Case: Muslim Advocates v. U.S. Department of State

1:17-cv-02080 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Oct. 5, 2017

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On Oct. 5, 2017, the organizations Muslim Advocates, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs sued the Department of State (DOS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the latter's component U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Plaintiffs are nonprofit organizations promoting civil rights and civil liberties. Ac…

On Oct. 5, 2017, the organizations Muslim Advocates, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs sued the Department of State (DOS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the latter's component U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Plaintiffs are nonprofit organizations promoting civil rights and civil liberties. According to their complaint, they seek information on persons affected by the Trump administration's travel ban, so that they may advise and assist travelers. Plaintiffs noted that, according to both the Executive Orders and the latest Proclamation, CBP is authorized to grant case-by-case waivers for people whom the travel ban would otherwise exclude.

The complaint alleged that on June 27, 2017, plaintiffs had submitted a FOIA request to defendants seeking records created on or after Jan. 27, 2017, concerning the waiver provisions, including:

1. Policies, practices, and procedures that went into effect on or after Jan. 27, 2017, relating to criteria for evaluating individual waiver requests;

2. Policies, practices, and procedures that went into effect on or after Jan. 27, 2017, concerning how officers should determine when a waiver request should be granted;

3. Internal guidance on how to assess when denying an individual's entry "would cause undue hardship" or when "his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest";

4. Processes for accepting and adjudicating waiver requests;

5. The person or office to whom waiver requests should be directed;

6. The number of waiver requests received by defendants or any other DHS component agency;

7. The number of waiver requests granted by defendants or any other DHS component agency, and the reasoning for the grants;

8. The number of waiver requests denied by defendants or any other DHS component agency, and the reasoning for the denials;

9. Any guidance provided to defendants' field personnel regarding the waiver provisions of the Second EO;

10. Any memoranda providing guidance for defendants or any other DHS component agency, on enforcement of the waiver provisions of the Second EO in light of federal court decisions granting preliminary injunctions against the implementation of the EO.

The complaint further alleged that, to date, plaintiffs had not received a substantive response from defendants. Plaintiff sought a disclosure order under FOIA, legal fees, and expedited action.

On Oct. 6, 2017, the case was assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. The parties filed a status report on Feb. 20, 2018, stating that all defendant agencies had initiated searches. Status reports filed in June and October indicated that the government had produced some responsive records and that the review and production of additional records was ongoing.

Document production continued largely without incident in ensuing status reports. However, in early 2020, the State Department reported significant delays in document production due to an inability to access files because of in-person work restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department disclosed this in a June 2, 2020 status report, and the plaintiffs were concerned at the lack of ability to remotely access documents.

Another status report is due on August 3, 2020. The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Ava Morgenstern (4/21/2018)

Virginia Weeks (10/30/2018)

Ellen Aldin (6/9/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6164812/parties/muslim-advocates-v-united-states-department-of-state/


Judge(s)

Chutkan, Tanya Sue (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Azmi, Nimra H. (District of Columbia)

Bergman, Andrew D. (Texas)

Blanchard, Charles (Arizona)

Dillingham, Emily Newhouse (Illinois)

Katskee, Richard B. (District of Columbia)

Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia)

Smith, Johnathan James (District of Columbia)

Weiner, David J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Chutkan, Tanya Sue (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Azmi, Nimra H. (District of Columbia)

Bergman, Andrew D. (Texas)

Blanchard, Charles (Arizona)

Dillingham, Emily Newhouse (Illinois)

Katskee, Richard B. (District of Columbia)

Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia)

Smith, Johnathan James (District of Columbia)

Weiner, David J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia)

Kishore, Deepthy (District of Columbia)

Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia)

Roth, Dena Michal (District of Columbia)

Shapiro, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Muslim Advocates v. United States Department of State

June 2, 2020 Docket
1

Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Muslim Advocates v. United States Department of State

Oct. 5, 2017 Complaint
11

Joint Status Report

Feb. 20, 2018 Other
12

Joint Status Report

April 15, 2018 Pleading / Motion / Brief
35, 35-1

Sixteenth Joint Status Report

June 2, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

Americans United Asks Court To Block Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Today, Americans United and our allies will ask a federal court to block President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 from taking effect until the case we filed challenging the latest ban is decided. <br … Oct. 6, 2017 https://au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/americans-united-asks-court-to-block-trump-s-muslim-ban-30

SPLC sues Trump administration for failing to provide information on Muslim ban waiver process

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)

The SPLC, Muslim Advocates and Americans United for Separation of Church and State jointly filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Trump administration, seeking to compel the release of critically impo… Oct. 6, 2017 https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/10/06/splc-sues-trump-administration-failing-provide-information-muslim-ban-waiver-process

Advocates Sue Trump Administration for Failing to Provide Information on Muslim Ban Waiver Process

Muslim Advocates

No Information on Eligibility or Application Process for Case-by-Case Waivers Has Ever Been Published <br /> <br />Washington, DC – Last night, Muslim Advocates, Americans United for Separation of Ch… Oct. 6, 2017 https://www.muslimadvocates.org/advocates-sue-trump-administration-for-failing-to-provide-information-on-muslim-ban-waiver-process/

