Case: James Madison Project (Politico) v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

1:17-cv-00388 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: March 3, 2017

Closed Date: July 31, 2018

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 3, 2017, this suit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the James Madison Project and Politico. The suit aimed to shed light on how the Department of Homeland Security implemented President Trump's January 27 Executive Order (EO) 13769, the ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Specifically, plaintiffs sought information about how the Department of Homeland Security coordinated with private and commercial ai…

On March 3, 2017, this suit was filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the James Madison Project and Politico. The suit aimed to shed light on how the Department of Homeland Security implemented President Trump's January 27 Executive Order (EO) 13769, the ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Specifically, plaintiffs sought information about how the Department of Homeland Security coordinated with private and commercial airlines following EO 13769's rollout. The complaint sought an order for the defendants to disclose the requested records in their entirety.

Private counsel represented the plaintiffs. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was assigned to Judge Amit Mehta.

In the complaint, plaintiffs cited the initial chaos caused by the EO 13769 and alleged that, despite the issuance of emergency stays, Customs and Border Protection agents often refused to comply with court orders. Plaintiffs previously submitted FOIA requests to TSA, CBP, ICE, USCIS, and DHS, but had not received a substantive response from any of the agencies. Plaintiffs alleged that they had a legal right to the information sought and that they had exhausted all administrative remedies for obtaining it.

Separately, that same day, the James Madison Project and the executive editor of the Daily Beast filed another FOIA lawsuit seeking intra- and inter-agency communications relating to the scope and operation of the EO. That lawsuit is described here.

On Mar. 6, 2017, the President rescinded the Jan. 27 EO and replaced it with a narrower one, Executive Order 13780.

According to a joint status report filed on Jun. 16, the government was in the process of conducting the requisite search pursuant to FOIA request as of that date. The report stated that DHS, USCIS, and ICE had no responsive records. The report further stated that TSA released some records, and that TSA and CBP may have additional responsive records.

On January 19, 2018, the parties submitted a joint status report stating that "agency components have now completed their processing of Plaintiffs' requests. DHS, USCIS, and ICE located no records responsive to Plaintiffs' FOIA requests. TSA produced 53 pages of responsive records, and CBP produced 29 pages of responsive records. TSA referred certain information from its 53 pages of records to DHS, and that information has now been fully processed." The parties sought further time to decide on whether further issues required briefing. A status report filed on March 20 indicated that DHS was still in the process of fulfilling the request, and that it anticipated completing production of responsive records by August 2018.

A status report filed on May 21, 2018 noted that DHS completed processing the FOIA request and that the parties sought to resolve the matter without further litigation. The plaintiffs stated that they would not challenge the adequacy of DHS' searches. On July 23, the parties filed a status report indicating they were close to finalizing a settlement agreement.

On July 31, 2018, the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Jamie Kessler (6/26/2017)

Virginia Weeks (8/5/2018)

Gabriela Hybel (2/11/2018)

Related Cases

James Madison Project (Daily Beast) v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, District of Columbia (2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4613604/parties/james-madison-project-v-department-of-homeland-security/


Judge(s)

Mehta, Amit Priyavadan (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Moss, Bradley Prescott (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berns, Matthew (District of Columbia)

Tulis, Elizabeth (New York)

Judge(s)

Mehta, Amit Priyavadan (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Moss, Bradley Prescott (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berns, Matthew (District of Columbia)

Tulis, Elizabeth (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:17-cv-00388

Docket [PACER]

James Madison Project v. Department of Homeland Security

July 31, 2018

July 31, 2018

Docket
1

1:17-cv-00388

Complaint

James Madison Project v. Department of Homeland Security

March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

Complaint
8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 8-4, 8-5, 8-6

1:17-cv-00388

FOIA Requests from James Madison Project

James Madison Project v. Department of Homeland Security

May 24, 2017

May 24, 2017

FOIA Request

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4613604/james-madison-project-v-department-of-homeland-security/

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number 0090-4863550) filed by THE JAMES MADISON PROJECT, JOSH GERSTEIN, KEN VOGEL. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Exhibit Rule 7.1 certification, # 3 Summons DHS, # 4 Summons USADC, # 5 Summons USAG)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 03/03/2017)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Rule 7.1 certification

View on PACER

3 Summons DHS

View on PACER

4 Summons USADC

View on PACER

5 Summons USAG

View on PACER

March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

RECAP

Case Assigned to Judge Amit P. Mehta. (zsb)

March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

PACER
2

SUMMONS (3) Issued Electronically as to DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Consent Form)(zsb) (Entered: 03/03/2017)

March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017

PACER
3

NOTICE of Appearance by Matthew Joseph Berns on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 03/23/2017)

March 23, 2017

March 23, 2017

PACER
4

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer re 1 Complaint, by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 03/28/2017)

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

PACER

MINUTE ORDER granting Defendant's 4 Consent Motion for Extension of Time. Defendant's responsive pleading is now due on or before May 12, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/28/2017. (lcapm1)

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Responsive pleading due by 5/12/2017. (zcdw)

March 28, 2017

March 28, 2017

PACER
5

ANSWER to Complaint by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - TSA Request, # 2 Exhibit 2 - CBP Request, # 3 Exhibit 3 - ICE Request, # 4 Exhibit 4 - USCIS Request, # 5 Exhibit 5 - DHS Request)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 05/12/2017)

May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

PACER
6

ORDER: Both a Complaint and an Answer are now before the court in this FOIA case. It is hereby ordered that the parties shall meet and confer and file a Joint Status Report on or before June 16, 2017. See the attached Order for additional details. Signed by Amit P. Mehta on 05/12/2017. (lcapm1) (Entered: 05/12/2017)

May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 6/16/2017. (cdw)

May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

PACER
7

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 06/16/2017)

June 16, 2017

June 16, 2017

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 7 June 16, 2017, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report on or before July 21, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 06/19/2017. (lcapm1)

June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 7/21/2017. (cdw)

June 19, 2017

June 19, 2017

PACER
8

Joint STATUS REPORT by JOSH GERSTEIN, JAMES MADISON PROJECT, KEN VOGEL. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 07/21/2017)

July 21, 2017

July 21, 2017

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 8 July 21, 2017, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report on or before September 5, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 07/25/2017. (lcapm1)

July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 9/5/2017. (cdw)

July 25, 2017

July 25, 2017

PACER
9

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 09/05/2017)

Sept. 5, 2017

Sept. 5, 2017

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 9 September 5, 2017, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report on or before October 5, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 09/06/2017. (lcapm1)

Sept. 6, 2017

Sept. 6, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 10/5/2017. (zcdw)

Sept. 6, 2017

Sept. 6, 2017

PACER
10

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 10/05/2017)

Oct. 5, 2017

Oct. 5, 2017

PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Upon consideration of the parties' 10 October 5, 2017, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report on or before December 18, 2017. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 10/06/2017. (lcapm1)

Oct. 6, 2017

Oct. 6, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 12/18/2017. (zcdw)

Oct. 6, 2017

Oct. 6, 2017

PACER
11

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 12/18/2017)

Dec. 18, 2017

Dec. 18, 2017

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 11 Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report on or before January 19, 2018. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 12/18/2017. (lcapm1)

Dec. 18, 2017

Dec. 18, 2017

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 1/19/2018. (zcdw)

Dec. 18, 2017

Dec. 18, 2017

PACER
12

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Berns, Matthew) (Entered: 01/19/2018)

Jan. 19, 2018

Jan. 19, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 12 Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report on or before March 2, 2018, that updates the court on their efforts to resolve any outstanding issues and, if necessary, proposes a summary judgment briefing schedule. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 01/19/2018. (lcapm1)

Jan. 19, 2018

Jan. 19, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 3/2/2018. (zcdw)

Jan. 19, 2018

Jan. 19, 2018

PACER
13

NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Elizabeth Murray Tulis on behalf of DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Substituting for attorney Matthew J. Berns (Tulis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 02/16/2018)

Feb. 16, 2018

Feb. 16, 2018

RECAP
14

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Tulis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 03/02/2018)

March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 14 March 2, 2018, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report, on or before April 2, 2018, that updates the court on their progress and, if necessary, proposes a briefing schedule for summary judgment. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 03/02/2018. (lcapm1)

March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 4/2/2018. (mac)

March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018

PACER
15

Joint STATUS REPORT by JOSH GERSTEIN, JAMES MADISON PROJECT, KEN VOGEL. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 04/02/2018)

April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 15 April, 2, 2018, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report, on or before April 23, 2018, that updates the court on their progress toward resolving the matter and proposes a briefing schedule, if necessary. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/04/2018. (lcapm1)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 4/23/2018. (zcdw)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
16

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Tulis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 04/23/2018)

April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 16 April, 23, 2018, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report, on or before May 7, 2018, that updates the court on their progress and, if necessary, proposes a briefing schedule for summary judgment. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 04/23/2018. (lcapm1)

April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 5/7/2018. (zcdw)

April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018

PACER
17

Joint STATUS REPORT by JOSH GERSTEIN, JAMES MADISON PROJECT, KEN VOGEL. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 05/10/2018)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 17 May 10, 2018, Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report, on or before May 21, 2018, advising the court whether the parties have resolved all outstanding disputes and, if not, proposing a briefing schedule. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 05/10/2018 (lcapm1)

May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint status report or proposed briefing schedule due by 5/21/2018. (zcdw)

May 10, 2018

May 10, 2018

PACER
18

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Tulis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 05/21/2018)

May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 18 Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report, on or before June 22, 2018, concerning their efforts to resolve this matter, including the issue of attorneys' fees. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 05/21/2018. (lcapm1)

May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 6/22/2018. (zjd)

May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

PACER
19

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Tulis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 06/22/2018)

June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 19 Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report regarding the settlement of attorneys' fees on or before July 23, 2018, unless the parties file a stipulation of dismissal by that date. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 06/24/2018. (lcapm1)

June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 7/23/2018. (zjd)

June 24, 2018

June 24, 2018

PACER
20

Joint STATUS REPORT by DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (Tulis, Elizabeth) (Entered: 07/23/2018)

July 23, 2018

July 23, 2018

PACER

MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the parties' 20 Joint Status Report, the parties are directed to file another Joint Status Report regarding the settlement of attorneys' fees on or before August 1, 2018, unless the parties file a stipulation of dismissal by that date. Signed by Judge Amit P. Mehta on 07/24/2018. (lcapm1)

July 24, 2018

July 24, 2018

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 8/1/2018. (zjd)

July 24, 2018

July 24, 2018

PACER
21

STIPULATION of Dismissal with Prejudice by JOSH GERSTEIN, JAMES MADISON PROJECT, KEN VOGEL. (Moss, Bradley) (Entered: 07/31/2018)

July 31, 2018

July 31, 2018

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Trump Administration FOIA cases

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 3, 2017

Closing Date: July 31, 2018

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The James Madison Project ("JMP") is an organization established in 1998 "to promote government accountability and the reduction of secrecy, as well as [to educate] the public on issues relating to intelligence and national security." Other plaintiffs are senior reporters for Politico.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Department of Homeland Security , Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Document/information produced

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Confidentiality

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Religion discrimination

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Admission - procedure

Asylum - criteria

Asylum - procedure

Border police

Detention - conditions

Detention - criteria

Detention - procedures

Refugees

Status/Classification

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern