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Case TitleUS Right to Know v. United States Department of State
DistrictNorthern District of California
CitySan Francisco
Case Number3:2020cv08415
Date Filed2020-11-30
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeMagistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero
PlaintiffUS Right to Know a California Non-Profit Corporation
Case DescriptionUS Right to Know submitted a FOIA request to the Department of State for records concerning communications involving a list of agency senior officials and search terms related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. USRTK also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request and told USRTK that the request would be put in the complex track for processing. After hearing nothing further from the agency, USRTK filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Public Interest Fee Waiver, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Department of State
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
User-contributed Documents
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2020-11-301COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0971-15251900.). Filed byUS Right to Know. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet)(Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-302Proposed Summons. (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-303Proposed Summons. (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-304Proposed Summons. (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-305Statement (Corporate Disclosure) by US Right to Know. (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-306Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 12/14/2020. (mbcS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-307Summons Issued as to United States Department of State, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachments: # 1 Summons of US Attorney General, # 2 Summons of US Attorney)(arkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-11-308Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 2/26/2021. Initial Case Management Conference set for 3/5/2021 02:00 PM in San Francisco, - Videoconference Only. (arkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/30/2020) (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-12-109CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by US Right to Know.. (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 12/10/2020) (Entered: 12/10/2020)
2020-12-1710CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by US Right to Know (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 12/17/2020) (Entered: 12/17/2020)
2020-12-17Electronic filing error . Incorrect event used for Summons Returned Executed. [err101]This filing will not be processed by the clerks office.Please re-file in its entirety. Re: 10 Certificate of Service filed by US Right to Know (arkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/17/2020) (Entered: 12/17/2020)
2020-12-1811SUMMONS Returned Executed (FOIA) by US Right to Know. All Defendants. (Beaton, Laura) (Filed on 12/18/2020) (Entered: 12/18/2020)
2020-12-3012NOTICE of Appearance by Laurel H. Lum (Lum, Laurel) (Filed on 12/30/2020) (Entered: 12/30/2020)
2020-12-3013STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint filed by United States Department of State. (Lum, Laurel) (Filed on 12/30/2020) (Entered: 12/30/2020)
2021-01-0414CLERK'S NOTICE Re: Consent or Declination: Defendant shall file a consent or declination to proceed before a magistrate judge. Note that any party is free to withhold consent to proceed before a magistrate judge without adverse substantive consequences. The forms are available at: (Party/parties were also notified via telephone or email.) Consent/Declination due by 1/19/2021. (klhS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/4/2021) (Entered: 01/04/2021)
2021-01-0415ORDER, signed 1/4/2021, by Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero granting 13 Stipulation RE: Extension of Time to Answer. (klhS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/4/2021) (Entered: 01/04/2021)
2021-01-0816CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by United States Department of State.. (Lum, Laurel) (Filed on 1/8/2021) (Entered: 01/08/2021)
2021-01-1517Defendant's ANSWER to Complaint byUnited States Department of State. (Lum, Laurel) (Filed on 1/15/2021) (Entered: 01/15/2021)
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by FOIA Project Staff
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