Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleOdor et al v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
DistrictEastern District of Michigan
CityDetroit
Case Number2:2020cv11198
Date Filed2020-05-14
Date Closed2021-06-09
JudgeDistrict Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III
PlaintiffMaryann Odor
PlaintiffKingsley Ezeokonkwo
PlaintiffChelsea Allise Zuzindlak
Case DescriptionMaryann Odor, Kingsley Ezeokonkwo, and Chelsea Zuzindlak submitted a FOIA request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for records concerning Odor, including her A-file. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request but after hearing nothing further from the agency, Odor and the others filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Opinion/Order [22]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Michigan has ruled that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services properly responded to Maryann Odor's request for her Alien-file. Odor married Kingsley Ezeokonkwo in Texas in 2018 and since that time had applied to USCIS for permanent resident status for herself and her three sons. In April 2020, the agency notified Ezeokonkwo that it intended to deny his petition for permanent resident status for Odor because of inconsistencies with her Nigerian divorce decree. Odor and Ezeokonkwo submitted a FOIA request to USCIS a year earlier for her Alien-file but filed suit after the agency failed to respond within the statutory time limit. In May 2020, the agency disclosed 839 pages in full and 30 pages in part, after determining that any records questioning her Nigerian divorce would be contained in her A-file. Odor and Ezeokonkwo argued that the court should review 54 withheld pages in camera, contending that there was a public interest in disclosure, particularly because the Trump administration seemed so prejudiced against African immigrants. The court rejected the claim, noting that "nothing in the record suggests that any of the withheld documents are in anyway related to policies enacted or enforced during the Trump administration. Instead, it seems as though Plaintiffs are seeking access to the documents to contest their own immigration application " a matter that does not extend to the public at large. Requests made with such a purpose are beyond FOIA's scope."
Issues: Litigation - In camera review
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2020-05-141COMPLAINT filed by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak against All Defendants. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: AMIEDC-7802692 - Fee: $ 400. County of 1st Plaintiff: Out of State - County Where Action Arose: Oakland - County of 1st Defendant: Washington DC. [ Previously dismissed case: No] [ Possible companion case(s): None ] (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit, # 4 Exhibit, # 5 Exhibit) (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-142NOTICE of Appearance by Chelsea A. Zuzindlak on behalf of Kingsley Ezeokonkwo, Maryann Odor. (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-143SUMMONS Issued for *United States Citizenship and Immigration Services* (DAll) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-05-144SUMMONS Issued for the United States Attorney and the Office of the Attorney General. (DAll) (Entered: 05/14/2020)
2020-06-045CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak for USCIS (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 06/04/2020)
2020-06-046CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak for United States Attorney and Office of the Attorney General (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 06/04/2020)
2020-06-197ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Brittany D. Parling appearing on behalf of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (Parling, Brittany) (Entered: 06/19/2020)
2020-06-228STIPULATED ORDER Extending Time to Answer or otherwise Respond to 1 Complaint, ( Response due by 7/20/2020 ). Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar) (Entered: 06/22/2020)
2020-07-169ANSWER to Complaint with Affirmative Defenses by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Parling, Brittany) (Entered: 07/16/2020)
2020-07-1710ORDER Requiring Joint Discovery Plan and Setting Rule 16 Scheduling Conference, ( Scheduling Conference set for 8/26/2020 10:00 AM before District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III ). Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar) (Entered: 07/17/2020)
2020-08-1411DISCOVERY plan jointly filed pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(f) (Parling, Brittany) (Entered: 08/14/2020)
2020-08-19TEXT-ONLY NOTICE: Scheduling Conference on 8/26/2020 is Cancelled re 10 Order, New Notice to Follow. (DPar) (Entered: 08/19/2020)
2020-08-1912NOTICE TO APPEAR BY VIDEO CONFERENCE: Scheduling Conference Reset for 8/26/2020 10:00 AM before District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III . (DPar) (Entered: 08/19/2020)
2020-08-26Minute Entry for proceedings before District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III: Scheduling Conference held on 8/26/2020. (DPar) (Entered: 08/26/2020)
2020-08-2713SCHEDULING ORDER: Dispositive Motion Cut-off set for 10/26/2020 . Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (Refer to image for additional dates) (DPar) (Entered: 08/27/2020)
2020-10-2614MOTION for Summary Judgment by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Declaration of Jill A. Eggleston) (Parling, Brittany) (Entered: 10/26/2020)
2020-11-1615RESPONSE to 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for In Camera Review filed by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit December 10, 2019 interview notice, # 3 Exhibit Handwritten notes for December 10, 2019 interview, # 4 Exhibit Call-in letter for September 5, 2018 interview, # 5 Exhibit Handwritten notes for September 5, 2018 interview, # 6 Exhibit Plaintiff Odor's annotated Form I-485, # 7 Exhibit Call-in letter for April 2, 2019 interview, # 8 Exhibit Declaration of Zainab M. Boxwala, # 9 Exhibit Screenshot of media file released on July 20, 2020) (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 11/16/2020)
2020-11-1916NOTICE by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak of withdrawal of Cross-Motion for In Camera Review . (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 11/19/2020)
2020-11-2017STIPULATED ORDER Regarding Motion to Withdrawal and Briefing Schedule re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment, re 15 Response to Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar) (Entered: 11/20/2020)
2020-11-2018Cross MOTION for Order for In Camera Review by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak. (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 11/20/2020)
2020-12-0419REPLY to Response re 14 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Supplemental Declaration of Jill A. Eggleston) (Parling, Brittany) (Entered: 12/04/2020)
2020-12-0420RESPONSE to 18 Cross MOTION for Order for In Camera Review filed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Parling, Brittany) (Entered: 12/04/2020)
2020-12-1421REPLY to Response re 18 Cross MOTION for Order for In Camera Review filed by Chelsea Allise Zuzindlak. (Zuzindlak, Chelsea) (Entered: 12/14/2020)
2021-06-0922OPINION and ORDER Granting 14 Motion for Summary Judgment; Denying 18 Motion for in Camera Review. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar) (Entered: 06/09/2021)
2021-06-0923JUDGMENT. Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar) (Entered: 06/09/2021)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff
Skip to toolbar