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Case TitleLEOPOLD et al v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2020cv00540
Date Filed2020-02-24
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Randolph D. Moss
PlaintiffJASON LEOPOLD
PlaintiffBUZZFEED, INC.
Case DescriptionReporter Jason Leopold submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Justice for records concerning the agency's sentencing recommendation pertaining to Roger Stone. Leopold also requested expedited processing and a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and denied Leopold's request for expedited processing. After hearing nothing further, Leopold filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2020-02-241COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number ADCDC-6858473) filed by JASON LEOPOLD, BUZZFEED INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Civil Cover Sheet, # 5 Summons)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 02/24/2020)
2020-02-242NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew Topic on behalf of BUZZFEED INC., JASON LEOPOLD (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 02/24/2020)
2020-02-243LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by BUZZFEED INC. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 02/24/2020)
2020-02-25Case Assigned to Judge Randolph D. Moss. (adh, ) (Entered: 02/25/2020)
2020-02-254SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(adh, ) (Entered: 02/25/2020)
2020-03-255RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 3/6/2020 (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 03/25/2020)
2020-03-256RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 3/6/2020. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 03/25/2020)
2020-03-257RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 3/6/2020. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 4/5/2020. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 03/25/2020)
2020-04-038Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer and Proposed ORder by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 04/03/2020)
2020-04-06MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Defendant's unopposed motion to extend, Dkt. 8, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint on or before April 20, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 04/06/2020. (lcrdm2, ) (Entered: 04/06/2020)
2020-04-209ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-C)(Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 04/20/2020)
2020-04-22MINUTE ORDER: In light of Plaintiffs' complaint, Dkt. 1, and Defendants' answer, Dkt. 9, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall appear telephonically for an initial scheduling conference on May 14, 2020, at 2:15pm. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer prior to the scheduling conference to discuss the status of the Plaintiffs' FOIA request and scheduling for further proceedings. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 04/22/2020. (lcrdm2, ) (Entered: 04/22/2020)
2020-05-14Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Telephonic Initial Scheduling Conference held on 5/14/2020. Both parties, and the Court, appeared via telephone. Defendant shall file their Motion by 5/26/2020; Plaintiffs' Response due by 6/2/2020; Defendant's Reply due by 6/5/2020. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-2610MOTION to Dismiss by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Kara Cain with Exhibit, # 2 Declaration of Christina Butler with Exhibits, # 3 Declaration of Vanessa Brinkmann with Exhibit, # 4 Declaration of Christopher Lynch with Exhibits, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 05/26/2020)
2020-06-0211RESPONSE re 10 MOTION to Dismiss filed by BUZZFEED, INC., JASON LEOPOLD. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 06/02/2020)
2020-06-0412STANDING ORDER: The parties are hereby ORDERED to comply with the directives set forth in the attached Standing Order. See document for details. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 06/04/2020. (lcrdm2, ) (Entered: 06/04/2020)
2020-06-0513REPLY to opposition to motion re 10 MOTION to Dismiss filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 06/05/2020)
2020-07-06MINUTE ORDER: Pending before the Court is the Department's motion to dismiss, which argues, among other things, that Plaintiffs have not asserted a claim for expedited processing and that, in any event, any such claim is now moot. Dkt. 10 at 15. Upon considering the parties' briefing on these points, the Court has determined that a motion hearing is appropriate. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall appear for a telephonic motion hearing on July 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. The parties shall utilize the same telephone conference number and access code. The parties are ADVISED that they should be prepared to address the following questions: (1) whether Plaintiffs' complaint is fairly read to assert a claim for expedited processing, and (2) whether a claim for expedited processing is moot prior to the agency having issued a final determination under § 552(a)(6)(A), cf . Muttitt v. Dep't of State , 926 F. Supp. 2d 284, 296 (D.D.C. 2013) (interpreting Edmonds v. FBI , 417 F.3d 1319 (D.C. Cir. 2005)). Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 07/06/2020. (lcrdm2, ) Modified on 7/6/2020 to add language re: teleconference number (kt). (Entered: 07/06/2020)
2020-07-0814NOTICE of Appearance by Joshua Hart Burday on behalf of BUZZFEED, INC., JASON LEOPOLD (Burday, Joshua) (Entered: 07/08/2020)
2020-07-08Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Telephonic Motion Hearing held on 7/8/2020 re: 10 MOTION to Dismiss filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. For the reasons stated on the record, Plaintiffs shall file their Amended Complaint by tomorrow; The Court will then deny the Motion to Dismiss as moot. A Telephonic Status Conference is set for 7/13/2020, at 2:00 PM, before Judge Randolph D. Moss. The parties shall utilize the same teleconference number and access code. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 07/08/2020)
2020-07-0915AMENDED COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE filed by JASON LEOPOLD, BUZZFEED, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit Redlined Version)(Burday, Joshua) (Entered: 07/09/2020)
2020-07-10MINUTE ORDER: For the reasons stated on the record at the July 8, 2020 motion hearing, and with consent of the parties, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant's motion to dismiss, Dkt. 10, is DENIED as MOOT. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 07/10/2020. (lcrdm2, ) (Entered: 07/10/2020)
