University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name American Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Justice / Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Department of Justice NS-DC-0096
Docket / Court 1:06-cv-00214-RCL ( D.D.C. )
Additional Docket(s) 1:06-cv-96  [ 06-96 ]
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) National Security
Attorney Organization ACLU National (all projects)
Case Summary
This lawsuit is a result of a consolidation of two separate cases.

On January 19, 2006, Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EIPC) first filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5. U.S.C § 552 in the U.S. District ... read more >
This lawsuit is a result of a consolidation of two separate cases.

On January 19, 2006, Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EIPC) first filed a complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5. U.S.C § 552 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. On February 7, 2006, American Civil Liberties Union and American
Civil Liberties Union Foundation (collectively, “the ACLU”) and the National Security Archive Fund filed a complaint against DOJ under FOIA in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. All plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, seeking the immediate release of records requested by the plaintiffs from DOJ, which dealt with the
NSA’s secret surveillance program to intercept, without prior judicial authorization, the telephone and Internet communications of people inside the United States.

The two cases were consolidated on February 9, 2016. See this Order.

On February 16, 2006, the district court (Judge H. Kennedy, Jr.) granted EPIC’s motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered the defendant to complete the processing of EPIC’s December 16, 2005 FOIA requests and produce or identify all responsive records within 20 days of the date of this order. 416 F.Supp.2d 30 (D.D.C. 2006).

The defendant filed a motion to stay the district court’s order, which was granted on March 7, 2006.

On September 15, 2006, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. On October 13, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a memorandum in opposition to the motion.

On September 5, 2007, Judge Kennedy ordered that the defendant’s motion for summary judgment was granted in part, denied in part, and held in abeyance in part, and that the plaintiffs’ motion for in camera review must be denied without prejudice. For the documents that must be released, the defendant must submit to the court a detailed, document-by-document Vaughn index and declarations justifying the various departments’ withholding decisions. 511 F.Supp.2d 56 (D.D.C. 2007) .

On October 19, 2007, the defendant filed a second motion for summary judgment. In December 2007, the plaintiffs filed a memorandum in opposition to the second motion.

On October 31, 2008, Judge Kennedy concluded that the defendant’s renewed motion for summary judgment must be granted in part and denied in part, and that plaintiffs' renewed motion for in camera review must be granted in part and denied in part. Judge Kennedy ordered the defendant to submit ten memoranda of the Office of Legal Counsel (“OLC”) to the court for in camera review to determine the propriety of the DOJ’s withholding of those documents. See 584 F.Supp.2d 65 (D.D.C. 2008).

Litigation continued and on January 14, 2011, the parties jointly stipulated that the defendant would review the OLC memoranda as ordered by the court and disclose any segregable portions. On March 24, 2011, the defendant submitted to the court the portions of two OLC documents.

This case was reassigned to Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

On March 31, 2014, Judge Lamberth granted the defendant’s second motion for summary judgment. The court concluded that the defendant properly decided to withhold ten records under Exemptions One, Three and Five, as each record contains confidential, legal advice protected by attorney-client communications privilege. 2014 WL 1279280.

This case was dismissed with prejudice.

Susie Choi - 04/01/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
General
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Search policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) the United States
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff American Civil Liberties Union is a nationwide, non-profit, nonpartisan 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(4) organization. Plaintiff American Civil Liberties Union Foundation is a separate 26 U.S.C.§ 501(c)(3) organization that educates the public about civil liberties. Plaintiff National Security Archive Fund, Inc. is an independent non-governmental research institute. Plaintiff Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC") is an independent non-profit research center.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National (all projects)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2006
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:06-cv-00214-RCL (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:06-cv-00096-RCL (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
NS-DC-0096-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/07/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 10] (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/09/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 12] (416 F.Supp.2d 30) (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/16/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 34] (511 F.Supp.2d 56) (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/05/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (584 F.Supp.2d 65) (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/31/2008
Order [ECF# 53] (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/18/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum for the Attorney General [ECF# 54-2]
NS-DC-0096-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/21/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum for the Attorney General [ECF# 54-3]
NS-DC-0096-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/21/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 60] (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 89] (2014 WL 1279280) (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/31/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint for Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
NS-DC-0096-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/19/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kennedy, Henry Harold Jr. (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0002 | NS-DC-0096-0003 | NS-DC-0096-0004 | NS-DC-0096-0005 | NS-DC-0096-0006
Lamberth, Royce C. (FISC, D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0096-0007 | NS-DC-0096-0008 | NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abdo, Alex (New York)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Bargzie, Nasrina (California)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Beeson, Ann (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0001 | NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Crump, Catherine (New York)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Fuchs, Meredith (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0001 | NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Goodman, Melissa (New York)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Hofmann, Marcia (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0011 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Jaffer, Jameel (New York)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
McCall, Ginger P. (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-9001
Rotenberg, Marc (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0006 | NS-DC-0096-0011 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Sobel, David L. (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0011 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0001 | NS-DC-0096-0006 | NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Berman, Marcia (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0006 | NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Bhattacharyya, Rupa (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Goldsmith, Jack L III (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-0009
Wolverton, Caroline Lewis (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0096-9000 | NS-DC-0096-9001
Yoo, John C. (California)
NS-DC-0096-0010

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