University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Electronic Privacy Information Center v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security NS-DC-0125
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00545 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On March 8, 2018 the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Freedom of Information Act. The complaint alleged that the defendant had failed to respond to EPIC’s 201 ... read more >
On March 8, 2018 the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Freedom of Information Act. The complaint alleged that the defendant had failed to respond to EPIC’s 2016 FOIA request for information about the Department’s use of drones in the United States for domestic surveillance. The plaintiff requested that the court order DHS to release the requested information and pay appropriate attorneys fees. The case was assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

DHS began searching its documents after the complaint, but a status report filed on May 9, 2019 by EPIC alleged that DHS was unnecessarily slowing down the search for documents. EPIC stated that DHS promised to complete the search for documents 45 days after the complaint, but once it failed, they kept moving the deadline for completing the search back 45 more days. EPIC added that an "error with its search tasker" prevented DHS from completing the search at the time of filing the status update. DHS acknowledged the error in a status report filed on the same day, but noted that many DHS component agencies had completed their searches and were beginning to disclose requested documents to EPIC.

In response to these status reports, Judge Jackson issued an order obligating DHS to complete its search by June 12, 2019 and setting a reviewing schedule of 300 pages per month by July 29, 2019. He issued this order on May 13.

In a June 17, 2019 status report, DHS said that its search was complete, but potentially relevant documents were still being uploaded to DHS servers. DHS wrote that this process should take a few days, but promised to adhere to the production schedule set in the May 13 order.

The case was reassigned to Judge Carl J. Nichols on June 24, 2019.

According to a March 9, 2020 status report, the parties had successfully completed document production without the need to go to the court to contest the withholding of any documents. The parties negotiated a private agreement on attorney fees later in the year, and submitted a stipulation of dismissal on May 12, 2020. The case is now closed.

Sarah Reasoner - 02/04/2019
Ellen Aldin - 06/23/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interest research organization in Washington, DC dedicated to privacy issues.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 03/08/2018
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:18-cv-00545 (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0125-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/12/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-DC-0125-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Status Report [ECF# 22]
NS-DC-0125-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Status Report [ECF# 23]
NS-DC-0125-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 24] (D.D.C.)
NS-DC-0125-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Jackson, Ketanji Brown (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0004
Nichols, Carl John (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Butler, Alan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0001 | NS-DC-0125-0002 | NS-DC-0125-9000
Rotenberg, Marc (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0001 | NS-DC-0125-0002 | NS-DC-0125-9000
Scott, Jeramie D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0001 | NS-DC-0125-0002 | NS-DC-0125-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Coles-Huff, Doris Denise (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-9000
Liu, Jessie K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0003
Van Horn, Daniel F (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0003
Walker, Johnny Hillary III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-DC-0125-0003 | NS-DC-0125-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -