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DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2020cv00169
Date Filed2020-01-22
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Carl J. Nichols
Case DescriptionPeter Shane, a law professor at Ohio State University, submitted a request to the Department of Homeland Security for records concerning memoranda pertaining to how the Secretary of Homeland Security exercises their authority to designate other officers of the agency to serve as Acting Secretary. Shane also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. It conditionally granted Shane's fee waiver request, indicating that its final decision would be based on the amount of relevant information that was disclosed. The agency ultimately found two pages responsive to Shane's request but denied them under Exemption 5 (privileges). Shane filed an administrative appeal. The agency responded to Shane's administrative by remanding his request for the FOIA office to better explain its Exemption 5 claim. However, two months later, the agency told Shane that since it had not heard back on the remand, Shane should consider the denial the final agency decision. Shane then filed a complaint with the Office of Government Information Services. After contacting DHS, OGIS told Shane that DHS stood by its decision to withhold the records under the deliberative process privilege. Shane then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Litigation - Attorney's fees

Complaint attachment 1
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User-contributed Documents
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2020-01-221COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number ADCDC-6755320) filed by PETER M. SHANE. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons (U.S. Attorney), # 3 Summons (Attorney General), # 4 Summons (Agency))(Llewellyn, Patrick) (Entered: 01/22/2020)
2020-01-23Case assigned to Judge Carl J. Nichols. (zmc) (Entered: 01/23/2020)
2020-01-232SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zmc) (Entered: 01/23/2020)
2020-01-233STANDING ORDER. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on January 23, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 01/23/2020)
2020-01-234RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 1/23/2020. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 2/22/2020. (Llewellyn, Patrick) (Entered: 01/23/2020)
2020-02-045NOTICE of Appearance by Alan Burch on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Burch, Alan) (Entered: 02/04/2020)
2020-02-206MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Burch, Alan) (Entered: 02/20/2020)
2020-02-24MINUTE ORDER. Upon review of Defendant's 6 Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer, it is hereby ORDERED that the Motion is GRANTED and that Defendant shall respond to the Complaint on or before March 25, 2020. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on February 24, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 02/24/2020)
2020-02-24Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Answer to Complaint due by 3/25/2020. (zcdw) (Entered: 03/02/2020)
2020-03-257ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.(Burch, Alan) (Entered: 03/25/2020)
2020-03-30MINUTE ORDER. Before the Court in this Freedom of Information Act case are a Complaint and an Answer. According to Local Civil Rule 16.3, the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) are inapplicable. It is hereby ORDERED that the Parties shall confer and file a Joint Status Report on or before April 27, 2020. The Joint Status Report shall address: (1) the status of Plaintiff's FOIA request; (2) the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiff's 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); (5) the possibility of prioritizing documents responsive to Plaintiff's request and any discussions regarding whether Plaintiff's request can be narrowed; and (6) whether the Parties anticipate summary judgment briefing and, if so, a proposed briefing schedule. Signed by Judge Carl J. Nichols on March 30, 2020. (lccjn3) (Entered: 03/30/2020)
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