University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Electronic Frontier Foundation v. U.S. Department of Justice NS-CA-0027
Docket / Court 4:16-cv-02041 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On April 19, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization concerned with technology-related civil liberty issues, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) under the ... read more >
On April 19, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization concerned with technology-related civil liberty issues, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552. The EFF sought injunctive relief for the release of any documents relating to DOJ applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) requesting third parties, such as Apple, to provide access to encrypted communications or to provide other types of technical assistance to access private communications. The EFF alleged that despite filing a FOIA request on March 7, 2016, the DOJ failed to respond substantively to the request, continued wrongfully withholding the requested records, and that the EFF had exhausted available FOIA administrative remedies to obtain the documents.

On September 22, 2016, the DOJ filed a motion for partial summary judgment, and on October 13, 2016, the EFF filed a cross-motion for partial summary judgment. On September 29, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. denied without prejudice both the DOJ’s and EFF's motion for summary judgment. Since the parties filed their motions, they had been working cooperatively to process EFF’s FOIA request, and in their most recent status report, the parties indicated that the final batch of documents would be produced by December 14, 2017. Since the parties acknowledged that the scope of their ongoing dispute would be unknown until that time, the court found that the parties’ pending motions for summary judgment were moot.

As of March 2018, the case is ongoing while the parties prepare to refile their motions for summary judgment after processing the latest batch of records.

Lisa Limb - 03/28/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) United States Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization concerned with technology-related civil liberty issues.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
4:16-cv-2041 (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0027-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 [ECF# 1]
NS-CA-0027-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/19/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gilliam, Haywood Stirling Jr. (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0027-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cardozo, Nathan (California)
NS-CA-0027-0001 | NS-CA-0027-9000
Mackey, Aaron David (California)
NS-CA-0027-0001 | NS-CA-0027-9000
Rumold, Mark Thomas (California)
NS-CA-0027-0001 | NS-CA-0027-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berman, Julia Alexandra (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0027-9000
Patton, Rodney (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0027-9000

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