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Case TitleNatural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
DistrictSouthern District of New York
CityFoley Square
Case Number1:2020cv07703
Date Filed2020-09-18
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Valerie E. Caproni
PlaintiffNatural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
Case DescriptionThe Natural Resources Defense Council submitted a FOIA request to the FDA for records concerning the NRDC's petitions to ban pesticides. NRDC also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request. The agency responded to part of the request. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency, NRDC filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Vaughn index, Fees, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. Food and Drug Administration
DefendantAll Defendants
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Documents
Docket
Complaint
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2020-09-181COMPLAINT against U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Filing Fee $ 400.00, Receipt Number ANYSDC-21731107)Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc...(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 09/18/2020)
2020-09-182CIVIL COVER SHEET filed..(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 09/18/2020)
2020-09-183FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT PLEADING - SUMMONS REQUEST PDF ERROR - REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to U.S. Food and Drug Administration, re: 1 Complaint. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc...(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) Modified on 9/21/2020 (pc). (Entered: 09/18/2020)
2020-09-184MOTION for Gonzalo E. Rodriguez Gonzalez to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-21731214. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit Affidavit Rodriguez, # 2 Exhibit Standing Certificate Rodriguez, # 3 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order Rodriguez).(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 09/18/2020)
2020-09-18>>>NOTICE REGARDING PRO HAC VICE MOTION. Regarding Document No. 4 MOTION for Gonzalo E. Rodriguez Gonzalez to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-21731214. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff . The document has been reviewed and there are no deficiencies. (aea) (Entered: 09/18/2020)
2020-09-21***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING PARTY MODIFICATION. Notice to attorney Gonzalo E Rodriguez Gonzalez. The party information for the following party/parties has been modified: Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The information for the party/parties has been modified for the following reason/reasons: party role was entered incorrectly;. (pc) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-21***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING DEFICIENT REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS. Notice to Attorney Gonzalo E Rodriguez Gonzalez to RE-FILE Document No. 3 Request for Issuance of Summons. The filing is deficient for the following reason(s): Party name on summons must exactly match;. Re-file the document using the event type Request for Issuance of Summons found under the event list Service of Process - select the correct filer/filers - and attach the correct summons form PDF. (pc) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-21CASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Valerie E. Caproni. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned District Judge, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/judges/district-judges . Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. Please download and review the ECF Rules and Instructions, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/rules/ecf-related-instructions . .(pc) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-21Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave is so designated. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 636(c) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b)(1) parties are notified that they may consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Parties who wish to consent may access the necessary form at the following link: https://nysd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/AO-3.pdf . (pc) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-21Case Designated ECF. (pc) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-215REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to U.S. Food and Drug Administration, re: 1 Complaint. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc...(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-216ORDER FOR ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE granting 4 MOTION for Gonzalo E. Rodriguez Gonzalez to Appear Pro Hac Vice. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 9/21/2020) (jca) (Entered: 09/21/2020)
2020-09-227NOTICE OF INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: In light of the COVID-19 situation, the Court will conduct the Initial Pretrial Conference ("IPTC") in accordance with Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on November 6, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. by teleconference. At the scheduled time, counsel for all parties should call 888-363-4749, Access code 3121171#, Security code 7703. Counsel should submit their proposed case management plan and joint letter as outlined below. This Court encourages plaintiffs to serve defendants promptly. The parties are directed to submit a joint letter of no more than five pages by October 29, 2020, addressing the following in separate paragraphs: as set forth herein. Plaintiff's counsel, or the defendant's counsel in removed cases, is responsible for distributing copies of this Notice to all parties. And as set forth herein. SO ORDERED., ( Telephone Conference set for 11/6/2020 at 11:30 AM before Judge Valerie E. Caproni.) Initial Conference set for 11/6/2020 at 11:30 AM before Judge Valerie E. Caproni. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 9/22/2020) (ama) (Entered: 09/22/2020)
