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Case TitleBUZZFEED INC. v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2019cv03295
Date Filed2019-10-31
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Timothy J. Kelly
PlaintiffBUZZFEED, INC.
Case DescriptionBuzzFeed submitted three FOIA requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for records concerning modification of the Risk Classification Assessment. BuzzFeed also requested a fee waiver. ICE acknowledged receipt of the requests. ICE responded to the first request by providing records redacted under several exemptions. BuzzFeed filed an administrative appeal of that decision which was upheld by the agency. ICE responded to the second request by telling BuzzFeed that records were protected by Exemption 7(E) (investigative methods or techniques). ICE acknowledged receipt of the third request. However, after hearing nothing further from the agency pertaining to any of the requests, BuzzFeed filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantDEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DefendantU.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
Complaint attachment 7
Complaint attachment 8
Complaint attachment 9
Complaint attachment 10
Complaint attachment 11
Complaint attachment 12
Complaint attachment 13
Complaint attachment 14
Complaint attachment 15
Complaint attachment 16
Complaint attachment 17
Complaint attachment 18
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2019-10-311COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number ADCDC-6496820) filed by BUZZFEED INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit G, # 8 Exhibit H, # 9 Exhibit I, # 10 Exhibit J, # 11 Exhibit K, # 12 Exhibit L, # 13 Exhibit M, # 14 Exhibit N, # 15 Exhibit O, # 16 Exhibit P, # 17 Civil Cover Sheet, # 18 Summons)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 10/31/2019)
2019-10-312NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew Topic on behalf of BUZZFEED INC. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 10/31/2019)
2019-10-313LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by BUZZFEED INC. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 10/31/2019)
2019-11-01Case assigned to Judge Timothy J. Kelly. (zmc) (Entered: 11/01/2019)
2019-11-014SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zmc) (Entered: 11/01/2019)
2019-12-135ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT.(Field, Brian) (Entered: 12/13/2019)
2019-12-13MINUTE ORDER: Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. It is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall meet, confer, and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure by December 30, 2019. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/13/2019. (lctjk1) (Entered: 12/13/2019)
2019-12-16VACATED PURSUANT TO ORDER FILED 12/17/2019..... MINUTE ORDER: It does not appear from the filings in this case that Plaintiff's counsel is a member of this Court's bar. The Court therefore ORDERS counsel to consult Local Rule 83.2 and proceed accordingly. Failure to comply with the local rules may result in dismissal of the case. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/16/2019. (lctjk1) Modified on 12/18/2019 (zkh). (Entered: 12/16/2019)
2019-12-166RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 11/13/2019. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 12/16/2019)
2019-12-167RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 11/13/2019. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 12/13/2019. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 12/16/2019)
2019-12-17MINUTE ORDER: Upon further review of the District's Bar Member records, it is hereby ORDERED that the Court's December 16, 2019 Minute Order is VACATED. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/17/2019. (lctjk1) (Entered: 12/17/2019)
2019-12-188Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Joint Status Report by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (Field, Brian) (Entered: 12/18/2019)
2019-12-18MINUTE ORDER: It is hereby ORDERED, for good cause shown, that Defendants' 8 Consent Motion for Extension of Time is GRANTED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that the parties shall meet, confer, and file a joint proposed schedule for briefing or disclosure by January 3, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/18/2019. (lctjk1) (Entered: 12/18/2019)
2020-01-039Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 01/03/2020)
2020-01-03MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 9 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by February 3, 2020, and every thirty days thereafter, until the Court orders otherwise. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 1/3/2020. (lctjk1) (Entered: 01/03/2020)
2020-02-0310Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 02/03/2020)
2020-03-0311Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 03/03/2020)
2020-04-0312Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 04/03/2020)
2020-05-0413Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 05/04/2020)
2020-06-0314Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 06/03/2020)
2020-07-0215Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 07/02/2020)
2020-08-0316Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 08/03/2020)
2020-09-0217Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 09/02/2020)
2020-10-0218Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 10/02/2020)
2020-11-0219Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 11/02/2020)
2020-11-03MINUTE ORDER: In light of the parties' 19 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that the parties shall file a further joint status report by December 2, 2020. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 11/3/2020. (lctjk1) (Entered: 11/03/2020)
2020-12-0220Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Field, Brian) (Entered: 12/02/2020)
2020-12-03MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 20 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that summary judgment briefing shall proceed according to the schedule proposed by the parties: Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by February 2, 2021; Plaintiff shall file its cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to Defendants' motion by March 2, 2021; Defendants shall file any reply in support of their motion and opposition to Plaintiff's cross-motion by April 2, 2021; and Plaintiff shall file any reply in support of its motion by April 23, 2021. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/3/2020. (lctjk1) (Entered: 12/03/2020)
2021-02-0221MOTION for Summary Judgment by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts, # 3 Declaration)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 02/02/2021)
2021-03-0222Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts Counter-Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 03/02/2021)
2021-03-0223Memorandum in opposition to re 21 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Counter-Statement of Facts, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 03/02/2021)
2021-04-0224REPLY to opposition to motion re 21 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Exhibit Wilson Decl.)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 04/02/2021)
2021-04-0225Memorandum in opposition to re 22 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts, # 2 Exhibit Wilson Decl.)(Field, Brian) (Entered: 04/02/2021)
2021-04-2326REPLY to opposition to motion re 22 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 04/23/2021)
2021-05-2627NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Stephanie R. Johnson on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT Substituting for attorney Brian J. Field (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 05/26/2021)
2021-07-1428NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY by BUZZFEED, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 07/14/2021)
2021-08-13MINUTE ORDER granting in part and denying in part Defendants' 21 Motion for Summary Judgment and denying Plaintiff's 22 Motion for Summary Judgment. The parties shall appear on August 31, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. for a telephonic status conference at which the Court will provide reasons for its ruling. The parties shall contact the Courtroom Deputy at (202) 354-3495 at least one business day in advance to make arrangements to participate. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 8/13/2021. (lctjk1) (Entered: 08/13/2021)
2021-08-31Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Timothy J. Kelly: Telephonic Oral Ruling held on 8/31/2021 explaining the reasons for the court's decision in its 8/13/2021 minute order. Joint Status Report due by 9/24/2021. (Court Reporter: Timothy Miller) (zkh) (Entered: 08/31/2021)
2021-09-1429TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL RULING before Judge Timothy J. Kelly held on 8-31-21; Page Numbers: 1-22; Date of Issuance: 9-14-21; Court Reporter: Timothy R. Miller, Telephone Number (202) 354-3111. 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 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 10/5/2021. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/15/2021. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/13/2021.(Miller, Timothy) (Entered: 09/14/2021)
2021-09-2430Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 09/24/2021)
2021-09-27MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 30 Joint Status Report, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' motion for summary judgment shall be due by November 8, 2021; Plaintiff's combined cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to Defendant's motion for summary judgment shall be due by December 8, 2021; Defendants' combined reply in support of their motion for summary judgment and opposition to Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment shall be due by January 7, 2022; and Plaintiff's reply in support of its cross-motion for summary judgment shall be due by February 7, 2022. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 9/27/2021. (lctjk1) (Entered: 09/27/2021)
2021-09-27Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Cross Motion due by 12/8/2021. Defendants' Response to Cross Motion due by 1/7/2022. Plaintiff's Reply to Cross Motion due by 2/7/2022. (zkh) (Entered: 09/27/2021)
2021-11-0231Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to FILE DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT , Consent MOTION to Modify BRIEFING SCHEDULE by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 11/02/2021)
2021-11-03MINUTE ORDER granting Defendants' 31 Consent Motion for An Extension to File Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Modify Briefing Schedule. It is hereby ORDERED, for good cause shown, that Defendants' motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that the following deadlines shall govern the summary judgment briefing schedule in this case: Defendants will file their motion for summary judgment on or before December 8, 2021; Plaintiff will file its combined cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition on or before January 7, 2022; Defendant will file their combined opposition and reply on or before February 7, 2022; and, Plaintiff will file its reply on or before March 9, 2022. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 11/3/2021. (lctjk1) (Entered: 11/03/2021)
2021-11-3032Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to FILE DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT , Consent MOTION to Modify BRIEFING SCHEDULE by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 11/30/2021)
2021-12-01MINUTE ORDER granting Defendants' 32 Consent Motion for Extension of Time to File Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgement and Modify the Briefing Schedule. It is hereby ORDERED that, for good cause shown, Defendants' motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment on or before January 7, 2022; Plaintiff shall file its combined cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition on or before February 7, 2022; Defendants shall file their combined opposition and reply on or before March 9, 2022; and Plaintiff shall file its reply on or before April 8, 2022. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 12/1/2021. (lctjk1) (Entered: 12/01/2021)
2021-12-01Set/Reset Deadlines: Cross Motion due by 2/7/2022. Response to Cross Motions due by 3/9/2022. Reply to Cross Motion due by 4/8/2022. (zkh) (Entered: 12/01/2021)
2022-01-0633Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Defendants Motion for Summary Judgement , Unopposed MOTION to Modify BRIEFING SCHEDULE by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/06/2022)
2022-01-07MINUTE ORDER granting Defendants' 33 Unopposed Motion for an Extension to File Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Modify Briefing Schedule. It is hereby ORDERED, for good cause shown, that Defendants' motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by January 14, 2022; Plaintiff shall file its combined cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition by February 14, 2022; Defendants shall file their combined opposition and reply by March 16, 2022; and Plaintiff shall file its reply by April 15, 2022. Signed by Judge Timothy J. Kelly on 1/7/2022. (lctjk1) (Entered: 01/07/2022)
2022-01-1434MOTION for Extension of Time to FILE DEFENDANTS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT , MOTION to Modify BRIEFING SCHEDULE by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/14/2022)
2022-01-14MINUTE ORDER treating as opposed and granting Defendants' 34 Motion for an Extension to File Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Modify Briefing Schedule. It is hereby ORDERED, for good cause shown, that Defendants' motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that Defendants shall file their motion for summary judgment by January 21, 2022; Plaintiff shall file its combined cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition by February 21, 2022; Defendants shall file their combined opposition and reply by March 23, 2022; and Plaintiff shall file its reply by April 22, 2022. (lctjk1) (Entered: 01/14/2022)
2022-01-2135MOTION for Summary Judgment by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Jeff Wilson)(Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/21/2022)
2022-01-2736Vaughn Index . (Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 01/27/2022)
2022-02-2137Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Statement of Facts Counter Statement of Facts, # 3 Text of Proposed Order)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 02/21/2022)
2022-02-2138Memorandum in opposition to re 35 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Facts Counter Statement of Facts, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 02/21/2022)
2022-03-2339REPLY to opposition to motion filed by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Third Decl. of Jeff Wilson)(Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/23/2022)
2022-03-2340Memorandum in opposition to re 37 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. IMMIGRATION & CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration Third Decl. of Jeff Wilson)(Johnson, Stephanie) (Entered: 03/23/2022)
2022-04-2041ERRATA by BUZZFEED, INC. re 37 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment by BUZZFEED, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support)(Topic, Matthew) Modified text and added docket entry relationship on 4/20/2022 (ztth). (Entered: 04/20/2022)
2022-04-2242REPLY to opposition to motion re 37 Cross MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by BUZZFEED, INC.. (Topic, Matthew) (Entered: 04/22/2022)
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