2020-07-13Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Randolph D. Moss: Telephonic Status Conference held on 7/13/2020. Order forthcoming. (Court Reporter: Jeff Hook.) (kt) (Entered: 07/13/2020)
2020-07-13MINUTE ORDER: In accordance with the Court's oral ruling during today's status conference, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant shall perform searches and provide Plaintiffs with all responsive, nonexempt records (1) from the first EOUSA custodian on or before August 3, 2020; (2) from the second EOUSA custodian on or before August 24, 2020; (3) from the remaining EOUSA custodians on or before September 23, 2020. It is further ORDERED that, on or before July 31, 2020, the OIP shall search its electronic records for responsive records. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint status report on or before August 7, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 7/13/2020. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 07/13/2020)
2020-08-0716Joint STATUS REPORT by BUZZFEED, INC., JASON LEOPOLD. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 08/07/2020)
2020-08-10MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report, Dkt. 16 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before September 4, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 8/10/2020. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 08/10/2020)
2020-08-1017TRANSCRIPT OF TELEPHONIC MOTION HEARING before Judge Randolph D. Moss held on July 8, 2020. Page Numbers: 1 - 39. Date of Issuance: August 10, 2020. Court Reporter: Jeff Hook. Telephone number: 202-354-3373. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased from the court r eporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. NOTICE RE REDACTION OF TRANSCRIPTS: The parties have twenty-one days to file with the court and the court reporter any request to redact personal identifiers from this transcript. If no such requests are filed, the transcript will be made available to the public via PACER without redaction after 90 days. The policy, which includes the five personal identifiers specifically covered, is located on our website at www.dcd.uscourts.gov. Redaction Request due 8/31/2020. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 9/10/2020. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 11/8/2020.(Hook, Jeff) (Entered: 08/10/2020)
2020-08-1018TRANSCRIPT OF TELEPHONIC STATUS CONFERENCE before Judge Randolph D. Moss held on July 13, 2020. Page Numbers: 1 - 10. Date of Issuance: August 10, 2020. Court Reporter: Jeff Hook. Telephone number: 202-354-3373. Transcripts may be ordered by submitting the Transcript Order Form For the first 90 days after this filing date, the transcript may be viewed at the courthouse at a public terminal or purchased from the cou rt reporter referenced above. After 90 days, the transcript may be accessed via PACER. Other transcript formats, (multi-page, condensed, CD or ASCII) may be purchased from the court reporter. NOTICE RE REDACTION OF TRANSCRIPTS: The parties have twenty-one days to file with the court and the court reporter any request to redact personal identifiers from this transcript. If no such requests are filed, the transcript will be made available to the public via PACER without redaction after 90 days. The policy, which includes the five personal identifiers specifically covered, is located on our website at www.dcd.uscourts.gov. Redaction Request due 8/31/2020. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 9/10/2020. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 11/8/2020.(Hook, Jeff) (Entered: 08/10/2020)
2020-09-0419Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 09/04/2020)
2020-09-0420ANSWER to 15 Amended Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 09/04/2020)
2020-09-05MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report 19 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before October 8, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 09/05/2020. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 09/05/2020)
2020-10-0821Joint STATUS REPORT by BUZZFEED, INC., JASON LEOPOLD. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 10/08/2020)
2020-10-09MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Parties' joint status report, Dkt. 21 , it is hereby ORDERED that Parties shall file a further joint status report on or before November 10, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 10/09/2020. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 10/09/2020)
2020-11-1022Joint STATUS REPORT by BUZZFEED, INC., JASON LEOPOLD. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 11/10/2020)
2020-11-11MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of Parties' joint status report, Dkt. 22 , it is hereby ORDERED that Parties shall file a further joint status report on or before December 11, 2020. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 11/11/2020. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 11/11/2020)
2020-12-1123Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 12/11/2020)
2020-12-12MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report, Dkt. 23 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before January 8, 2021. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 12/12/2020. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 12/12/2020)
2021-01-0824Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 01/08/2021)
2021-01-11MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report, Dkt. 24 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before February 12, 2021. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 01/11/2021. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 01/11/2021)
2021-02-1225Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 02/12/2021)
2021-02-12MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report, Dkt. 25 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before March 12, 2021. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 02/12/2021. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 02/12/2021)
2021-03-1226Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Lynch, Christopher) (Entered: 03/12/2021)
2021-03-14MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' joint status report, Dkt. 26 , it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report on or before April 16, 2021. Signed by Judge Randolph D. Moss on 03/14/2021. (lcrdm1) (Entered: 03/14/2021)
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