Case: The New York Times v. United States Department of Justice

1:11-cv-06990 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Oct. 5, 2011

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 5, 2011, the New York Times Company, an American media company, and Charlie Savage, one of its reporters, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552. The plaintiffs sought the release of a report received by congressional intelligence committees from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence on the intelligence collecti…

On October 5, 2011, the New York Times Company, an American media company, and Charlie Savage, one of its reporters, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552. The plaintiffs sought the release of a report received by congressional intelligence committees from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence on the intelligence collection authorities that had been authorized under the US Patriot Act and had been subject to expire before their renewal without amendment. The plaintiffs alleged that they were lawfully entitled to this report under FOIA, that the defendant had wrongfully withheld the entirety of this document for reasons of national security, and that they had exhausted their administrative remedies to obtain this report.

On February 27, 2012, the DOJ filed a motion for summary judgement, arguing that:

1. It had properly withheld the report for reasons of national security under FOIA because public disclosure of the requested report would harm national security by exposing sensitive intelligence sources and methods to adversaries of the United States.

2. It also had properly withheld the report under FOIA as material specifically exempted by certain statutes because the National Security Act of 1947, as amended by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act of 2004, protected intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure.

On March 26, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a cross motion for summary judgment. They argued that:

1. FOIA required the court to engage in a fresh review of the defendant’s decision to withhold the report in its entirety.

2. The defendant had failed to prove that the report was properly classified and thus able to be withheld under FOIA.

3. The possibility that the defendant may be resorting to “secret law” and acting in bad faith, as raised by public statements from two US Senators, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, that the executive branch had misled Congress and the American public about its interpretation of US Patriot Act Section 215, justified the court’s close scrutiny of the defendant’s withholding.

4. The court, at a minimum, should conduct a private review of an unredacted version of the report and order the defendant to release segregable portions of it that describe the defendant’s legal interpretation of US Patriot Action Section 215.

On March 26, 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had previously filed a suit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation to receive this and other reports, filed a motion for partial summary judgment with respect to this report. ACLU v. FBI.

On May 17, 2012, Judge William H. Pauley, having conducted a private review of the requested report, granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment and denied the motions of the plaintiffs and the ACLU for summary judgment and partial summary judgment respectively. He held that the defendant had acted in good faith and properly withheld the report in its entirety because:

1. The report contained “specific descriptions of the manner and means by which the United States Government acquires tangible things for certain authorized investigations pursuant to [US Patriot Act] Section 215” and its disclosure could enable America's adversaries to develop means to degrade and evade the nation's foreign intelligence collection capabilities.

2. Disclosing the reports would reveal and potentially compromise intelligence sources and methods and therefore was barred by the National Security Act of 1947 that protects intelligence sources and methods.

3. There were no segregable portions of the report that the defendant could release because all potentially non-exempt portions of the report are inextricably intertwined with exempt portions. (872 F.Supp. 2d. 309).

The case is closed and is cross referenced to ACLU v. FBI, which is also closed.

Summary Authors

Chris Opila (11/12/2017)

Related Cases

ACLU v. FBI, Southern District of New York (2011)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4349655/parties/the-new-york-times-company-v-united-states-department-of-justice/


Judge(s)

Pauley, William H. III (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abdo, Alex (New York)

Haddad, Richard Inad (New York)

McCraw, David E (New York)

Syed, Nabiha (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)

Clopper, John Dalton (New York)

Daughtry, Emily E. (New York)

Judge(s)

Pauley, William H. III (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abdo, Alex (New York)

Haddad, Richard Inad (New York)

McCraw, David E (New York)

Syed, Nabiha (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)

Clopper, John Dalton (New York)

Daughtry, Emily E. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:11-cv-06990

Docket

The New York Times Co. v. Department of Justice

May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

Docket
1

1:11-cv-06990

Complaint

The New York Times Co. v. Department of Justice

Oct. 5, 2011

Oct. 5, 2011

Complaint
27

1:11-cv-06990

Transcript of Proceedings

The New York Times Co. v. United States Department of Justice

May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012

Transcript
26

1:11-cv-06990

Memorandum & Order

The New York Times Co. v. United States Department of Justice

May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4349655/the-new-york-times-company-v-united-states-department-of-justice/

Last updated June 1, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against United States Department of Justice. (Filing Fee $ 350.00, Receipt Number 18281)Document filed by The New York Times Company, Charlie Savage.(ama) (Entered: 10/06/2011)

