Case: ACLU v. NSA

1:16-cv-08936 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Nov. 17, 2016

Closed Date: Dec. 11, 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 11, 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Foundation filed an action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking the processing and release of agency records from the National Security Agency (NSA), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to respond to the plainti…

On November 11, 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Foundation filed an action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking the processing and release of agency records from the National Security Agency (NSA), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to respond to the plaintiffs’ FOIA Request submitted on September 14, 2016, which sought records containing information on the government’s warrantless surveillance programs operated under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The plaintiffs sought an injunction requiring the defendants to process the request immediately and an order enjoining the defendants from assessing fees for this processing. The plaintiffs also requested attorneys’ fees.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that because Congress was considering whether to reauthorize Section 702 when it expired in 2017, the timely disclosure of these records was critical to the public debate about the authority’s lawfulness. Therefore, the plaintiff sought information about the breadth of Section 702 surveillance and its policies and procedures, including the number of communications involving Americans that were subject to surveillance and rules setting the bounds of the surveillance. The plaintiffs specifically requested each individual agency’s current targeting procedures and minimization procedures addressing Section 702 surveillance and its use to investigate or prosecute individual Americans.

On January 13, 2017, the defendants filed an answer to the complaint admitting that they had not completed review of the plaintiffs' request but denying that the plaintiffs were entitled to relief. The defendants asserted that they had exercised due diligence in processing the request and that exceptional circumstances necessitated additional time to process it. Alternatively, the defendants argued that the information requested was exempt in whole or in part under FOIA, and that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the request for relief exceeding FOIA's statutory relief.

On February 8, 2017, Richard M. Berman ordered the defendants to search for, process, and release non-exempt documents and set required release dates. As of September 17, 2017, the defendants had completed their production of partially or fully non-exempt documents in response to the plaintiff’s FOIA request. The parties then began settlement negotiations that involved the plaintiff’s request for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

On December 11, 2017, Judge Berman dismissed this case with prejudice due to a settlement agreement. NSA agreed to pay the plaintiff $11,000; CIA $6,500; National Security Division $6,500; FBI $6,500; and ODNI $4,500. The settlement amount totaled $35,000. The court retained jurisdiction over any issues relating to this order, but the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Sichun Liu (5/23/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13444130/parties/american-civil-liberties-union-v-national-security-agency/


Judge(s)

Berman, Richard M. (New York)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Diakun, Anna Natalia (New York)

Gorski, Ashley (New York)

Attorney for Defendant

Jones, David S (New York)

Onozawa, Tomoko (New York)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:16-cv-08936

Docket [PACER]

American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency

Dec. 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017

Docket
1

1:16-cv-08936

Complaint

American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

Complaint
51

1:16-cv-08936

Stipulation an Order of Settlement and Dismissal

American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency

Dec. 11, 2017

Dec. 11, 2017

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/13444130/american-civil-liberties-union-v-national-security-agency/

Last updated Nov. 12, 2023, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

Complaint

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
1

Complaint

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
1

Complaint

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
2

Civil Cover Sheet

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
3

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
3

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
3

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
4

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
4

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
4

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
5

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
5

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
5

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
6

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
6

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
6

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
7

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
7

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
7

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
8

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
8

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
8

Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
9

Rule 7.1 Corporate Disclosure Statement

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
9

Rule 7.1 Corporate Disclosure Statement

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
9

Rule 7.1 Corporate Disclosure Statement

Nov. 17, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016

PACER
10

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
10

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
10

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
11

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
11

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
11

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
12

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
12

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
12

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
13

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
13

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
13

Summons Issued

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER

Case Opening Initial Assignment Notice

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER

Case Opening Initial Assignment Notice

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER

Case Opening Initial Assignment Notice

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER

Notice to Attorney Regarding Deficient Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER

Notice to Attorney Regarding Deficient Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER

Notice to Attorney Regarding Deficient Request for Issuance of Summons

Nov. 18, 2016

Nov. 18, 2016

PACER
14

Order for Initial Pretrial Conference

Nov. 23, 2016

Nov. 23, 2016

PACER
14

Order for Initial Pretrial Conference

Nov. 23, 2016

Nov. 23, 2016

PACER
14

Order for Initial Pretrial Conference

Nov. 23, 2016

Nov. 23, 2016

PACER
15

Letter

Nov. 28, 2016

Nov. 28, 2016

PACER
15

Letter

Nov. 28, 2016

Nov. 28, 2016

PACER
15

Letter

Nov. 28, 2016

Nov. 28, 2016

PACER
16

~Util - Set Hearings AND Memo Endorsement

Nov. 30, 2016

Nov. 30, 2016

PACER
16

~Util - Set Hearings AND Memo Endorsement

Nov. 30, 2016

Nov. 30, 2016

PACER
16

~Util - Set Hearings AND Memo Endorsement

Nov. 30, 2016

Nov. 30, 2016

PACER
17

Order for Initial Pretrial Conference

Dec. 9, 2016

Dec. 9, 2016

PACER
17

Order for Initial Pretrial Conference

Dec. 9, 2016

Dec. 9, 2016

PACER
17

Order for Initial Pretrial Conference

Dec. 9, 2016

Dec. 9, 2016

PACER
18

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
18

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
18

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
19

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
19

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
19

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
20

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
20

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
20

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
21

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
21

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
21

Affidavit of Service as to USA

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
22

Affidavit of Service Other

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
22

Affidavit of Service Other

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
22

Affidavit of Service Other

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
23

Affidavit of Service Other

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
23

Affidavit of Service Other

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
23

Affidavit of Service Other

Dec. 15, 2016

Dec. 15, 2016

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 19, 2016

Dec. 19, 2016

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 19, 2016

Dec. 19, 2016

PACER
24

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 19, 2016

Dec. 19, 2016

PACER
25

Extension of Time to File Answer

Dec. 20, 2016

Dec. 20, 2016

PACER
25

Extension of Time to File Answer

Dec. 20, 2016

Dec. 20, 2016

PACER
25

Extension of Time to File Answer

Dec. 20, 2016

Dec. 20, 2016

PACER
26

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

PACER
26

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

PACER
26

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

PACER
27

Case Management Plan

Dec. 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

PACER
27

Case Management Plan

Dec. 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

PACER
27

Case Management Plan

Dec. 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

PACER
28

Extension of Time to File Answer

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
28

Extension of Time to File Answer

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
28

Extension of Time to File Answer

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
29

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

Dec. 28, 2016

Dec. 28, 2016

PACER
29

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

Dec. 28, 2016

Dec. 28, 2016

PACER
29

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

Dec. 28, 2016

Dec. 28, 2016

PACER
30

Notice of Appearance

Jan. 9, 2017

Jan. 9, 2017

PACER
30

Notice of Appearance

Jan. 9, 2017

Jan. 9, 2017

PACER
30

Notice of Appearance

Jan. 9, 2017

Jan. 9, 2017

PACER
31

~Util - Set Deadlines/Hearings AND Stipulation and Order

Jan. 11, 2017

Jan. 11, 2017

PACER
31

~Util - Set Deadlines/Hearings AND Stipulation and Order

Jan. 11, 2017

Jan. 11, 2017

PACER
31

~Util - Set Deadlines/Hearings AND Stipulation and Order

Jan. 11, 2017

Jan. 11, 2017

PACER
32

Answer to Complaint

Jan. 13, 2017

Jan. 13, 2017

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- All Matters

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—Foreign Targeting (702, 703, 704)

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 17, 2016

Closing Date: Dec. 11, 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

American Civil Liberties Union

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

National Security Agency, Federal

Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Federal

United States Department of Justice, Federal

Central Intelligence Agency, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 35,000

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Records Disclosure

Search policies

Type of Facility:

Government-run