2020-09-228ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to U.S. Food and Drug Administration..(dnh) (Entered: 09/22/2020)
2020-09-289RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc...(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 09/28/2020)
2020-10-0510NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Natasha Waglow Teleanu on behalf of U.S. Food and Drug Administration..(Teleanu, Natasha) (Entered: 10/05/2020)
2020-10-1411MOTION for Selena Katherine Kyle to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-22132514. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Affidavit, # 2 Exhibit CA certificate of good standing, # 3 Exhibit IL certificate of good standing, # 4 Exhibit OH certificate of good standing, # 5 Text of Proposed Order).(Kyle, Selena) (Entered: 10/14/2020)
2020-10-14>>>NOTICE REGARDING PRO HAC VICE MOTION. Regarding Document No. 11 MOTION for Selena Katherine Kyle to Appear Pro Hac Vice . Filing fee $ 200.00, receipt number ANYSDC-22132514. Motion and supporting papers to be reviewed by Clerk's Office staff. . The document has been reviewed and there are no deficiencies. (wb) (Entered: 10/14/2020)
2020-10-1512ORDER GRANTING ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE: granting 11 Motion for Selena Katherine Kyle to Appear Pro Hac Vice. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 10/15/2020) (ama) (Entered: 10/15/2020)
2020-10-1913AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE. U.S. Food and Drug Administration served on 9/24/2020, answer due 11/23/2020. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C).(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 10/19/2020)
2020-10-2814ANSWER to 1 Complaint. Document filed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration..(Teleanu, Natasha) (Entered: 10/28/2020)
2020-10-2915JOINT LETTER addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Plaintiff and Defendant dated 10/29/2020 re: Initial Pretrial Conference. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc...(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 10/29/2020)
2020-10-3016MEMO ENDORSEMENT: on re: 15 Letter filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. ENDORSEMENT: The initial pre-trial conference currently scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2020 is hereby adjourned sine die. The parties do not have to submit a proposed case management plan. The parties must submit a joint letter, by no later than Friday, November 13, 2020, updating the Court about the status of the negotiations and whether the parties agreed to a production schedule. If the parties do agree to such a schedule, they should provide a summary of it to the Court. From December 2020 onwards, the parties must submit monthly status reports to the Court on the 15th day of each month, or on the first business day following the 15th of the month, were the 15th to fall on a weekend or holiday. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 10/30/2020) (ama) (Entered: 10/30/2020)
2020-11-1317JOINT LETTER addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Natasha Teleanu and Gonzalo Rodriguez-Gonzalez dated 11/13/2020 re: status update. Document filed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration..(Teleanu, Natasha) (Entered: 11/13/2020)
2020-11-1618MEMO ENDORSEMENT: on re: 17 Letter filed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. ENDORSEMENT: The FDA must complete its search for potentially responsive records in response to categories 1, 3, and 5 of NRDC's FOIA request by January 15, 2021. The FDA's initial production is due no later than February 1, 2021. While the Court recognizes that the FDA has exceeded its statutory response deadline by several months, see 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), given the upcoming holidays and delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional two month extension is not unreasonable. The Court is unlikely to extend these deadlines further. The FDA must provide NRDC with interim Vaughn indices with each production. The Court finds that this course of action is more efficient than having the FDA produce an index at the end of documentproduction, which would require a review of all previous productions. Additionally, Vaughn indices are not limited to the preparation of a government agency's summary judgment motion. As Judge Gardephe found: "Defendant's argument that production of a Vaughn index is premature prior to summary judgment is not persuasive. While some courts have held that the production of a Vaughn index is not required until after dispositive motions are filed, these cases state no rule and other courts have not followed this procedure. Indeed, it is well-established that against the backdrop of the antidelay policy of FOIA, district courts balance the same equities pertinent to the timing of a response to a FOIA document request in their determinations of the appropriate timing of a response to a Vaughn index request." See Brennan Ctr. for Justice at NYU School of Law v. U.S. Dep't of State, 300 F. Supp. 3d 540, 550 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) (internal citations and quotations omitted). The Court encourages the parties to continue to meet and confer with respect to document production in response to category 2. The Court sees no need to enter an order on this matter at this time. The parties should continue to update on this issue in the monthly reports, the first of which is due no later than Tuesday, December 15, 2020. See Dkt. 16. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Valerie E. Caproni on 11/16/2020) (ama) (Entered: 11/16/2020)
2020-11-3019LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motion addressed to Judge Valerie E. Caproni from Natural Resources Defense Council dated 11/30/2020. Document filed by Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc...(Rodriguez Gonzalez, Gonzalo) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
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