Oct. 5, 2011

Oct. 5, 2011

RECAP
2

RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company.(ama) (Entered: 10/06/2011)

Oct. 5, 2011

Oct. 5, 2011

PACER
3

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE of Summons and Complaint. United States Department of Justice served on 10/6/2011, answer due 10/27/2011. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by The New York Times Company; Charlie Savage. (McCraw, David) (Entered: 10/07/2011)

Oct. 7, 2011

Oct. 7, 2011

PACER
4

ORDER FOR INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: Initial Conference set for 11/18/2011 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 11D at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007 before Judge William H. Pauley III. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 10/17/2011) Copies Mailed By Chambers. (mro) (Entered: 10/18/2011)

Oct. 17, 2011

Oct. 17, 2011

PACER
5

ANSWER to 1 Complaint. Document filed by United States Department of Justice.(Clopper, John) (Entered: 11/10/2011)

Nov. 10, 2011

Nov. 10, 2011

PACER
6

AMENDED RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by The New York Times Company.(McCraw, David) (Entered: 11/14/2011)

Nov. 14, 2011

Nov. 14, 2011

PACER
7

SCHEDULING ORDER: (1) The Government's brief in support of its motion for summary judgment in 11 Civ. 6990 and in support of its motion for partial summary judgment in 11 Civ. 7562 shall be filed by February 1, 2012; (2) The New York Times' brief in support of its motion for summary judgment in 11 Civ. 6990 and the ACLU's brief in support of its motion for partial summary judgment in 11 Civ. 7562 shall be filed by February 24, 2012; Oral Argument set for 4/20/2012 at 11:00 AM before Judge William H. Pauley III. Status Report due by 1/13/2012. (3) The Government's reply shall be filed by March 16, 2012; (4) This Court will hear oral argument on April 20, 2012, at 11:00 a.m.; and (5) The parties in 11 Civ. 7562 shall submit a joint status report to the Court by January 13, 2012 or earlier. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 11/18/2011) (ae) (Entered: 11/21/2011)

Nov. 21, 2011

Nov. 21, 2011

PACER
8

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge William H Pauley from John D Clopper dated 1/26/2012 re: Request for the briefing schedule as set forth. ENDORSEMENT: Application granted. The proposed schedule is adopted. (NY Times and ACLUS Cross Motions due by 3/9/2012. Governement's Motion due by 2/22/2012. Government Reply due by 4/6/2012.) (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 1/27/2012) (cd) (Entered: 01/30/2012)

Jan. 27, 2012

Jan. 27, 2012

RECAP
9

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge William H. Pauley, III from John D. Clopper dated 2/1/2012 re: I write respectfully to inform the Court of an error in the Government's January 26, 2012 letter requesting an extension of the briefing schedule in these related cases. I respectfully request that the Court approve the corrected dates, as set forth.ENDORSEMENT: Application granted. The Court adopts the revised scheduled above. ( Cross Motions due by 3/16/2012., Motions due by 2/22/2012., Replies due by 4/6/2012.) (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 2/6/2012) (lmb) (Entered: 02/07/2012)

Feb. 7, 2012

Feb. 7, 2012

PACER
10

MOTION for Summary Judgment. Document filed by United States Department of Justice.(Daughtry, Emily) (Entered: 02/27/2012)

Feb. 27, 2012

Feb. 27, 2012

PACER
11

MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by United States Department of Justice. (Daughtry, Emily) (Entered: 02/27/2012)

Feb. 27, 2012

Feb. 27, 2012

PACER
12

DECLARATION of Mark A. Bradley in Support re: 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by United States Department of Justice. (Daughtry, Emily) (Entered: 02/27/2012)

Feb. 27, 2012

Feb. 27, 2012

PACER
13

NOTICE of Filing of Classified Document re: 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by United States Department of Justice. (Daughtry, Emily) (Entered: 02/27/2012)

Feb. 27, 2012

Feb. 27, 2012

PACER
14

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge William H. Pauley, III from Emily E. Daughtry dated 3/2/201 re: counsel writes to request permission to file a corrected copy of the Unclassified Declaration of Mark A. Bradley on ECF. ENDORSEMENT: Application granted. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 3/5/2012) (djc) Modified on 3/14/2012 (djc). (Entered: 03/06/2012)

March 6, 2012

March 6, 2012

PACER
15

DECLARATION of Mark A. Bradley (Corrected) in Support re: 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by United States Department of Justice. (Daughtry, Emily) (Entered: 03/07/2012)

