Case: El Masri v. Tenet

1:05-cv-01417 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Filed Date: Dec. 6, 2005

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 6, 2005, a German citizen of Lebanese descent filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, under Bivens and the Alien Tort Statute, against the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and three corporations. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, claimed that he was illegally detained as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program, tortured, and subjected to other inhumane treatment that violated his rights under the …

On December 6, 2005, a German citizen of Lebanese descent filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, under Bivens and the Alien Tort Statute, against the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and three corporations. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, claimed that he was illegally detained as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program, tortured, and subjected to other inhumane treatment that violated his rights under the Constitution and international law. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that, while travelling in Macedonia, he was detained by Macedonian law enforcement officials; after twenty-three days in Macedonian custody, he was handed over to CIA operatives, who flew him to a CIA-operated detention facility near Kabul, Afghanistan; he was held in this CIA facility until May 28, 2004, when he was transported to Albania and released in a remote area; and Albanian officials then picked him up and took him to an airport in Albania, from which he travelled to his home in Germany. The plaintiff also alleged that he had been beaten, drugged, bound, and blindfolded during transport; confined in a small, unsanitary cell; interrogated several times; and consistently prevented from communicating with anyone outside the detention facility, including his family or the German government.

The United States intervened as a defendant in the district court, asserting that El-Masri's civil action could not proceed because it posed an unreasonable risk that privileged state secrets would be disclosed that would hurt national security. On March 13, 2006, the Government. filed a motion to dismiss or in alternative a motion for summary judgment.

The plaintiff countered that the state secrets doctrine did not necessitate dismissal of his complaint, primarily because CIA rendition operations, including El-Masri's alleged rendition, had been widely discussed in public forums. In support of this contention, a human rights adviser to the American Civil Liberties Union filed a sworn declaration in the district court, dated April 7, 2006, in which he asserted that United States officials--including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, and Directors Tenet and Goss--had publicly acknowledged that the United States had conducted renditions.

On May 12, 2006, Judge T.S. Ellis held that the Government's claims of state secret privilege was valid. Given the application of the privilege to this case, Judge Ellis granted the U.S.'s motion to dismiss because the plaintiff's claims and the Government's defenses could not be fairly litigated without disclosure of state secrets. El-Masri v. Tenet, 437 F. Supp. 2d 530 (E.D. Va. 2006).

The plaintiff appealed this decision. On March 2, 2007, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court. In an opinion by Judge Robert King, the Fourth Circuit wrote that it recognized the "gravity" of the conclusion that the plaintiff must be denied a judicial forum for his complaint, and reiterated "past observations that dismissal on state secrets grounds is appropriate only in a narrow category of disputes." Nonetheless, the Fourth Circuit held that it was "plain" that this matter "fell squarely within that narrow class." El-Masri v. United States, 479 F.3d 296, 313 (4th Cir. 2007).

Summary Authors

Jessica Kincaid (6/16/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4654849/parties/el-masri-v-tenet/


Judge(s)

Duncan, Allyson Kay (North Carolina)

Ellis, Thomas Selby III (Virginia)

King, Robert Bruce (South Carolina)

Shedd, Dennis W. (South Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Corcoran, M. Evan (District of Columbia)

Glasberg, Victor Michael (Virginia)

Mason, Mary Hampton (District of Columbia)

Rowley, John P (District of Columbia)

White, David Hugh (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barghaan, Dennis C. (Virginia)

Judge(s)

Duncan, Allyson Kay (North Carolina)

Ellis, Thomas Selby III (Virginia)

King, Robert Bruce (South Carolina)

Shedd, Dennis W. (South Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Corcoran, M. Evan (District of Columbia)

Glasberg, Victor Michael (Virginia)

Mason, Mary Hampton (District of Columbia)

Rowley, John P (District of Columbia)

White, David Hugh (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barghaan, Dennis C. (Virginia)

Sher, R. Joseph (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:05-cv-01417

Docket

El-Masri v. Tenet

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

Docket
51

1:05-cv-01417

Order [Granting Motion to Dismiss]

El-Masri v. Tenet

437 F.Supp.2d 530

May 12, 2006

May 12, 2006

Order/Opinion

06-01667

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

479 F.3d 296

March 2, 2007

March 2, 2007

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4654849/el-masri-v-tenet/

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

Summons Issued and given to attorney for service by SPS as to George J. Tenet, Premier Executive Transport Services, Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC, Aero Contractors Limited. (nhall, )

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

PACER
1

COMPLAINT against George J. Tenet, Premier Executive Transport Services, Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC, Aero Contractors Limited Filing fee $250, receipt number 100 184624, filed by Khaled El-Masri.(nhall, )

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

PACER
2

Financial Interest Disclosure Statement (Local Rule 7.1) by Khaled El-Masri. (nhall, )

