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Case Name Raimondo v. Federal Bureau of Investigation NS-CA-0020
Docket / Court 3:13-cv-02295-JSC ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) National Security
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU of Northern California
Case Summary
On May 21, 2013, director and editors of Antiwar.com filed this suit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sought disclosure of records ... read more >
On May 21, 2013, director and editors of Antiwar.com filed this suit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sought disclosure of records maintained by the FBI regarding a 2004 threat assessment conducted by the FBI regarding this website. Represented by private counsels and ACLU of Northern California, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The plaintiffs separately filed requests with the FBI seeking expungement of all FBI records that describe each plaintiff’s exercise of First Amendment rights. In August 2013, the FBI responded that maintenance of records regarding the plaintiffs was proper under Section 552a(j)(2) of the Privacy Act. The plaintiffs appealed this decision and the FBI responded that because the matter was subject to judicial review, the appeal had been administratively closed. The plaintiffs also appealed the denial of the expungement request and sought amendment of any records that pertain to individual plaintiffs that were inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely, or incomplete. The FBI denied the appeal because the matter was currently subject to judicial review.

On May 1, 2014, the plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint alleging four claims for relief, including two new claims under the Privacy Act.

On November 12, 2015, FBI filed a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs filed a cross-motion on December 17, 2015. On May 10, 2016, the Magistrate Judge Jacqueline S. Corley entered an order regarding the cross-motions for summary judgments. The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs’ third and fourth claims for relief under Sections (e)(7) and (d)(2) of the Privacy Act that the FBI must expunge or correct the memos. The court denied without prejudice both parties’ motions for summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ first and second claims for relief regarding disclosure under FOIA and Privacy Act claims. 2016 WL 2642038.

On January 23, 2017, after four years of extensive litigation, the parties stipulated a proposed settlement agreement. On the same day, Magistrate Judge Corley granted the agreement. The settlement required the defendant to produce relevant information to the plaintiffs to satisfy its obligation under the FOIA. The parties stipulated to dismiss all FOIA claims, with the exception of attorney’s fees.

On February 10, 2017, the parties entered into a further stipulation of settlement agreement to propose that they will (1) either file a stipulation of settlement and dismissal as to the plaintiffs’ claim for attorney’s fees pursuant to FOIA or (2) propose a briefing schedule with respect to the attorney’s fees to the court by April 14, 2017. The court granted further stipulation on February 13, 2017.

On July 18, 2017, the court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration regarding their Privacy Act claims and allowed the plaintiffs to bring claims under the Privacy Act based on newly produced documents. 2017 WL 3035157.

On October 5, 2017, the defendant filed a second motion for summary judgment. On October 26, the plaintiffs also filed a second cross-motion for summary judgment. On January 12, 2018, having considered the parties’ briefs and oral argument, the court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs’ cross-motion. 2018 WL 398236.

On March 14, 2018, the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (USCA Case Number 18-15416). In the Court of Appeals, the parties exchanged briefs and multiple institutions filed amici briefs. Oral argument took place on June 12, 2019 before a three-judge panel consisting of Judge A. Wallace Tashima, Judge William A. Fletcher, and Judge Marsha S. Berzon.

On September 11, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order affirming in part and reversing in part the trial court's judgment. 937 F.3d 1284. The Ninth Circuit held that unless a record is pertinent to an ongoing authorized law enforcement activity, an agency may not maintain it under Section (e)(7) of the Privacy Act. The Ninth Circuit held that the FBI had not met its burden of demonstrating that the one memo, the 2004 Memo, was pertinent to an ongoing law enforcement activity, it must be expunged. However, another memo, the Halliburton Memo, need not be expunged because the FBI had met its burden to prove that it was pertinent to ongoing law enforcement activities.

On November 20, 2019, Judge Corley of the Northern District of California issued an amended final judgment ordering the FBI to expunge from its records the 2004 threat assessment memo. With this final order, the case closed.

Susie Choi - 03/23/2017
Sichun Liu - 05/26/2019
Rebecca Fisher - 03/22/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Confidentiality
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) FBI
Plaintiff Description The plaintiffs are editorial director and managing editor who work for online magazine Antiwar.com, an anti-interventionist website that publishes news and opinion articles about U.S. foreign and military policy.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU of Northern California
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Document/information produced
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 05/21/2013
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Raimondo v. FBI
Knight First Amendment Institute
Date: 2019
By: Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University (Columbia University)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Raimondo v. FBI (Internet Free Speech)
ACLU
Date: Aug. 27, 2018
By: ACLU Northern California
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
11/20/2019
3:13-cv-02295-JSC
NS-CA-0020-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
05/21/2013
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 et seq. and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a et seq. [ECF# 1-1]
NS-CA-0020-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
05/01/2014
First Amended and Supplemental Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5. U.S.C. § 552 et seq. and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a et. seq. [ECF# 28-1]
NS-CA-0020-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
05/10/2016
Order Re: Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment [ECF# 90] (2016 WL 2642038)
NS-CA-0020-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
01/23/2017
Order [ECF# 101]
NS-CA-0020-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
02/13/2017
Order [ECF# 104]
NS-CA-0020-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
02/15/2017
Order Granting Plaintiffs Leave to File Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 105]
NS-CA-0020-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
01/12/2018
Order Re: Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment [ECF# 122]
NS-CA-0020-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
01/12/2018
Judgment [ECF# 123]
NS-CA-0020-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
09/12/2019
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 57] (937 F.3d 1284)
NS-CA-0020-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
11/20/2019
[Joint] Amended Final Judgment [ECF# 141]
NS-CA-0020-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Berzon, Marsha Siegel (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0009
Corley, Jacqueline Scott (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0002 | NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-0005 | NS-CA-0020-0007 | NS-CA-0020-0008 | NS-CA-0020-0010 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Fletcher, William A. (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0009
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0009
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bluth, Andrew (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-0006
Degner, Marley Freeman (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0001 | NS-CA-0020-0006 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Hurtado, Laura Christine (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0001 | NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-0006 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Loran, Thomas V. III (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0001 | NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-0006 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Lye, Linda (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0001 | NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-0006 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Mass, Julia Harumi (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0001 | NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-0006 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Talla, Vasudha (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0010 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, David Lloyd (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0010
Falk, Rebecca Ann (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004 | NS-CA-0020-9001
Stretch, Brian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004
Tse, Alex G. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0003 | NS-CA-0020-0004
Wang, Jennifer S. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CA-0020-0010 | NS-CA-0020-9001

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