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6164812/muslim-advocates-v-united-states-department-of-state/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF against All Defendants (Filing fee $ 400) filed by MUSLIM ADVOCATES, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Civil Cover Sheet, # 6 Summons DEPT OF STATE, # 7 Summons DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, # 8 Summons CUSTOM AND BOARDER PROTECTION, # 9 Summons DOJ, # 10 Summons US ATTORNEY'S OFFICE)(Weiner, David) (Entered: 10/05/2017)

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Exhibit B

View on PACER

3 Exhibit C

View on PACER

4 Exhibit D

View on PACER

5 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

6 Summons DEPT OF STATE

View on PACER

7 Summons DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

View on PACER

8 Summons CUSTOM AND BOARDER PROTECTION

View on PACER

9 Summons DOJ

View on PACER

10 Summons US ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

View on PACER

Oct. 5, 2017 RECAP
2

Corporate Disclosure Statement by AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH, MUSLIM ADVOCATES, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER. (Weiner, David) (Entered: 10/05/2017)

Oct. 5, 2017 PACER

Case Assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (zsb)

Oct. 6, 2017 PACER
3

SUMMONS (5) Issued Electronically as to CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(zsb) (Entered: 10/06/2017)

Oct. 6, 2017 PACER
4

NOTICE of Appearance by Richard B. Katskee on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Katskee, Richard) (Entered: 11/27/2017)

Nov. 27, 2017 PACER
5

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION served on 11/28/2017; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY served on 11/28/2017; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE served on 11/28/2017. (Weiner, David) Modified on 12/4/2017 (znmw). (Entered: 12/01/2017)

Dec. 1, 2017 PACER
6

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed as to the United States Attorney. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney on 11/28/2017. ( Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 12/28/2017.), RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 11/28/2017. (See Docket Entry 5 to view document). (znmw) (Entered: 12/04/2017)

Dec. 1, 2017 PACER
7

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to Respond to Complaint by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kishore, Deepthy) (Entered: 12/22/2017)

Dec. 22, 2017 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Granting 7 Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer. Defendant shall answer or otherwise respond to the complaint by January 26, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 12/26/17. (DJS)

Dec. 26, 2017 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Defendants' answer or otherwise response to the Complaint is now due by 1/26/2018. (jth)

Dec. 27, 2017 PACER
8

ANSWER to 1 Complaint by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE.(Kishore, Deepthy) Modified to add link on 1/29/2018 (znmw). (Entered: 01/26/2018)

Jan. 26, 2018 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Before the Court in this FOIA case are a complaint and an answer. The requirements of LCvR 16.3 and Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil procedure appear to be inapplicable. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties shall meet and confer and propose a schedule for proceeding in this matter. The schedule shall address the status of Plaintiffs' FOIA request, the anticipated number of documents responsive to Plaintiffs' FOIA request, the anticipated date(s) for release of the documents requested by Plaintiffs, whether a motion for an Open America stay is likely in this case, whether a Vaughn index will be required in this case, whether and when either party anticipates filing a dispositive motion, and any other pertinent issues. The parties shall file a joint status report that addresses these issues and that contains a proposed schedule and proposed order not later than 2/20/18. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 1/27/18. (DJS)

Jan. 27, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: The parties shall file a Joint Status Report that contains a proposed schedule and proposed order by 2/20/18. (jth)

Jan. 28, 2018 PACER
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Sirine Shebaya on behalf of All Plaintiffs (Shebaya, Sirine) (Entered: 01/29/2018)

Jan. 29, 2018 PACER
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Johnathan James Smith on behalf of MUSLIM ADVOCATES (Smith, Johnathan) (Entered: 02/02/2018)

Feb. 2, 2018 PACER
11

Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, MUSLIM ADVOCATES, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER. (Weiner, David) (Entered: 02/20/2018)

Feb. 20, 2018 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' Joint Status Report, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another report by April 15, 2018. The parties are reminded that all reports shall be accompanied by a proposed order, unless the court enters an order to the contrary. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 2/26/18. (DJS)

Feb. 26, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Status Report due by 4/15/2018. (tb)

Feb. 27, 2018 PACER
12

Joint STATUS REPORT by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Kishore, Deepthy) (Entered: 04/15/2018)

April 15, 2018 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' joint status report 12, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another joint status report and proposed order by June 3, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 4/20/18. (DJS)

April 20, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report and proposed order due by 6/3/2018.(tb)

April 23, 2018 PACER
13

STATUS REPORT Third Joint Report by AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, MUSLIM ADVOCATES, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER. (Weiner, David) (Entered: 06/03/2018)

June 3, 2018 RECAP
14

NOTICE OF SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL by Dena Michal Roth on behalf of All Defendants Substituting for attorney Deepthy Kishore (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 07/11/2018)

July 11, 2018 PACER
15

Joint STATUS REPORT (Fourth) by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 08/14/2018)

Aug. 14, 2018 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' Joint Status Report 15, a Status Conference is hereby set for 10/5/18 at 2:30 pm in Courtroom 9. The parties shall file another joint report by 9/28/18, along with a PROPOSED ORDER. At that time, if both parties agree that the status conference is unnecessary, the court will cancel the conference. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 8/17/18. (DJS)

Aug. 17, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearings: Joint Status Report due by 9/28/2018. Status Conference set for 10/5/2018 at 02:30 PM in Courtroom 9 before Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. (tb)

Aug. 17, 2018 PACER
16

NOTICE of Change of Address by Johnathan James Smith (Smith, Johnathan) (Entered: 08/20/2018)

Aug. 20, 2018 PACER
17

NOTICE of Change of Address by Sirine Shebaya (Shebaya, Sirine) (Entered: 08/20/2018)

Aug. 20, 2018 PACER
18

NOTICE of Change of Address by Dena Michal Roth (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 09/27/2018)

Sept. 27, 2018 PACER
19

Joint STATUS REPORT (Fifth) by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Roth, Dena) (Entered: 09/28/2018)

Sept. 28, 2018 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' joint status report 19, it is hereby ordered that the status conference previously set for October 5, 2018 is hereby VACATED. The parties shall file another joint status report and proposed order by October 26, 2018. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/3/18. (DJS)

Oct. 3, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 10/26/2018. (tb)

Oct. 4, 2018 PACER
20

Joint STATUS REPORT by AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, MUSLIM ADVOCATES, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Weiner, David) (Entered: 10/26/2018)

Oct. 26, 2018 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Having considered the parties' joint status report 20, it is hereby ordered that the parties shall file another joint report by 11/29/18 and every 60 days thereafter. To the extent the parties propose a briefing schedule, the report shall include a proposed order. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 10/29/18. (DJS)

Oct. 29, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status Report due by 11/29/2018. (tb)

Oct. 30, 2018 PACER
21

Joint STATUS REPORT (Seventh) by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 11/29/2018)

Nov. 29, 2018 PACER
22

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to file Joint Status Report by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 01/28/2019)

Jan. 28, 2019 PACER

MINUTE ORDER: Granting 22 Motion for Extension of Deadlines. Joint Status report due February 4, 2019 and every 60 days thereafter. To the extent the parties propose a briefing schedule, the report shall include a proposed order. Signed by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan on 1/28/19. (DJS)

Jan. 28, 2019 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Joint Status report due 2/4/2019 and every 60 days thereafter. To the extent the parties propose a briefing schedule, the report shall include a proposed order. (jth)

Jan. 29, 2019 PACER
23

NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF APPEARANCE as to MUSLIM ADVOCATES, AMERICANS UNITED FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Attorney Johnathan James Smith terminated. (Smith, Johnathan) . (Entered: 02/01/2019)

Feb. 1, 2019 PACER
24

Joint STATUS REPORT (Eighth) by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 02/04/2019)

Feb. 4, 2019 PACER
25

Joint STATUS REPORT (Ninth) by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 04/05/2019)

April 5, 2019 PACER
26

Joint STATUS REPORT (Tenth) by UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. (Roth, Dena) (Entered: 06/04/2019)

June 4, 2019 PACER
27

Status Report

Aug. 6, 2019 PACER
28

Notice of Withdrawal of Appearance

Aug. 16, 2019 PACER
29

Appear Pro Hac Vice

Oct. 2, 2019 PACER
30

Status Report

Oct. 3, 2019 PACER

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Oct. 21, 2019 PACER
31

Status Report

Dec. 3, 2019 PACER
32

Notice of Appearance

Jan. 27, 2020 PACER
33

Status Report

Feb. 4, 2020 PACER
34

Status Report

April 3, 2020 PACER

.Order

April 16, 2020 PACER
35

Status Report

June 2, 2020 PACER
36

Status Report

Aug. 4, 2020 PACER
37

Notice of Substitution of Counsel

Sept. 8, 2020 PACER
38

Status Report

Oct. 2, 2020 PACER
39

Status Report

Dec. 1, 2020 PACER
40

Status Report

Feb. 1, 2021 PACER
41

Status Report

April 2, 2021 PACER
42

Notice of Substitution of Counsel

April 27, 2021 PACER
43

Status Report

June 1, 2021 PACER
44

Status Report

Aug. 2, 2021 PACER
45

Notice of Substitution of Counsel

Aug. 25, 2021 PACER
46

Notice of Appearance

Sept. 17, 2021 PACER
47

Status Report

Oct. 1, 2021 PACER
48

Status Report

Dec. 1, 2021 PACER

.Order

Dec. 28, 2021 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Dec. 29, 2021 PACER
49

Status Report

Feb. 10, 2022 PACER

.Order

Feb. 21, 2022 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Feb. 23, 2022 PACER
50

Status Report

March 15, 2022 PACER
51

Status Report

April 15, 2022 PACER

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

Trump Administration FOIA cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 5, 2017

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Nonprofit advocacy organizations assisting travelers affected by the Trump administration's travel ban

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

Muslim Advocates

Southern Poverty Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

U.S. Department of State, Federal

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal

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: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Record-keeping

Records Disclosure

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Religion discrimination

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Admission - procedure

Status/Classification

Visas - criteria

Visas - procedures

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern