University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Associated Press v. Federal Bureau of Investigation NS-DC-0105
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-1850 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On September 16, 2016, The Associated Press, Gannett Satellite Information Network LLC, and Vice Media, LLC filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), ... read more >
On September 16, 2016, The Associated Press, Gannett Satellite Information Network LLC, and Vice Media, LLC filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 552, et seq. The plaintiffs sought to compel the FBI to provide records about the publicly acknowledged purchase of a tool allowing the government access to the phone of one of the perpetrators of the mass killings in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015. '

The defendant completed document review through January, 2017 to determine whether FOIA exemptions would apply to the documents. On January 30, 2017, the defendant moved for summary judgment citing to various exemptions to have the claim dismissed. The plaintiffs cross-moved for summary judgment on February 20, 2017.

The Court (Judge Tanya S. Chutkan) granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on September 30, 2017. Plaintiff sought the identity of the vendor who unlocked the phone and the purchase price of the vendor. The Court found the defendant properly invoked exemption 1 (information specifically authorized to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy by an Executive Order), exemption 3 (information exempted by statute), and exemption 7 (information compiled for law enforcement purposes). However, the Court found Exemption 4 (trade secret and commercial or financial information) did not apply. 265 F. Supp. 3d 82.

The docket was last updated on September 30, 2017.

Carolina Velarde - 10/10/2016
Cade Boland - 03/19/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Courts
Records Disclosure
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Public (for-profit) corporation
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Investigation
Plaintiff Description News Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 2016
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:16-cv-01850-TSC (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0105-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-DC-0105-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Opinion [ECF# 22] (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0105-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chutkan, Tanya Sue (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0105-0002 | NS-DC-0105-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Jay Ward (District of Columbia)
NS-DC-0105-0001 | NS-DC-0105-9000
Kutner, Jeremy Alexander (New York)
NS-DC-0105-0001

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