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Case TitleEARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2022cv01500
Date Filed2022-05-27
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
PlaintiffEARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL
Case DescriptionEarthrights International submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Treasury for 2017 records discussing participation in and/or implementation of the extractive industries transparency initiative. Earthrights also requested a fee waiver. The agency acknowledged receipt of the request but decided that any existing responsive records would be at the Department of Defense. Earthrights filed an administrative appeal. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Earthrights filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 22cv1503
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2022-05-271COMPLAINT against U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ADCDC-9267775) filed by EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Related Case Form)(Gutman, Jeffrey) (Entered: 05/27/2022)
2022-05-272NOTICE OF RELATED CASE by EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL. Case related to Case No. 22-1503. (zsb) (Entered: 05/31/2022)
2022-05-313REQUEST FOR SUMMONS TO ISSUE re 1 Complaint filed by EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL. Related document: 1 Complaint filed by EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL. (Attachments: # 1 Summons 2nd summons, # 2 Summons 3rd summons)(Gutman, Jeffrey) (Entered: 05/31/2022)
2022-05-31Case Assigned to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. (zsb) (Entered: 05/31/2022)
2022-05-31NOTICE OF ERROR re 1 Complaint; emailed to jgutman@law.gwu.edu, cc'd 0 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Missing summonses-government. When naming a government agent or agency as a defendant, you must supply a summons for each defendant & two additional summonses for the U.S. Attorney & U.S. Attorney General. Please submit using the event Request for Summons to Issue. (zsb, ) (Entered: 05/31/2022)
2022-06-014NOTICE of Appearance by Michelle C. Harrison on behalf of EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL (Harrison, Michelle) (Entered: 06/01/2022)
2022-06-025ORDER ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES FOR CASES ASSIGNED TO JUDGE COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on 6/2/2022. (DM) (Entered: 06/02/2022)
2022-06-026SUMMONS (1) Issued Electronically as to U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY. (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 06/02/2022)
2022-06-03NOTICE OF ERROR re 3 Request for Summons to Issue; emailed to jgutman@law.gwu.edu, cc'd 1 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Missing summonses-government. When naming a government agent or agency as a defendant, you must supply a summons for each defendant & two additional summonses for the U.S. Attorney & U.S. Attorney General. Please submit using the event Request for Summons to Issue. (zsb, ) (Entered: 06/03/2022)
2022-06-157RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY served on 6/13/2022 (Gutman, Jeffrey) (Entered: 06/15/2022)
2022-06-158RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 6/13/2022. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 7/13/2022. (Gutman, Jeffrey) (Entered: 06/15/2022)
2022-06-159RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 06/13/2022. (Gutman, Jeffrey) (Entered: 06/15/2022)
2022-07-0510NOTICE of Appearance by Thomas Duffey on behalf of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY (Duffey, Thomas) (Entered: 07/05/2022)
2022-07-0611MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint with proposed order by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY. (Duffey, Thomas) (Entered: 07/06/2022)
2022-07-08MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of Defendant's 11 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint. Defendant requests a monthlong extension to answer the 1 Complaint, from July 13, 2022 to August 13, 2022. The Motion indicates that Plaintiff consents only to a two-week extension. Accordingly, Plaintiff shall file its response to the 11 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint on or before July 11, 2022 . Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on July 8, 2022. (lcckk1) (Entered: 07/08/2022)
2022-07-08Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Response due by 7/11/2022. (zalh) (Entered: 07/08/2022)
2022-07-1112RESPONSE TO ORDER OF THE COURT re Order,, of July 8, 2022 filed by EARTHRIGHTS INTERNATIONAL. (Gutman, Jeffrey) (Entered: 07/11/2022)
2022-07-12MINUTE ORDER: Pending before the Court is Defendant's 11 Motion to Extend Defendant's Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint. Defendant asks the Court to extend its deadline to respond to the 1 Complaint from July 13, 2022 to August 10, 2022. In support of that request, counsel for Defendant represents that he (1) was subject to a discovery deadline in an unrelated case on July 8, 2022, (2) has an "extremely busy and active caseload," and (3) has not yet conferred with agency counsel. Defendant has filed an identical motion in a related case before this Court, EarthRights Int'l v. U.S. Dept of the Interior , 22-cv-1503. Plaintiff consents only to a two-week extension. As Plaintiff rightly notes in its 12 Response, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b) permits the Court to grant an opposed extension request only upon a showing of good cause. A heavy caseload is usually insufficient to establish good cause. See Joseph v. Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corp. , 651 F.3d 348, 356 (3d Cir. 2011) (collecting cases). Nevertheless, the Court shall exercise its discretion to grant one extension. Absent truly extraordinary circumstances, no further extensions will be granted. Accordingly, Defendant's 11 Motion to Extend Defendant's Time to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint is reluctantly GRANTED . Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the 1 Complaint on or before August 10, 2022 . Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on July 12, 2022. (lcckk1) (Entered: 07/12/2022)
2022-07-12Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the 1 Complaint on or before 8/10/2022. (dot) (Entered: 07/12/2022)
2022-08-1013ANSWER to Complaint by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY.(Duffey, Thomas) (Entered: 08/10/2022)
2022-08-11MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of Defendant's 13 Answer. Upon review of the 1 Complaint, it appears this case is substantially similar to EarthRights International v. U.S. Department of Treasury , 22cv1503. To avoid duplicative litigation, the parties shall file a joint status report on or before August 18, 2022 indicating whether they consent to consolidating the two actions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42. See United Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs , 383 U.S. 715, 724 (1966) ("joinder of claims, parties[,] and remedies is strongly encouraged" between substantially similar actions). Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 11, 2022. (lcckk1) (Entered: 08/11/2022)
2022-08-11Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/18/2022. (dot) (Entered: 08/12/2022)
2022-08-11Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/18/2022, indicating whether they consent to consolidating the two actions pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42. (dot) (Entered: 08/15/2022)
2022-08-1814Joint STATUS REPORT on consolidation by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY. (Duffey, Thomas) (Entered: 08/18/2022)
2022-08-2315ORDER consolidating cases and ordering parties to submit joint status report. See Order for details. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 23, 2022. (lcckk1) (Entered: 08/23/2022)
2022-08-23Cases Consolidated. Cases 22-1503 have been consolidated with case 22-1500, pursuant to an Order entered 08/23/2022. From this date forward, all pleadings shall be filed ONLY in the lead/earlier case, Civil Action No. 22-1500. The parties are advised NOT to elect the SPREAD TEXT option when filing in ECF, as this will result in repetitive docketing (zjm) (Entered: 08/24/2022)
2022-09-2016Joint STATUS REPORT by U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY. (Duffey, Thomas) (Entered: 09/20/2022)
2022-09-21MINUTE ORDER: The Court is in receipt of the parties' 16 Joint Status Report. In consideration thereof, the parties shall file a joint status report on or before December 19, 2022 addressing the status of productions and, if necessary, another joint status report every ninety days thereafter. Signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on September 21, 2022. (lcckk1) (Entered: 09/21/2022)
2022-09-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 12/19/2022, addressing the status of productions and, if necessary, another joint status report every ninety days thereafter. (dot) (Entered: 09/21/2022)
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