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Case TitleCITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv01344
Date Filed2019-05-08
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Reggie B. Walton
PlaintiffCITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON
PlaintiffREPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS in CA 19-2125
Case DescriptionCitizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted FOIA requests to the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development for records concerning the briefing call on international religious freedom held by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 18, 2019. CREW also requested a fee waiver. Both agencies acknowledged receipt of the requests. USAID told CREW that its request did not adequately identify the records sought. CREW agreed to narrow the scope of its request. USAID also told CREW it had place the organization in the news media category, mooting CREW's request for a fee waiver. After hearing nothing further from either agency, CREW filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DefendantU.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Opinion/Order [29]
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-05-081COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-6112069) filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons Attorney General, # 3 Summons U.S. Attorney, # 4 Summons State Department, # 5 Summons U.S. A.I.D.)(Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 05/08/2019)
2019-05-082LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON (Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 05/08/2019)
2019-05-09Case Assigned to Judge Reggie B. Walton. (zeg) (Entered: 05/09/2019)
2019-05-093SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zeg) (Entered: 05/09/2019)
2019-05-294RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/29/19., RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 5/28/2019. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 6/27/2019.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT served on 5/28/2019; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 5/28/2019 (Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 05/29/2019)
2019-05-295GENERAL ORDER FOR CIVIL CASES BEFORE THE HONORABLE REGGIE B. WALTON. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on May 29, 2019. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 05/29/2019)
2019-06-176RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 6/17/2019 (Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 06/17/2019)
2019-06-277ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 06/27/2019)
2019-07-11VACATED AS PER ORDER DATED 7/12/19................ MINUTE ORDER: To ensure the expeditious resolution of this action, and because this qualifies as an exempted case under Local Civil Rule 16.3(b), it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a joint proposed briefing schedule governing the filing of dispositive motions on or before August 8, 2019. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on July 11, 2019. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 07/11/2019)
2019-07-118Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 07/11/2019)
2019-07-12MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 8 Joint Status Report, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that the United States Department of State (the "State Department") shall complete its search for responsive documents on or before August 22, 2019. It is further ORDERED that the State Department shall make its first production of documents to the plaintiff on or before September 30, 2019, and subsequent productions to the plaintiff every six (6) weeks thereafter. It is further ORDERED that the United States Agency for International Development ("USAID") shall provide its search declaration to the plaintiff on or before August 22, 2019. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall confer regarding USAID's search on or before September 30, 2019. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall file an additional status report on or before October 16, 2019, and every forty-five (45) days thereafter, addressing, inter alia, the status of the processing and production of the plaintiff's FOIA requests. It is further ORDERED that the Court's July 11, 2019 Minute Order is VACATED. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on July 12, 2019. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 07/12/2019)
2019-07-30Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 10/16/2019 (tj) (Entered: 07/30/2019)
2019-08-239NOTICE of Completion of Search by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 08/23/2019)
2019-10-1610Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 10/16/2019)
2019-11-2211Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 11/22/2019)
2020-01-1612Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 01/16/2020)
2020-01-17MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 12 Joint Status Report, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that, on or before February 6, 2020, the parties shall file an additional joint status report proposing a schedule governing further proceedings in this case. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on January 17, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 01/17/2020)
2020-01-17Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 2/6/2020 (hs) (Entered: 01/17/2020)
2020-02-0513Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 02/05/2020)
2020-02-0614ORDER. In accordance with the attached Order, it is hereby ORDERED that the defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment on or before March 12, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the plaintiff shall file its combined opposition to the defendants' motion for summary judgment and cross-motion for summary judgment on or before April 16, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the defendants shall file their combined opposition to the plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment and reply in support of their motion for summary judgment on or before May 7, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the plaintiff shall file its reply in support of its cross-motion for summary judgment on or before May 29, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the parties shall appear before the Court for a status conference on August 31, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., which will serve as a target date for the resolution of the parties' summary judgment motions. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on February 6, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 02/06/2020)
2020-02-06Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Motion for Summary Judgment due by 5/7/2020 Cross Motions due by 4/16/2020. Response to Cross Motions due by 5/7/2020. Reply to Cross Motions due by 5/29/2020. Summary Judgment motions due by 3/12/2020. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 4/16/2020. Reply to. Status Conference set for 8/31/2020 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 26A before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 02/06/2020)
2020-02-1215NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. Case related to Case No. 19-2125. (Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 02/12/2020)
2020-02-2716ORDER. See attached Order for details. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on February 27, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 02/27/2020)
2020-03-0917NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal re U.S. Agency for International Development & Count 2 of Complaint (Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 03/09/2020)
2020-03-09MINUTE ORDER. In light of plaintiff Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington's 17 Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal of Count 2, it is hereby ORDERED that Count 2 of the Complaint, Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. v. U.S. Dep't of State, Civ. Action No. 19-1344, ECF No. 1, is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on March 9, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 03/09/2020)
2020-03-1218MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Declaration of Eric F. Stein)(Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 03/12/2020)
2020-04-1619Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, # 2 Statement of Facts and Response to Defendant's Statement of Facts, # 3 Declaration of Lin Weeks, # 4 Text of Proposed Order)(Townsend, KatieLynn) (Entered: 04/16/2020)
2020-04-1620Memorandum in opposition to re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment (see Docket Entry No. 19 to view attachments, including Response to Defendant's Statement of Material Facts, Declaration of Lin Weeks, and Exhibits A through T) filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. (Townsend, KatieLynn) (Entered: 04/16/2020)
2020-04-2921Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Hudak, Brian) (Entered: 04/29/2020)
2020-04-30MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the defendant's 21 Consent Motion for an Extension of Time, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that the defendant shall file its combined opposition to the plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment and reply in support of its motion for summary judgment on or before July 7, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the plaintiffs shall jointly file their reply in support of their cross-motion for summary judgment on or before July 29, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for August 31, 2020, is CONTINUED to December 4, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on April 30, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 04/30/2020)
2020-05-01Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Response to Cross Motion due by 7/7/2020. Reply to Cross Motion due by 7/29/2020. Reply to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 7/7/2020. Status Conference reset for 12/4/2020 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 16 before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 05/01/2020)
2020-07-0622Consent MOTION to Modify the Briefing Schedule by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 07/06/2020)
2020-07-07MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the defendant's 22 Consent Motion to Modify the Briefing Schedule, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that the defendant shall file its combined opposition to the plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment and reply in support of its motion for summary judgment on or before July 15, 2020. It is further ORDERED that the plaintiffs shall jointly file their reply in support of their cross-motion for summary judgment on or before August 10, 2020. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on July 7, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 07/07/2020)
2020-07-07Set/Reset Deadlines: Response to Cross Motion due by 7/15/2020. Reply in support of its Cross Motion due by 8/10/2020. (hs) (Entered: 07/07/2020)
2020-07-1523RESPONSE re 19 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts (Def.'s Response), # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 07/15/2020)
2020-07-1524REPLY to opposition to motion re 18 MOTION for Summary Judgment , 19 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment OPPOSITION filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration (Second Declaration of Eric F. Stein))(Lyons, Jane) (Entered: 07/15/2020)
2020-08-1025REPLY to opposition to motion re 19 Cross MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. (Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 08/10/2020)
2020-09-1526NOTICE of Appearance by Lin Weeks on behalf of REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (Weeks, Lin) (Entered: 09/15/2020)
2020-11-24MINUTE ORDER. The Court requiring additional time to consider the pending motions for summary judgment in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for December 4, 2020, is CONTINUED to March 5, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on November 24, 2020. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
2020-11-24Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 3/5/2021 at 02:00 PM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 11/24/2020)
2021-02-26MINUTE ORDER. The Court requiring additional time to consider the pending motions for summary judgment in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for March 5, 2021, is CONTINUED to June 4, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on February 26, 2021. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 02/26/2021)
2021-02-26Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 6/4/2021 at 02:00 PM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 02/26/2021)
2021-05-25MINUTE ORDER. The Court requiring additional time to consider the pending motions for summary judgment in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for June 4, 2021, is CONTINUED to September 20, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on May 25, 2021. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 05/25/2021)
2021-05-25Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 9/20/2021 at 02:00 PM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 05/25/2021)
2021-07-1527NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Sus, Nikhel) (Entered: 07/15/2021)
2021-09-13MINUTE ORDER. The Court requiring additional time to consider the pending motions for summary judgment in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for September 20, 2021, is CONTINUED to November 22, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on September 13, 2021. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 09/13/2021)
2021-09-13Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 11/22/2021 at 09:00 AM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 09/13/2021)
2021-11-18MINUTE ORDER. The Court requiring additional time to consider the pending motions for summary judgment in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for November 22, 2021, is CONTINUED to February 25, 2022, at 9:15 a.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on November 18, 2021. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 11/18/2021)
2021-11-18Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference set for 2/22/2022 at 09:15 AM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (adh, ) (Entered: 11/18/2021)
2021-12-01Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 2/22/2022 at 09:15 AM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 12/01/2021)
2021-12-01AMENDED....Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 2/25/2022 at 09:15 AM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (hs) (Entered: 12/01/2021)
2022-02-22MINUTE ORDER. The Court requiring additional time to consider the pending motions for summary judgment in this case, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for February 25, 2022, is CONTINUED to May 31, 2022, at 9:15 a.m. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on February 22, 2022. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 02/22/2022)
2022-02-22Set/Reset Hearings: Status Conference reset for 5/31/2022 at 09:15 AM by Telephonic/VTC before Judge Reggie B. Walton. (adh, ) (Entered: 02/22/2022)
2022-03-3128ORDER. For the reasons to be set forth in the Memorandum Opinion to be issued by the Court within the next sixty days, absent extraordinary circumstances, the Court will grant in part and deny in part the defendant's motion for summary judgment and grant in part and deny in part the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the 18 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. It is further ORDERED that the 19 Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. It is further ORDERED that this Order is not a final Order subject to appeal. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on March 31, 2022. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 03/31/2022)
2022-05-25MINUTE ORDER. In light of the Court's March 31, 2022 28 Order, it is hereby ORDERED that the status conference currently scheduled for May 31, 2022, is VACATED. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on May 25, 2022. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 05/25/2022)
2022-06-0229MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on June 2, 2022. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 06/02/2022)
2022-06-0230ORDER. In accordance with the Memorandum Opinion issued on this same day, it is hereby ORDERED that the 18 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. The motion is DENIED as it relates to (1) the individual whose name is withheld from the release of the chain of emails depicted in Exhibit F to the Weeks Declaration, (2) the withholding of former Deputy Secretary Sullivan's email address domain, and (3) the withholding of Department employee Schachter's personal email address domain. The motion is GRANTED in all other respects. It is further ORDERED that the 19 Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. The motion is GRANTED as it relates to (1) the individual whose name is withheld from the release of the chain of emails depicted in Exhibit F to the Weeks Declaration, (2) the withholding of former Deputy Secretary Sullivan's email address domain, and (3) the withholding of Department employee Schachter's personal email address domain. The motion is DENIED in all other respects. It is further ORDERED that, on July 18, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., the parties the parties shall appear before the Court for a status conference, via teleconference, by calling 1-877-873-8017 and entering the Court's access code (8583213) followed by the pound key (#). Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on June 2, 2022. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 06/02/2022)
2022-06-1331Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs by CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, REPORTERS COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Weeks, Lin) (Entered: 06/13/2022)
2022-06-14MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the 31 Plaintiffs' Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that the motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that, on or before August 29, 2022, the plaintiffs shall file their motion for attorney's fees and costs. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on June 14, 2022. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 06/14/2022)
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