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

PACER
3

ORDER granting appearance Pro hac vice of Melissa Goodman Filing fee $ 50, receipt number 100 184625. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 12/6/05. (nhall, )

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

PACER
4

ORDER granting appearance Pro hac vice of Benjamin Wizner Filing fee $ 50, receipt number 100 184625. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 12/6/05. (nhall, )

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

PACER
5

ORDER granting appearance Pro hac vice of Ann Beeson Filing fee $ 50, receipt number 100 184625. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 12/6/05. (nhall, )

Dec. 6, 2005

Dec. 6, 2005

PACER
6

Summons Returned Unexecuted as to Aero Contractors Limited. (pmil)

Dec. 9, 2005

Dec. 9, 2005

PACER

ALIAS Summons Issued as to Aero Contractors Limited for service by SPS. (pmil)

Dec. 13, 2005

Dec. 13, 2005

PACER
7

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC served on 12/12/2005, answer due 1/2/2006. (pmil)

Dec. 16, 2005

Dec. 16, 2005

PACER
8

AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE/SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Premier Executive Transport Services served on 12/12/2005, answer due 1/3/2006. (pmil)

Dec. 30, 2005

Dec. 30, 2005

PACER

Reset Deadlines: Premier Executive Transport Services answer due 2/24/2006; Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC answer due 2/24/2006; Aero Contractors Limited answer due 2/24/2006. (pmil)

Jan. 3, 2006

Jan. 3, 2006

PACER
9

STIPULATION Regarding Extention of time for Defts' to answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint until and including 02/24/06 by Khaled El-Masri, Premier Executive Transport Services, Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC, Aero Contractors Limited. (pmil)

Jan. 3, 2006

Jan. 3, 2006

PACER
10

AFFIDAVIT of Victor M. Glasberg, counsel for Khaled El-Masri re: summons served incorrectly and request for alias summons to be re-issued to be re-served. (pmil)

Jan. 5, 2006

Jan. 5, 2006

PACER

ALIAS Summons Issued for service by Certified Mail as to George J. Tenet. (pmil)

Jan. 6, 2006

Jan. 6, 2006

PACER

So Ordered: re: 9 Stipulation that defts shall have until and including 02/24/06 to answer or otherwise respond to the complaint filed by Khaled El-Masri, Premier Executive Transport Services, Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC, Aero Contractors Limited. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 01/06/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

Jan. 6, 2006

Jan. 6, 2006

PACER
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed as to Aero Contractors Limited served on 12/21/2005. (pmil)

Jan. 9, 2006

Jan. 9, 2006

PACER
12

(COPY)ALIAS SUMMONS Returned Executed by George J. Tenet. Mary Hampton Mason, Trial Atty., U.S. Dept. of Justice, accepting service as of 01/12/06 on behalf of deft George J. Tenet, answer due 3/13/2006. (pmil) Modified on 1/18/2006 to edit text (pmil).

Jan. 17, 2006

Jan. 17, 2006

PACER
13

AGREED ORDER that Defts will respond to the Complaint by 03/13/06; In the event that one or more motions to dismiss are filed by Defts, Pltf's answer will be due on 04/11/06; In the event that one or more motions to dismiss are filed by Defts, Defts' optional replies will be due on 04/25/06; In the event that one or more motions to dismiss are filed by Defts, Defts will notice their motions for hearing on 05/05/06; the above deadlines may be modified by the Court on motion of a party for good cause. (see Order for details) Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 02/15/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

Feb. 15, 2006

Feb. 15, 2006

PACER
14

MOTION for an Immediate Stay of All Proceedings by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
15

REQUEST for Disposition Without Oral Hearing by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
16

Memorandum in Support of [14] MOTION for an Immediate Stay of All Proceedings and [15] Request for Disposition Without Oral Hearing filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
17

STATEMENT OF INTEREST, ASSERTION OF A FORMAL CLAIM OF STATE SECRETS PRIVILEGE by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
18

REQUEST for Expedited Consideration by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
19

MOTION for Substitution of Counsel John P. Rowley III in place of David White by Premier Executive Transport Services. (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
20

ORDER that John P. Rowley, III is named counsel of record for Premier Executive Transportation Services, Inc., and replacing David H. White as counsel of record for that party in the above entitled case effective as of the date this Order signed. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/08/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

March 8, 2006

March 8, 2006

PACER
21

ORDER that the United States' [14] Motion for Immediate Stay of Proceedings is GRANTED and accordingly proceedings, including discovery in this matter are STAYED until further Order of the Court; the United States' [15] Request for disposition of the privilege claim without oral hearing is GRANTED (see Order for details). Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/09/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

March 9, 2006

March 9, 2006

PACER
22

NOTICE of Appearance by M. Evan Corcoran on behalf of Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC (klau, )