March 7, 2012

March 7, 2012

PACER
16

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge William H. Pauley, III from Alexander A. Abdo dated 3/16/12 re: Counsel requests a five day extension, from 3/21/12 to 3/26/12, for plaintiffs to file their briefs in support of their cross-motions for summary judgment. ENDORSEMENT: Application granted. So ordered. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 3/19/2012) (mro) (Entered: 03/20/2012)

March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

PACER
17

ENDORSED LETTER: addressed to Judge William H. Pauley from John D. Clopper and Emily E. Daughtry dated 3/22/2012 re: Counsel writes to clarify that, subject to the Court's approval, the parties have agreed that the Government's reply brief in the above referenced cases would be due on Monday, April 16, 2012, not Friday, April 13, 2012. ENDORSEMENT: Application Granted. So Ordered., ( Replies due by 4/16/2012.) (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 3/22/2012) (js) (Entered: 03/23/2012)

March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012

PACER
18

CROSS MOTION for Summary Judgment. Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company.(McCraw, David) (Entered: 03/26/2012)

March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

PACER
19

MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 18 CROSS MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. (McCraw, David) (Entered: 03/26/2012)

March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

RECAP
20

DECLARATION of NABIHA SYED in Support re: 18 CROSS MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. (McCraw, David) (Entered: 03/26/2012)

March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012

RECAP
21

SCHEDULING ORDER: Oral argument is rescheduled to May 4, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 4/16/2012) (mro) (Entered: 04/17/2012)

April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

PACER
22

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge William H. Pauley III from John D. Clopper and Emily Daughtry dated 4/12/12 re: Counsel requests a one week extension, from 4/16/12 to 4/23/12, for the Government to file its reply brief. ENDORSEMENT: Application granted. So ordered. ( Replies due by 4/23/2012.) (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 4/16/2012) (mro) (Entered: 04/17/2012)

April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

PACER
23

REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by United States Department of Justice. (Clopper, John) (Entered: 04/23/2012)

April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

PACER
24

REPLY AFFIDAVIT of Mark Bradley in Support re: 10 MOTION for Summary Judgment.. Document filed by United States Department of Justice. (Clopper, John) (Entered: 04/23/2012)

April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

PACER
25

Letter addressed to Judge William H. Pauley from Emily Daughtry dated 5/8/2012 re: I write respectfully to respond to the Court's request, made at oral argument on May 4, 2012, that the Government submit a letter to the Court providing information as to whether there are written policies regarding the referral of classified information located in response to Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") requests to the Department of Justice's Department Review Committee ("DRC"), and the subsequent withdrawal of such referrals from the DRC at the onset of FOIA litigation. Document filed by United States Department of Justice.(lmb) (Entered: 05/09/2012)

May 9, 2012

May 9, 2012

PACER
26

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: For the foregoing reasons, the New York Times' motion for summary judgment and the ACLU's motion for partial summary judgment are denied. The Government's motions for summary judgment in the New York Times action and for partial summary judgment in the ACLU action are granted.The Clerk of the Court is directed to file this Memorandum & Order in both 11Civ. 6990 and 11 Civ. 7562. The Clerk of the Court is further directed to terminate all pending motions in 11 Civ. 6990 and mark that case closed, and to terminate the motions pending at ECF Nos. 14 and 23 in 11 Civ. 7562. (Signed by Judge William H. Pauley, III on 5/17/2012) (js) (Entered: 05/17/2012)

May 17, 2012

May 17, 2012

RECAP
27

TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings re: ARGUMENT held on 5/4/2012 before Judge William H. Pauley, III. Court Reporter/Transcriber: Andrew Walker, (212) 805-0300. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 6/25/2012. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 7/5/2012. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 8/31/2012.(McGuirk, Kelly) (Entered: 05/30/2012)

May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

RECAP
28

NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT Notice is hereby given that an official transcript of a ARGUMENT proceeding held on 5/4/12 has been filed by the court reporter/transcriber in the above-captioned matter. The parties have seven (7) calendar days to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of this transcript. If no such Notice is filed, the transcript may be made remotely electronically available to the public without redaction after 90 calendar days...(McGuirk, Kelly) (Entered: 05/30/2012)

May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

National Security

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 5, 2011

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

New York Times Company, an America media company, and Charlie Savage, one of its reporters

Plaintiff Type(s):

Closely-held (for profit) corporation

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States Department of Justice (Washington D.C.), Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Records Disclosure