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Case TitleDEGENS v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION et al
DistrictWestern District of Pennsylvania
CityPittsburgh
Case Number2:2020cv00971
Date Filed2020-06-29
Date Closed2021-01-14
JudgeJudge Joy Flowers Conti
PlaintiffANTHONY A. DEGENES
Case DescriptionAnthony Degens filed suit against the FBI for allegedly maintaining inaccurate records that connected him to organized crime. This is not a FOIA suit.
Complaint issues: FOIA not mentioned

DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DefendantDAVID M. HARDY
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Opinion/Order [5]
Opinion/Order [17]
Opinion/Order [39]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Pennsylvania has ruled that Anthony DeGenes failed to state a claim for relief when he sued David Hardy, the head of the FBI's FOIA program, for claiming that the agency did not have any responsive records about him. DeGenes submitted two FOIA requests to the FBI in 2011 for records about an incident when he had a chance encounter at a bar with Joey Bertone, an alleged mobster. As a result of that encounter, DeGenes believed he was the victim of a "defamatory, slander campaign," which made it difficult for him to get a job. He asked the court to appoint an attorney to represent him. The FBI responded to DeGenes' FOIA requests by indicating it found no records. Addressing DeGenes' FOIA claims, the court noted that "to the extent DeGenes is attempting to pursue an action directly under FOIA, it cannot succeed. FOIA claims can only be brought against an agency (i.e., the FBI), and not against a federal employee such as Hardy. Money damages " the relief sought by DeGenes in the complaint " are not recoverable under FOIA." The court also indicated that it "harbors substantial doubts about its jurisdiction over a FOIA claim. There is a distinction between circumstances in which an agency wrongfully withholds documents and circumstances in which no responsive documents exist." The court pointed out that "DeGenes' conclusory, unsupported allegation that responsive records do exist, contrary to defendants' response, does not trigger the court's jurisdiction. DeGenes does not contend that specific records were improperly withheld."
Issues: Litigation - Jurisdiction - Failure to State a Claim
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2020-06-291COMPLAINT against FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DAVID M. HARDY (Filing fee, including Administrative fee, $400, receipt number 24668063297), filed by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet, # 3 Receipt) (jjg) (Entered: 06/30/2020)
2020-06-292MOTION for Service by U.S. Marshal re 1 Complaint, by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (jjg) (Entered: 06/30/2020)
2020-07-073MOTION to Inform the Defendants that they have 90 days to answer re 1 Complaint, filed by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (cel) (Entered: 07/09/2020)
2020-07-154ORDER denying 2 Motion for Service by U.S. Marshal; denying 3 Motion and denying motion to appoint counsel, all without prejudice, as explained in the memorandum opinion. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 7/15/20. (mh) (Entered: 07/15/2020)
2020-07-155MEMORANDUM OPINION re 4 Order on Motion for Service by U.S. Marshal, Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 7/15/20. (mh) (Entered: 07/15/2020)
2020-07-236NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew McHale on behalf of FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (McHale, Matthew) (Entered: 07/23/2020)
2020-07-317MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, filed by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) (McHale, Matthew) (Entered: 07/31/2020)
2020-07-318MOTION to Appoint Counsel by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (plp) (Entered: 07/31/2020)
2020-08-039ORDER granting 7 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer All Defendants. Answer or responsive pleading due by 9/4/20. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 8/3/20. Text-only entry; no PDF document will issue. This text-only entry constitutes the Order of the Court or Notice on the matter. (mh) (Entered: 08/03/2020)
2020-08-0310ORDER denying 8 Motion to Appoint Counsel. Plaintiff did not file an application for IFP status as instructed in the court's order of 7/15/20 and states in the motion that he is able to pay counsel.. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 8/3/20. Text-only entry; no PDF document will issue. This text-only entry constitutes the Order of the Court or Notice on the matter. (mh) (Entered: 08/03/2020)
2020-08-0311NOTICE that instant civil action has been designated for placement into the United States District Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution program. Parties are directed to fully complete the required 26(f) report, which includes the stipulation of selecting an ADR process. Counsel for plaintiff (or in the case of a removal action, counsel for removing defendant) shall make service of the notice on all parties. (cjo) (Entered: 08/03/2020)
2020-08-1012MOTION for Reconsideration re 10 Order on Motion to Appoint Counsel, by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 08/11/2020)
2020-08-1013MOTION for Reconsideration re 10 Order on Motion to Appoint Counsel, by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 08/11/2020)
2020-08-1114MOTION to make sure all of my Court information has access to the Court's Electronic Filing System, by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 08/12/2020)
2020-08-1215RESPONSE to 4 Order, filed by ANTHONY ANGELO DEGENS. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 08/12/2020)
2020-08-2116ORDER denying 12 Motion for Reconsideration ; denying 13 Motion for Reconsideration ; denying as moot 14 Motion re cm/ecf system. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 8/21/20. (mh) (Entered: 08/21/2020)
2020-08-2117MEMORANDUM OPINION re 16 Order on Motion for Reconsideration,, Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 8/21/20. (mh) (Entered: 08/21/2020)
2020-09-0218Response to Order Dated August 21, 2020 by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jd) Modified on 9/2/2020 to correct title of document (jd). (Entered: 09/02/2020)
2020-09-0219Remark: Letter from Plaintiff dated 8/26/2020 (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jd) (Entered: 09/02/2020)
2020-09-0220Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, filed by ANTHONY A. DEGENES by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) (McHale, Matthew) (Entered: 09/02/2020)
2020-09-0321NOTICE of Substitution of Attorney Appearance by Jennifer R. Andrade on behalf of FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. Attorney Matthew McHale terminated. (Andrade, Jennifer) (Entered: 09/03/2020)
2020-09-0322ORDER granting 20 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION answer due 10/19/2020. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 9/3/20. (cjo) (Entered: 09/03/2020)
2020-09-0823MOTION for Reconsideration re 17 Memorandum Opinion by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 09/08/2020)
2020-09-0924MOTION for Reconsideration re 17 Memorandum Opinion by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-09-0925MOTION for Jury Trial by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-09-0926CORRESPONDENCE to the Court by ANTHONY A. DEGENES (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-09-2227SUPPLEMENT by ANTHONY A. DEGENES to 24 Motion for Reconsideration. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 09/23/2020)
2020-09-2328ORDER returning materials not to be filed on CM/ECF to plaintiff and instructing him to not send materials to the judge's chambers. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 9/23/20. (mh) (Entered: 09/23/2020)
2020-09-2929SECOND SUPPLEMENT by ANTHONY A. DEGENES to 24 Motion for Reconsideration. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (plp) (Entered: 09/29/2020)
2020-10-1530EXHIBIT #11 by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 10/15/2020)
2020-10-1931MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, filed by ANTHONY A. DEGENES by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) (Andrade, Jennifer) (Entered: 10/19/2020)
2020-10-2032ORDER GRANTING 31 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. It is hereby ORDERED that Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation shall answer, plead, or otherwise respond to Plaintiffs Complaint on or before November 2, 2020. Signed by Chief Judge Mark R. Hornak on 10/20/20. Text-only entry; no PDF document will issue. This text-only entry constitutes the Order of the Court or Notice on the matter. (bdb) (Entered: 10/20/2020)
2020-10-2333EXHIBIT #12 by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (plp) (Entered: 10/23/2020)
2020-11-0234MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction , MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM or in the Alternative , MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DAVID M. HARDY. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) (Andrade, Jennifer) (Entered: 11/02/2020)
2020-11-0235BRIEF in Support re 34 Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction,, Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim,, Motion for Summary Judgment, filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DAVID M. HARDY. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Michael G. Seidel, Exhibits A-G) (Andrade, Jennifer) (Entered: 11/02/2020)
2020-11-0336ORDER Response/Briefing Schedule re 34 Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction,, Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim,, Motion for Summary Judgment, Plaintiff shall file his Response to the Motions by 12/1/2020 Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 11/3/20. Text-only entry; no PDF document will issue. This text-only entry constitutes the Order of the Court or Notice on the matter. (mh) (Entered: 11/03/2020)
2020-11-1737EXHIBIT #14 by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 11/17/2020)
2020-11-1738EXHIBIT #13 by ANTHONY A. DEGENES. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (jjg) (Entered: 11/17/2020)
2021-01-1439MEMORANDUM OPINION re 34 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM or in the Alternative MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by DAVID M. HARDY, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. In accordance with the foregoing opinion, Defendants motion to dismiss this case 34 will be GRANTED. The complaint will be dismissed with prejudice and without leave to amend and this case will be marked closed. All other pending motions (ECF Nos. 23, 24, 25) will be DENIED AS MOOT. Details more fully stated in the opinion. An appropriate Order will be entered. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 1/14/21. (cjo) (Entered: 01/14/2021)
2021-01-1440ORDER in accordance with the foregoing memorandum opinion 39 , it is hereby ORDERED that defendants motion to dismiss 34 is GRANTED. It is further ordered that the complaint will be dismissed with prejudice and the case will be marked closed. It is further ordered that all remaining motions (ECF Nos. 23 , 24 , 25 ) are DENIED AS MOOT. Signed by Judge Joy Flowers Conti on 1/14/21. (cjo) Modified on 1/14/2021 (cjo). (Entered: 01/14/2021)
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