March 10, 2006

March 10, 2006

PACER
23

MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to [1] Complaint by George J. Tenet. (pmil)

March 10, 2006

March 10, 2006

PACER
24

MOTION for Enlargement of Time to Respond to Complaint by Premier Executive Transport Services, Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC, Aero Contractors Limited. (pmil)

March 10, 2006

March 10, 2006

PACER
25

MOTION to Intervene by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006

PACER
26

Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of [25] MOTION to Intervene filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006

PACER
27

MOTION to Dismiss by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006

PACER
28

MOTION for Summary Judgment by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006

PACER
29

Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of [27] MOTION to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, [28] MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006

PACER
30

NOTICE OF SUBMISSION pursuant to Local Rule 7(J) by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA re: [28] MOTION for Summary Judgment, [25] MOTION to Intervene, [27] MOTION to Dismiss (pmil)

March 13, 2006

March 13, 2006

PACER

So Ordered: re: 24 MOTION for Enlargement of Time to Respond to Complaint filed by Premier Executive Transport Services, Keeler & Tate Management Group, LLC, Aero Contractors Limited. In the event the motion of the United States for a stay of all proceedings is denied by this Court, Defts will have 20 days after such denial within which to respond to the Complaint. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/14/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

March 14, 2006

March 14, 2006

PACER
31

ORDER granting [23] Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to the Complaint; Deft Tenet's time to respond to the Complaint in this case is extended until such time as this Court rules upon the United States' assertion of the state secrets privilege. In the event it becomes necessary for deft Tenet to respond to the complaint, he shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this Court's ruling on the United States' privilege assertion to file his response. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/14/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

March 14, 2006

March 14, 2006

PACER
32

ORDER for Pro hac vice as to Andrew G. McBride; Filing fee $ 50.00, receipt number 100 186615. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/14/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

March 14, 2006

March 14, 2006

PACER
33

MOTION for Reconsideration of [21] Order of 03/09/06 Granting the United States' Request for Disposition without Oral Hearing by Khaled El-Masri. (pmil)

March 16, 2006

March 16, 2006

PACER
34

Memorandum in Support of [33] MOTION for Reconsideration of [21] Order of 03/09/06 Granting the United States' Request for Disposition Without Oral Hearing filed by Khaled El-Masri. (pmil)

March 16, 2006

March 16, 2006

PACER
35

DECLARATION of Ben Wizner in Support of [33] MOTION for Reconsideration of [21] Order of 03/09/06 by Khaled El-Masri. (pmil)

March 16, 2006

March 16, 2006

PACER

Per 03/21/06 Order Reset Deadlines as to 27 MOTION by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to Dismiss. Motion Hearing set for 5/12/2006 at 02:00 PM before District Judge T. S. Ellis III. (stas)

March 21, 2006

March 21, 2006

PACER
36

ORDER granting in part and denying in part [33]MOTION by Khaled El-Masri for Reconsideration of [21] Order of 03/09/06 Granting the United States' Request for Disposition without Oral Hearing. It is GRANTED insofar as oral argument on the motion to dismiss may be allowed insofar as it relates to the appropriate remedy in the event the invocation of the state secrets privilege is held valid. It is DENIED insofar as the Court will not entertain oral argument on the validity of the Director Goss's invocation of the state secrets privilege. It is further ORDERED that oral argument on the United States' motion to dismiss in the event privilege is held valid is SCHEDULED for 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 12, 2006. (See order for details). Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/21/06. Copies sent: yes. (stas)

March 21, 2006

March 21, 2006

PACER
37

ORDER that the [25] MOTION by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to Intervene is GRANTED. (See order for details). Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/21/06. Copies sent: yes. (stas)

March 21, 2006

March 21, 2006

PACER
38

AGREED ORDER that in the event that the United States' motion to intervene is granted, pltf's answer to the Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment will be due on April 11, 2006; The United States' optional reply will be due on April 25, 2006; Entry of this Order is without prejudice to pltf's pending Motion for Reconsideration of this Court's Order Granting the United States' Request for Disposition Without Oral Hearing; The above deadlines may be modified by the Court on motion of a party for good cause. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 03/21/06. Copies sent: yes.(stas)

March 21, 2006

March 21, 2006

PACER
39

DECLARATION of Ben Wizner in Support of Pltf Khaled El-Masri's Motion for Reconsideration (pmil)

March 21, 2006

March 21, 2006

PACER
40

NOTICE OF IN CAMERA SUBMISSION by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA that the Court has received delivery of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency's classified declaration, for the Court's own in camera, ex parte consideration (pmil)

March 23, 2006

March 23, 2006

PACER
41

MOTION to Exceed Page Limit for Pltf's Opposition to United States' Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment by Khaled El-Masri. (pmil)

