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Case TitleJUDICIAL WATCH, INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv02722
Date Filed2019-09-11
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge John D. Bates
PlaintiffJUDICIAL WATCH, INC.
Case DescriptionJudicial Watch submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records concerning former legal attache in Rome Michael Gaeta that contained keywords related to the 2016 election. The FBI acknowledged receipt of the request and told Judicial Watch that it would split the request into three separate parts. The FBI then invoked a Glomar response for all three parts. Judicial Watch filed an administrative appeal, arguing that Gaeta had been publicly identified as the FBI special agent in Rome during testimony by Bruce Ohr before the House Oversight Committee and that Gaeta had received a copy of the dossier provided by Christopher Steele. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Judicial Watch filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Vaughn index, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
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

2019-09-111COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-6371907) filed by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, # 3 Summons U.S. Attorney General, # 4 Summons U.S. Department of Justice)(Orfanedes, Paul) (Entered: 09/11/2019)
2019-09-112LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Orfanedes, Paul) (Entered: 09/11/2019)
2019-09-13Case Assigned to Judge John D. Bates. (zeg) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
2019-09-133SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zeg) (Entered: 09/13/2019)
2019-09-304NOTICE of Appearance by James F. Peterson on behalf of JUDICIAL WATCH, INC. (Peterson, James) (Entered: 09/30/2019)
2019-10-015RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 9/23/2019. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 10/23/2019.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 9/30/2019., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 9/23/2019 (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Cristina Rotaru)(Orfanedes, Paul) (Entered: 10/01/2019)
2019-10-236ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Echols, Alexis) (Entered: 10/23/2019)
2019-10-257ORDER directing parties to confer and to submit a proposed briefing schedule for the filing of dispositive motions by not later than November 25, 2019. See text of Order for details. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 10/25/2019. (lcjdb3) (Entered: 10/25/2019)
2019-10-25Set/Reset Deadlines: Proposed Briefing Schedule due by 11/25/2019. (tb) (Entered: 10/25/2019)
2019-11-258Joint STATUS REPORT by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Peterson, James) (Entered: 11/25/2019)
2019-11-25MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 8 the parties' joint status report and joint proposed briefing schedule, and the entire record herein, it is hereby ORDERED as follows: defendant shall file its motion for summary judgment by not later than January 24, 2020; plaintiff shall file its opposition and cross-motion for summary judgment by not later than February 14, 2020; defendant shall file its reply in support of its motion and its opposition to plaintiff's cross-motion by not later than February 28, 2020; and plaintiff shall file its reply in support of its cross-motion by not later than March 13, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 11/25/2019. (lcjdb3) (Entered: 11/25/2019)
2019-12-03Set/Reset Deadlines: Cross Motion due by 2/14/2020. Response to Cross Motion due by 2/28/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 3/13/2020. Summary Judgment motion due by 1/24/2020. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/14/2020. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 2/28/2020. (tb) (Entered: 12/03/2019)
2020-01-239Consent MOTION to Stay Briefing Schedule by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Echols, Alexis) (Entered: 01/23/2020)
2020-01-24MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 9 defendant's consent motion to stay the briefing schedule, and the entire record herein, it is hereby ORDERED that the consent motion is GRANTED; it is further ORDERED that the briefing schedule is STAYED; and it is further ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report by not later than January 31, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 1/24/2020. (lcjdb3) (Entered: 01/24/2020)
2020-01-24Set/Reset Deadline: Joint Status Report due by 1/31/2020. (jth) (Entered: 01/24/2020)
2020-01-3110Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Echols, Alexis) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-01-31MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 10 the parties' joint status report, and the entire record herein, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall jointly file by not later than February 27, 2020, a joint status report proposing a schedule for further proceedings in this case. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 1/31/2020. (lcjdb3) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-01-31Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 2/27/2020. (tb) (Entered: 01/31/2020)
2020-02-2711Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Echols, Alexis) (Entered: 02/27/2020)
2020-03-02MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 11 the parties' joint status report, and the entire record herein, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant will process 500 pages of the approximately 30,000 potentially responsive records per month; it is further ORDERED that defendant will make its first production of responsive, non-exempt records by not later than May 20, 2020 and will make subsequent productions on a rolling basis every thirty days thereafter; it is further ORDERED that defendant will provide plaintiff with a letter at the time of each scheduled production, which may be via e-email, stating the number of pages processed since the previous production; it is further ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report informing the Court as to the status of document processing and production, including the number of pages processed by defendant, by not later than May 20, 2020, and then again every 90 days thereafter on an ongoing basis; and it is further ORDERED that the first joint status report shall provide the Court with additional explanation as to (a) why the Department of Justice is only able to process 500 pages per month thereby ensuring the processing of records will take at least five years to complete and (b) whether there are 30,000 pages of potentially responsive records or 30,000 records, and whether each record contains multiple pages such that the processing of records at 500 pages per month may take much longer than five years to complete. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 3/2/2020. (lcjdb3) (Entered: 03/02/2020)
2020-05-1912NOTICE of Appearance by Antonia Marie Konkoly on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Konkoly, Antonia) (Entered: 05/19/2020)
2020-05-1913Consent MOTION to Stay Proceedings by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Konkoly, Antonia) (Entered: 05/19/2020)
2020-06-04MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of 13 defendant's consent motion to stay proceedings, and the entire record herein, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED that defendant's obligation to process and produce documents responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request is STAYED through June 18, 2020; and it is further ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report proposing a schedule for further proceedings, or if an agreement cannot be reached, then separate status reports proposing a schedule for further proceedings, by not later than June 18, 2020. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge John D. Bates on 6/4/2020. (lcjdb3) (Entered: 06/04/2020)
2020-06-05Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint or Separate Status Reports due by 6/18/2020. (tb) (Entered: 06/05/2020)
2020-06-1414Joint STATUS REPORT by JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.. (Peterson, James) (Entered: 06/14/2020)
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