. Attorney DC)(Hermann, Kimberly) (Entered: 08/02/2019)
2019-08-027RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 7/16/2019. RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 7/24/2019. (See Docket Entry 6 to view documents). (tth) (Entered: 08/06/2019)
2019-08-158ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 08/15/2019)
2019-08-159NOTICE of Appearance by Paul A. Mussenden on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 08/15/2019)
2019-08-15MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court are a complaint and an answer in this FOIA case. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer and file a Joint Status Report proposing a schedule for proceeding in this matter. The schedule should address, among other things, the status of Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiff, whether a motion for an Open America stay is likely in this case, whether a Vaughn index will be required in this case, and a briefing schedule for dispositive motions, if required. The parties shall file the Joint Status Report on or before September 6, 2019. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 8/15/2019. (lctnm3) (Entered: 08/15/2019)
2019-08-16Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/6/2019. (hmc) (Entered: 08/16/2019)
2019-09-0610Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 09/06/2019)
2019-09-09MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 10 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file another Joint Status Report on or before November 6, 2019. The report will address the status of the Defendant's search and the parties' negotiations regarding the processing rate and production schedule going forward. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 9/9/2019. (lctnm3) (Entered: 09/09/2019)
2019-09-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/6/2019. (hmc) (Entered: 09/09/2019)
2019-11-0611Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 11/06/2019)
2019-11-08MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 11 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file another report on or before February 11, 2020, which shall update the Court regarding the Defendant's productions and provide a recommendation for further proceedings, if necessary. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 11/8/2019. (lctnm3) (Entered: 11/08/2019)
2019-11-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 2/11/2020. (tg) (Entered: 11/08/2019)
2020-02-1112Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 02/11/2020)
2020-02-12MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 12 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that, by no later than April 13, 2020, the parties shall submit another report updating the Court on the status of Defendant's search and responses to Plaintiff's FOIA requests. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 2/12/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 02/12/2020)
2020-02-12Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/13/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 02/12/2020)
2020-03-2713NOTICE of Appearance by James Ryan Conde on behalf of JOHN SOLOMON (Conde, James) (Entered: 03/27/2020)
2020-03-2714NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to JOHN SOLOMON. Attorney Adam R.F. Gustafson terminated. (Gustafson, Adam) (Entered: 03/27/2020)
2020-04-1315Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 04/13/2020)
2020-04-14MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 15 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that, by no later than June 12, 2020, the parties shall submit another report with a proposed briefing schedule, if necessary. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 4/14/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-04-14Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 6/12/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 04/14/2020)
2020-06-1116Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 06/11/2020)
2020-06-12MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 16 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that, by no later than July 9, 2020, the parties shall submit another report with a proposed briefing schedule, if necessary. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 6/12/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 06/12/2020)
2020-06-12Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/9/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 06/12/2020)
2020-07-0917Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 07/09/2020)
2020-07-09MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 17 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that, by no later than September 8, 2020, the parties shall submit a further Joint Status Report updating the Court on the status of Defendant's responses to Plaintiff's FOIA requests. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 7/9/2020. (lctnm1) (Entered: 07/09/2020)
2020-07-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 9/8/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 07/10/2020)
2020-09-0818Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 09/08/2020)
2020-09-09MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 18 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that, by no later than November 9, 2020, the parties shall submit another Joint Status Report updating the Court on the status of Defendant's responses to Plaintiff's FOIA requests. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 9/9/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-09-09Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/9/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-11-0919Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 11/09/2020)
2020-11-10MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 19 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall submit another Joint Status Report by November 17, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 11/10/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 11/10/2020)
2020-11-10Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/17/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 11/10/2020)
2020-11-1720Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 11/17/2020)
2020-11-18MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 20 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall submit another Joint Status Report by December 17, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 11/18/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 11/18/2020)
2020-11-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/17/2020. (hmc) (Entered: 11/18/2020)
2020-12-1721Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 12/17/2020)
2020-12-17MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 21 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall submit another Joint Status Report by January 17, 2021. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 12/17/2020. (lctnm3) (Entered: 12/17/2020)
2020-12-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 1/17/2021. (hmc) (Entered: 12/18/2020)
2021-01-1522Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Mussenden, Paul) (Entered: 01/15/2021)
2021-01-15MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 22 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall submit another Joint Status Report by March 18, 2021. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 1/15/2021. (lctnm3) (Entered: 01/15/2021)
2021-01-15Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 3/18/2021. (hmc) (Entered: 01/15/2021)
2021-03-0423NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by April Denise Seabrook on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF STATE Substituting for attorney Paul Mussenden (Seabrook, April) (Entered: 03/04/2021)
2021-03-1824Joint STATUS REPORT by JOHN SOLOMON. (Hermann, Kimberly) (Entered: 03/18/2021)
2021-03-18MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 24 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall submit another Joint Status Report by April 21, 2021. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 3/18/2021. (lctnm3) (Entered: 03/18/2021)
2021-03-18Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/21/2021. (hmc) (Entered: 03/18/2021)
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