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Case TitleMullane v. Department of Justice et al
DistrictDistrict of Massachusetts
CityBoston
Case Number1:2019cv12379
Date Filed2019-11-19
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Denise J. Casper
PlaintiffPro Se Party Jonathan Mullane
Case DescriptionJonathan Mullane submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records about himself. He also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. He submitted a second request to the agency under the Privacy Act for records about himself. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests but denied his requests for expedited processing and a fee waiver. Mullane filed an administrative appeal. The agency ultimately disclosed two pages with redactions. Mullane also submitted FOIA and Privacy Act requests to the Securities and Exchange Commission for records about himself. He also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver for those requests. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. After hearing nothing further from either agency, Mullane filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Department of Justice
DefendantUnited States Securities and Exchange Commission
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Opinion/Order [66]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-11-191COMPLAINT against All Defendants Filing fee: $ 400, receipt number 0101-7978825 (Fee Status: Filing Fee paid), filed by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibits, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet, # 3 Category Form)(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 11/19/2019)
2019-11-202ELECTRONIC NOTICE of Case Assignment. Judge Denise J. Casper assigned to case. If the trial Judge issues an Order of Reference of any matter in this case to a Magistrate Judge, the matter will be transmitted to Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler. (Finn, Mary) (Entered: 11/20/2019)
2019-11-203Summons Issued as to All Defendants. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should download this summons, complete one for each defendant and serve it in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and LR 4.1. Summons will be mailed to plaintiff(s) not receiving notice electronically for completion of service. (Burgos, Sandra) (Entered: 11/20/2019)
2019-11-264AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE Executed by Jonathan Mullane. All Defendants. Acknowledgement filed by Jonathan Mullane. (Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 11/26/2019)
2019-12-305NOTICE by Jonathan Mullane Related Proceeding (Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 12/30/2019)
2019-12-306Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to January 17, 2020 to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Weida, Jason) (Entered: 12/30/2019)
2019-12-317Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 6 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer re 1 Complaint, All Defendants 1/17/20. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 12/31/2019)
2020-01-038Notice of Related Proceeding (Mullane, E. Peter) Modified on 1/7/2020 (McKillop, Matthew). (Entered: 01/03/2020)
2020-01-179NOTICE of Appearance by Michael P. Sady on behalf of United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (Sady, Michael) (Entered: 01/17/2020)
2020-01-1710ANSWER to Complaint by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 01/17/2020)
2020-01-2111NOTICE of Scheduling Conference Scheduling Conference set for 2/24/2020 02:30 PM in Courtroom 11 before Judge Denise J. Casper. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 01/21/2020)
2020-01-2112NOTICE of Withdrawal of Appearance by Jason C. Weida (Weida, Jason) (Entered: 01/21/2020)
2020-02-2013Proposed JOINT SUBMISSION pursuant to Local Rule 16.1 by Jonathan Mullane.(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 02/20/2020)
2020-02-2114CERTIFICATION pursuant to Local Rule 16.1 . (Sady, Michael) (Entered: 02/21/2020)
2020-02-2115MOTION for Discovery Vaughn Index by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Authority)(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 02/21/2020)
2020-02-2116CERTIFICATION pursuant to Local Rule 16.1 Plaintiff's Certification . (Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 02/21/2020)
2020-02-2417Electronic Clerk's Notes for proceedings held before Judge Denise J. Casper: Scheduling Conference held on 2/24/2020. Court hears from counsel. Court takes matter under advisement. (Court Reporter: Debra Joyce at joycedebra@gmail.com.)(Attorneys present: E. Peter Mullane for the plaintiff. Michael Sady for the defendants.) (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 02/25/2020)
2020-02-2718Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered re: 15 Motion for Discovery. Motion for Vaughn index is DENIED without prejudice. The Court consider Plaintiff's motion in conjunction with the parties' conflicting views about whether discovery is warranted here given the nature of Plaintiff's claims and, if warranted, the timing of same. Here Plaintiff Jonathan Mullane brings a claim under the Privacy Act (Count I) and a claim under FOIA (Count II) against Defendants U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). D. 1 at 7-9. Although arising under different statutes, Mullane's allegation under both counts is that these agencies unlawfully withheld records responsive to his Privacy Act and FOIA requests. As discussed with counsel at Monday's initial scheduling conference, and as reflected in case law, "discovery is not typically a part of FOIA and Privacy Act cases" and "whether to permit discovery is within the sound discretion of the district court judge." Broaddrick v. Executive Office of President , 139 F. Supp. 2d 55, 63 (D.D.C. 2001) and cases cited . The cases cited by Plaintiff do not persuade the Court otherwise and some support the sequencing that the Court was contemplating at the initial scheduling conference. See , e.g. , Scarborough v. Harvey , 493 F. Supp. 2d 1, 18 (D.D.C. 2007) (considering the defendants' partial motion for summary judgment as to the Privacy Act claim where, in opposition to same, plaintiffs had moved for discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f), now Rule 56(d)). Given the nature of Plaintiff's claims and the schedule that the Court will otherwise adopt here, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion without prejudice. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 02/27/2020)
2020-02-2719Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered D. 13,14: Having considered the parties' respective scheduling proposals, having heard the defense's update regarding the production of additional documents to Plaintiff's request and having denied Plaintiff's motion for Vaughn index without prejudice, the Court ORDERS the following schedule: 1. As the defense indicated that Defendant DOJ was in the process of producing additional responsive documents, it shall do so on a rolling basis to Plaintiff and shall give the Court an update regarding same on or before April 27, 2020; 2. Any motion for summary judgment shall be filed by June 26, 2020. Any supporting memoranda and affidavits shall be filed with the motion and shall include a Vaughn index correlating any withheld documents to particular exemptions. See N.H. Right to Life v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Servs. , 778 F.3d 43, 48 & n.3 (1st Cir. 2015). Opposition to same shall be due by July 27, 2020. If in opposing any motion for summary judgment, "the nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition," it may seek relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d).(Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 02/27/2020)
2020-06-1120MOTION to Seal by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1)(McKillop, Matthew) (Entered: 06/11/2020)
2020-06-2421Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to 7/10/20 to File Motion for Summary Judgment by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 06/24/2020)
2020-06-2922SEALED DOCUMENT.Response to Motion to Seal D. 20. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 07/01/2020)
2020-07-0323MOTION for Leave to File Verified First Amended Complaint by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proposed Verified First Amended Complaint)(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 07/03/2020)
2020-07-0724Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 21 Motion for Extension of Time to 7/10/20 to File Motion for Summary Judgment by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 07/07/2020)
2020-07-0925Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered re: 20 Motion to Seal. Having considered the motion to seal, D. 20, and the opposition, D. 22, the Court DENIES the motion to seal. The exhibit attached to the motion does not relate to any pending motion before the Court and, at best, is premature. To the extent that Plaintiff is seeking to have all filings in this matter sealed, that request is also denied. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 07/09/2020)
2020-07-1026MOTION for Leave to File Bief in Excess of 20 Pages by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 07/10/2020)
2020-07-1027MOTION for Summary Judgment by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 07/10/2020)
2020-07-1028MEMORANDUM in Support re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit)(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 07/10/2020)
2020-07-1329Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 26 Motion for Leave to File Brief in Excess of 20 Pages by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 07/13/2020)
2020-07-1630Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to 7/31/20 to File an Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 07/16/2020)
2020-07-1731Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 30 Motion for Extension of Time to 7/31/20 to file Response to Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 07/17/2020)
2020-07-2132First MOTION for Extension of Time to 30 days from ruling on allowance of amended complaint to File Response/Reply as to 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Jonathan Mullane.(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 07/21/2020)
2020-07-3133Opposition re 23 MOTION for Leave to File Verified First Amended Complaint filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (Sady, Michael) (Entered: 07/31/2020)
2020-10-1234Letter/request (non-motion) from E. Peter Mullane for hearing on D.E. 23 . (Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 10/12/2020)
2020-10-2035Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered re: 23 Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint. Having considered the motion, D. 23, and the opposition, D. 33, the Court DENIES the motion to amend. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 10/20/2020)
2020-10-2036Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered re 34 Letter/request. To the extent that D. 34 sought a hearing regarding D. 23, that request is DENIED. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 10/20/2020)
2020-10-2037Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 32 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment Responses due by 11/20/2020 (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 10/20/2020)
2020-10-2038ELECTRONIC NOTICE Setting Hearing on Motion 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment : This hearing will be conducted by video conference. Counsel of record will receive a video conference invite at the email registered in CM/ECF. If you have technical or compatibility issues with the technology, please notify the session's courtroom deputy as soon as possible. Access to the hearing will be made available to the media and public. In order to gain access to the hearing, you must sign up at the following address: https://forms.mad.uscourts.gov/courtlist.html . For questions regarding access to hearings, you may refer to the Court's general orders and public notices available on www.mad.uscourts.gov or contact media@mad.uscourts.gov . Motion Hearing set for 1/28/2021 02:00 PM in Remote Proceeding : Boston before Judge Denise J. Casper. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 10/20/2020)
2020-10-2139Judge Denise J. Casper: Standing Order Regarding Appearance of Counsel Via Telephone or Videoconference (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 10/21/2020)
2020-11-1240Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment , 28 Memorandum in Support of Motion, by Jonathan Mullane.(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 11/12/2020)
2020-11-1741Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 40 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment Responses due by 12/11/2020 (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 11/17/2020)
2020-12-1442Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment by Jonathan Mullane.(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 12/14/2020)
2020-12-2343Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting nunc pro tunc 42 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment Responses due by 12/21/2020 (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 12/23/2020)
2020-12-2544Opposition re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1-11)(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 12/25/2020)
2020-12-2545AFFIDAVIT in Support of 44 Opposition re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-E)(Mullane, E. Peter) Modified on 12/29/2020 to adjust docket text and event used (Currie, Haley). (Entered: 12/25/2020)
2020-12-2546Statement of Material Facts L.R. 56.1 re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Jonathan Mullane. (Mullane, E. Peter) Modified on 12/29/2020 to correct docket text and event used(Currie, Haley). (Entered: 12/25/2020)
2020-12-2547Second AFFIDAVIT in Support of 44 Opposition re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit A)(Mullane, E. Peter) Modified on 12/29/2020 to adjust docket text and event used (Currie, Haley). (Entered: 12/25/2020)
2021-01-1348Assented to MOTION for Leave to File Reply by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 01/13/2021)
2021-01-2049Joint MOTION to Continue Hearing on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 01/20/2021)
2021-01-2250Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 48 Motion for Leave to File Reply Brief; Counsel using the Electronic Case Filing System should now file the document for which leave to file has been granted in accordance with the CM/ECF Administrative Procedures. Counsel must include - Leave to file granted on (date of order)- in the caption of the document. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 01/22/2021)
2021-01-2351Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 49 Motion to Continue Summary Judgment Hearing (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 01/23/2021)
2021-01-2352ELECTRONIC NOTICE Resetting Hearing on Motion 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment : This hearing will be conducted by video conference. Counsel of record will receive a video conference invite at the email registered in CM/ECF. If you have technical or compatibility issues with the technology, please notify the session's courtroom deputy as soon as possible. Access to the hearing will be made available to the media and public. In order to gain access to the hearing, you must sign up at the following address: https://forms.mad.uscourts.gov/courtlist.html . For questions regarding access to hearings, you may refer to the Court's general orders and public notices available on www.mad.uscourts.gov or contact media@mad.uscourts.gov . Motion Hearing set for 2/25/2021 03:15 PM in Remote Proceeding : Boston before Judge Denise J. Casper. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 01/23/2021)
2021-02-0853Second MOTION to Amend 1 Complaint, by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proposed Amended Complaint, # 2 Exhibit Exhibits to Proposed Amended Complaint)(Mullane, E. Peter) (Attachment 1 replaced on 2/16/2021: counsel provided corrected document) (Currie, Haley). (Entered: 02/08/2021)
2021-02-1654Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to February 17, 2021 to File Response/Reply by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 02/16/2021)
2021-02-1655Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 54 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment Replies due by 2/17/2021. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 02/16/2021)
2021-02-1756REPLY to Response to 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (Sady, Michael) (Entered: 02/17/2021)
2021-02-1757STATEMENT of facts Supplemental Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit)(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 02/17/2021)
2021-02-1958MOTION to Strike 56 Reply to Response to Motion, 57 Statement of facts by Jonathan Mullane. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Mullane, E. Peter) (Entered: 02/19/2021)
2021-02-2359Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to 3/9/2021 to File Response/Reply to Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission.(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 02/23/2021)
2021-02-2460Opposition re 58 MOTION to Strike 56 Reply to Response to Motion, 57 Statement of facts filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (Sady, Michael) (Entered: 02/24/2021)
2021-02-2561Electronic Clerk's Notes for proceedings held before Judge Denise J. Casper: Motion Hearing held on 2/25/2021 re 53 Second MOTION to Amend 1 Complaint, filed by Jonathan Mullane, 27 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Securities and Exchange Commission, United States Department of Justice by videoconference. Arguments. Court takes under advisement 53 Motion to Amend; takes under advisement 27 Motion for Summary Judgment. (Court Reporter: Debra Joyce at joycedebra@gmail.com.)(Attorneys present: E. Peter Mullane for the plaintiff. Michael Sady for the defendants.) (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 02/25/2021)
2021-03-0262Judge Denise J. Casper: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered granting 59 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 53 Second MOTION to Amend 1 Complaint, Replies due by 3/9/2021. (Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 03/02/2021)
2021-03-0963Opposition re 53 Second MOTION to Amend 1 Complaint, filed by United States Department of Justice, United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Sady, Michael) (Entered: 03/09/2021)
2021-03-0964Transcript of Motion Hearing via Videoconference held on February 25, 2021, before Judge Denise J. Casper. The Transcript may be purchased through the Court Reporter, viewed at the public terminal, or viewed through PACER after it is released. Court Reporter Name and Contact Information: Debra Joyce at joycedebra@gmail.com. Redaction Request due 3/30/2021. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 4/9/2021. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 6/7/2021. (Coppola, Katelyn) (Entered: 03/11/2021)
2021-03-0965NOTICE is hereby given that an official transcript of a proceeding has been filed by the court reporter in the above-captioned matter. Counsel are referred to the Court's Transcript Redaction Policy, available on the court website at http://www.mad.uscourts.gov/attorneys/general-info.htm (Coppola, Katelyn) (Entered: 03/11/2021)
2021-03-1966Judge Denise J. Casper: ORDER entered. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - The Court ALLOWS in part and DENIES in part the Agencies' motion for summary judgment, D. 27, and DENIES Mullane's motions to strike and amend. D. 53; D. 58. The motion for summary judgment is ALLOWED in all respects except for the documents described above that were withheld or redacted solely under the deliberative process privilege, see page 21, supra , which is DENIED without prejudice. The Agencies must produce the communications with an external party unredacted, D. 28-2 at 1415, and shall either submit a revised Vaughn index by April 16, 2021 , correcting the deficiencies outlined above, or produce the documents unredacted to Mullane and inform the Court, also by April 16, 2021 .(Hourihan, Lisa) (Entered: 03/19/2021)
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