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Case Name Crisman v. Department of Justice NS-DC-0091
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-1871 ( D.D.C. )
Additional Docket(s) 11-cv-00658  [ 11-658 ]  District of DC (U.S.)
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On November 19, 2012, an individual plaintiff and National Security Counselors filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Justice, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Department of Homeland Security, and ... read more >
On November 19, 2012, an individual plaintiff and National Security Counselors filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Justice, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), the Privacy Act (collectively “FOIA/PA”), the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act, and the All Writs Act. They sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief. The case was assigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.

The individual plaintiff had been employed as a nurse at the Federal Reserve Board’s headquarters. In 2004, the Miami Field Office of the FBI received a document marked “FISA Alert Report Form” from the Financial Institution Security Association (“FISA”), requesting information on the plaintiff. FBI staff misunderstood the marking, reading “FISA Alert Report Form” to mean “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Alert Form.” Because the document was misinterpreted to be a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act alert, the plaintiff’s name was subsequently added to national and homeland security watchlists, and she was fired. She submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to each of the defendant agencies, seeking records related to FISA alerts and records indicating whether her name appeared on the government’s No Fly List. However, the agencies did not produce responsive documents, and after unsuccessfully filing an earlier lawsuit (Crisman v. DOJ, D.D.C. docket number 11-cv-658), the plaintiffs brought this lawsuit seeking to compel production of documents.

On May 2, 2013, the court ordered the parties to engage in settlement negotiations. On August 15, 2013, the agencies moved for mediation. The following month, the court declined to appoint a mediator.

On December 3, 2013, the agencies filed a motion for summary judgment, indicating that the government agencies had released reasonably segregable materials, conducted reasonable searches, and provided Vaughn indices (declarations explaining the justification for withholding requested documents).

The case was reassigned to District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in June 2014.

On September 18, 2018, the court granted summary judgment to the agencies on most of the issues raised in the complaint. 332 F. Supp. 3d 139. On July 30, 2020, the agencies filed a renewed motion for summary judgment on the remaining issues; as of August 14, 2020, that motion is pending.

Susie Choi - 04/02/2017
Sichun Liu - 05/26/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description A woman who was placed on government watchlists and fired from her job when the FBI misread an acronym.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 11/19/2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:12-cv-1871 (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0091-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-DC-0091-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/19/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 62] (332 F.Supp.3d 139) (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0091-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/18/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 66] (2019 WL 1330587) (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0091-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/25/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Chutkan, Tanya Sue (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0091-0002 | NS-DC-0091-0003 | NS-DC-0091-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers McClanahan, Kelly Brian (Maryland) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0091-0001 | NS-DC-0091-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Field, Brian J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0091-9000
McDaniel, Oliver W. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0091-9000

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