April 5, 2006

April 5, 2006

PACER
42

ORDER that Pltf's Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to the United States' Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment, may be up to 40 pages in length. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 04/05/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

April 5, 2006

April 5, 2006

PACER
43

Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to the United States' [27] MOTION to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, [28] MOTION for Summary Judgment, filed by Khaled El-Masri. (pmil)

April 11, 2006

April 11, 2006

PACER
44

DECLARATION of Manfred Gnjidic in Support of Pltf's [43] Memorandum in Opposition to the United States' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. (LARGE PLEADING - BINDED) (pmil)

April 11, 2006

April 11, 2006

PACER
45

DECLARATION of Khaled El-Masri in Support of Pltf's [43] Memorandum in Opposition to the United States' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. (LARGE PLEADING - BINDED) (pmil)

April 11, 2006

April 11, 2006

PACER
46

DECLARATION (together w/Documentary Appendix (1 LARGE BLACK BINDER)) of Steven Macpherson Watt in Support of Pltf's [43] Memorandum in Opposition to the United States' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. (LARGE PLEADING - BINDED) (pmil)

April 11, 2006

April 11, 2006

PACER
47

UNOPPOSED MOTION by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for Extension of Time to File Its Reply Memorandum re: [27] MOTION by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to Dismiss and [28] MOTION by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for Summary Judgment. (stas)

April 20, 2006

April 20, 2006

PACER
48

ORDER granting [47] Motion for an Extension of Time to File a Reply Memorandum and the US may have to and including 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 04/28/06 within which to file. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 04/21/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

April 21, 2006

April 21, 2006

PACER
49

REPLY MEMORANDUM in Support of Sustaining the Claim of State Secrets Privilege and the United States' [27] MOTION to Dismiss filed by George J. Tenet, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (pmil)

April 28, 2006

April 28, 2006

PACER

Reset Deadlines as to 27 MOTION to Dismiss. Motion Hearing set for 5/12/2006 10:00 AM before District Judge T. S. Ellis III. (clar, )

May 9, 2006

May 9, 2006

PACER
50

ORDER that the hearing on the United States' motion to dismiss, originally scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Friday, 05/12/06, is RESCHEDULED for 10:00 a.m., Friday, 05/12/06. Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 05/09/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil)

May 9, 2006

May 9, 2006

PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge T. S. Ellis III: Motion Hearing held on 5/12/2006 re: 27 MOTION to Dismiss filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, or in the alternative, 28 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Appearances: Sher/Backholds for USA (Intervenor); Glasberg/Wizner/Beeson/Gauter/Goodman/Glenberg for Pltff. Heard and T.U.A. (Court Reporter Rodriquez.) (tbul, )

May 12, 2006

May 12, 2006

PACER
51

ORDER, for the reasons stated from the Bench, that the United States' claim of the state secrets privilege is VALID; given the application of the privilege to this case, the United States' [27] Motion to Dismiss must be, and hereby is, GRANTED. (see Order for details) Signed by Judge T. S. Ellis III on 05/12/06. Copies mailed: yes (pmil) Additional attachment(s) added on 5/18/2006 (pmil, ).

May 12, 2006

May 12, 2006

RECAP
52

NOTICE OF APPEAL as to [51] Order dated 5/12/06, by Khaled El-Masri. Filing fee $ 455, receipt number 100 188397. Copy sent to USCA. Copy sent to parties. (nmck, ) Modified on 6/5/2006 to add receipt #(nmck, ).

June 5, 2006

June 5, 2006

PACER

USCA Case Number 06-1667 as to 52 Notice of Appeal filed by Khaled El-Masri. (pmil)

June 15, 2006

June 15, 2006

PACER
53

TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on 05/12/06 before Judge T.S. Ellis, III. Court Reporter: Michael Rodriquez. (pmil)

June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

PACER
54

Certificate of Completion re [52] Notice of Appeal: (nmck, )

June 24, 2006

June 24, 2006

PACER
55

Opinion of USCA (Copy) decided 3/2/07 re [52] Notice of Appeal, Affirmed, attached copy of judgment will not take effect until issuance of the mandate. (nmck, )

March 5, 2007

March 5, 2007

PACER
56

USCA JUDGMENT as to [52] Notice of Appeal filed by Khaled El-Masri, in accordance with the written opinion of this court filed this day, the court affirms the judgment of the district court. A certified copy of this judgment will be provided to the district court upon issuance of the mandate. The judgment will take effect upon issuance of the mandate. (mandate issued) (nmck, )

April 26, 2007

April 26, 2007

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Virginia

Case Type(s):

National Security

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 6, 2005

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A German citizen of Lebanese who was illegally detained as part of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Central Intelligence Agency, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1350

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Confinement/isolation

Excessive force

Over/Unlawful Detention

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern