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Case Name American Civil Liberties Union of Maine Foundation v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-ME-0002
Docket / Court 2:18-cv-00182-JDL ( D. Me. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:18-cv-00176-JDL  [ 18-176 ]  D. Me.
State/Territory Maine
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
This is one of a pair of lawsuits filed by state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), each relating to two separate Freedom of Information Act requests seeking agency records on immigration enforcement practices in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. (The other case is ... read more >
This is one of a pair of lawsuits filed by state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), each relating to two separate Freedom of Information Act requests seeking agency records on immigration enforcement practices in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. (The other case is IM-ME-0001, American Civil Liberties Union of Maine Foundation v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security.) Both cases were brought in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine; the ACLU sought declaratory and injunctive relief—specifically, the release of documents responsive to each request—as well as attorneys' fees and costs. This action was filed on May 8, 2018 against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agencies U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). (The other had been filed seven days prior and did not include ICE as a defendant.) Both cases were partially coordinated and assigned to District Judge John D. Levy.

The ACLU sent the FOIA request that triggered this case on September 5, 2017 amid reports of substantially increased raids, arrests, and searches by federal immigration authorities in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The request asked for records pertaining to each agency's immigration enforcement practices in the three states, including its communications with local businesses and law enforcement. Two weeks later, according to the ACLU's complaint, DHS delivered its "final response" that contained only one page of data and only responded to arrests made by ICE; the ACLU alleged that DHS failed to search CBP records or otherwise respond to any of the other items of the request, in violation of its legal duties under FOIA. The complaint also said that DHS acknowledged receiving the ACLU's subsequent appeal in February 2018, but failed to issue a notification within 20 days indicating whether it would comply, again in violation of FOIA.

DHS filed its answer on June 18, 2018. It acknowledged receiving the ACLU's September 5 request, but otherwise effectively denied the remaining allegations.

On July 5, 2018, Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III granted the parties' joint motion, in which DHS said that it was in the process of searching for possible additional responsive documents, subject to later status report to be filed by August 17. That report indicated that the defendants had agreed to identify and produce additional responsive documents according to search parameters jointly drafted by the parties.

A second joint status report is scheduled to be filed with the court by October 12, 2018. As of August 22, the case is ongoing.

Jake Parker - 06/19/2018
Alexander Walling - 08/22/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Records Disclosure
Search policies
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) U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-ME-0001 : American Civil Liberties Union of Maine Foundation v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Me.)
Docket(s)
2:18-cv-182 (D. Me.)
IM-ME-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief for Violation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 et seq. [ECF# 1]
IM-ME-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Levy, Jon David (State Supreme Court, D. Me.)
IM-ME-0002-9000
Rich, John H. III Court not on record [Magistrate]
IM-ME-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bissonnette, Gilles R (New Hampshire)
IM-ME-0002-0001 | IM-ME-0002-9000
Bond, Emma E. (Maine)
IM-ME-0002-0001 | IM-ME-0002-9000
Ernst, Lia (Vermont)
IM-ME-0002-0001 | IM-ME-0002-9000
Heiden, Zachary L. (Maine)
IM-ME-0002-0001 | IM-ME-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Concannon, James D. (Maine)
IM-ME-0002-9000
Lizotte, Andrew K. (Maine)
IM-ME-0002-9000

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