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Case Name Electronic Frontier Foundation v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence NS-CA-0018
Docket / Court 3:08-cv-01023-JSW ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters
Case Summary
On February 20, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, claiming that ... read more >
On February 20, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, claiming that the defendants "wrongfully withheld agency records requested by Plaintiff by failing to comply with the statutory time limit for processing FOIA requests." The plaintiff, represented by attorneys from EFF, asked the court for injunctive relief.

Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that the government agreed to expedite plaintiff's FOIA request but ultimately refused to process the request and disclose any information. On December 21, 2007, the plaintiff had issued a request for materials concerning exchanges that Justice Department officials had with members of Congress or agents of telecommunications companies concerning amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), "including any discussion of immunizing telecommunications companies or holding them otherwise unaccountable for their role in government surveillance activities." Soon after, plaintiff formally requested that defendants expedite each request because of an "urgency to inform the public." The government granted the expedite request, but no documents were released, which led to this lawsuit.

On April 4, 2008, the district court (Judge Jeffrey S. White) granted a preliminary injunction requiring defendants to expedite the plaintiff's FOIA request. On September 24, 2009, the court denied summary judgment for defendants and granted summary judgment for the plaintiff under FOIA Exemption 6. The defendants appealed part of the summary judgment motion.

On April 20, 2010, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Michael D. Hawkins) affirmed in part, reversed in part, and vacated and remanded in part the district court's order. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the plaintiffs with respect to the release of names and email addresses under FOIA Exemption 6, reversed as to email address that exposed identities. The court vacated, however, the district court's denial of summary judgment for the defendants and granted summary judgment for the plaintiff as to FOIA Exemptions 3 and 5. The case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings.

Following the remand, the parties arranged for certain documents to be disclosed to the plaintiff. Those disclosures have been uploaded to the plaintiff's website and are made available below as well. After these disclosures were made, the plaintiff filed a stipulation of dismissal. On September 29, 2010, the district court dismissed this case with prejudice.

Neil Tiwari - 10/11/2016
MJ Koo - 03/23/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Plaintiff Description Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that was denied information relating to FISA amendments.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:08−cv−01023−JSW (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Relief [With Civil Cover Sheet and Summons Attached] [ECF# 1]
NS-CA-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/20/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Injunction (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0018-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/04/2008
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order denying defendant's motion for summary judgment and granting plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment [ECF# 90] (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0018-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/24/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 111] (639 F.3d 876)
NS-CA-0018-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/09/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal and Order Thereon [ECF# 121] (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0018-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2010
Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Hawkins, Michael Daly (Ninth Circuit)
NS-CA-0018-0002 | NS-CA-0018-0003
Spero, Joseph C. (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-9000
White, Jeffrey Steven (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-0005 | NS-CA-0018-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hofmann, Marcia (California)
NS-CA-0018-0001 | NS-CA-0018-0003 | NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-9000
Sobel, David L. (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0018-0001 | NS-CA-0018-0003 | NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berman, Marcia (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0018-0003 | NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-9000
Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0018-0003 | NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-9000
Warden, Andrew Irwin (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0018-0003 | NS-CA-0018-0004 | NS-CA-0018-9000

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