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Case: American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California v. Transportation Security Administration

3:18-cv-01539 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: March 12, 2018

Closed Date: Jan. 2, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 12, 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552. The ACLU-NC claimed that it submitted a FOIA request to both TSA Headquarters and TSA's San Francisco Field Office for documents relating to searches of electronic devices of airline passengers…

On March 12, 2018, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU-NC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552. The ACLU-NC claimed that it submitted a FOIA request to both TSA Headquarters and TSA's San Francisco Field Office for documents relating to searches of electronic devices of airline passengers, but neither provided any records. The plaintiff sought an order for the TSA to promptly process and release all responsive records, and a declaration that TSA's failure to disclose the requested records was unlawful. The plaintiffs claimed that the TSA violated FOIA by wrongfully withholding records, and specifically, they claimed that the TSA's searches of electronic devices at airports and borders (particularly of domestic air passengers) were a matter of significant public interest. The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler.

The TSA moved to dismiss the complaint on June 13, 2018, claiming that (1) the plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; (2) the TSA performed a reasonable and adequate search for records in response to the plaintiff's FOIA request; (3) the TSA lawfully and appropriately withheld information exempt from disclosure under the FOIA; and (4) the lawsuit was not necessary for the plaintiff to get the information it was entitled to under the FOIA.

Between June and July 2018, the ACLU-NC and the TSA stipulated that they were working in good faith to resolve some of the claims and issues in this action. On August 9, 2018, the parties acknowledged that there were no prior or pending motions, and that they anticipated the matter could be resolved on summary judgment.

TSA filed notice of settlement on December 20, 2018. According the the ACLU of Northern California's website, "TSA ultimately provided a letter stating that it does not conduct device searches and that its personnel abide by TSA Standard Operating Procedures that do not allow device searches of passengers." On January 2, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion stipulating to the settlement and dismissing the case with prejudice. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Dawn Lui (10/8/2018)

Alex Moody (5/29/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6944651/parties/american-civil-liberties-union-of-northern-california-v-transportation/


Judge(s)

Beeler, Laurel (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Lye, Linda (California)

Talla, Vasudha (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Davis, Julie Bibb (California)

Judge(s)

Beeler, Laurel (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Lye, Linda (California)

Talla, Vasudha (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Davis, Julie Bibb (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:18-cv-01539

Docket [PACER]

American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California v. Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Jan. 2, 2019

Jan. 2, 2019

Docket
1

3:18-cv-01539

Complaint

March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018

Complaint

Letter from defendant resulting in settlement

No Court

Dec. 19, 2018

Dec. 19, 2018

Correspondence

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6944651/american-civil-liberties-union-of-northern-california-v-transportation/

Last updated Nov. 27, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT for DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0971-12178000.). Filed byAmerican Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Civil Cover Sheet)(Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 3/12/2018) (Entered: 03/12/2018)

1 Exhibit 1

View on PACER

2 Exhibit 2

View on PACER

3 Exhibit 3

View on PACER

4 Exhibit 4

View on PACER

5 Exhibit 5

View on PACER

6 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018

PACER
2

Certificate of Interested Entities by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 3/12/2018) (Entered: 03/12/2018)

March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018

PACER
3

Proposed Summons. (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 3/12/2018) (Entered: 03/12/2018)

March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018

PACER
4

Case assigned to Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler. Counsel for plaintiff or the removing party is responsible for serving the Complaint or Notice of Removal, Summons and the assigned judge's standing orders and all other new case documents upon the opposing parties. For information, visit E-Filing A New Civil Case at http://cand.uscourts.gov/ecf/caseopening.Standing orders can be downloaded from the court's web page at www.cand.uscourts.gov/judges. Upon receipt, the summons will be issued and returned electronically. Counsel is required to send chambers a copy of the initiating documents pursuant to L.R. 5-1(e)(7). A scheduling order will be sent by Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) within two business days. Consent/Declination due by 3/26/2018. (haS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/12/2018) (Entered: 03/12/2018)

March 12, 2018

March 12, 2018

PACER
5

Initial Case Management Scheduling Order with ADR Deadlines: Case Management Statement due by 6/7/2018. Initial Case Management Conference set for 6/14/2018 11:00 AM. Signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on 3/13/18. (aaaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/13/2018) (Entered: 03/13/2018)

March 13, 2018

March 13, 2018

PACER
6

Summons Issued as to Transportation Security Administration (TSA). (aaaS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/13/2018) (Entered: 03/13/2018)

March 13, 2018

March 13, 2018

PACER
7

SUMMONS Returned Executed by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) served on 3/15/2018, answer due 4/5/2018. (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 3/15/2018) (Entered: 03/15/2018)

March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Linda Lye (Lye, Linda) (Filed on 3/21/2018) (Entered: 03/21/2018)

March 21, 2018

March 21, 2018

PACER
9

CLERK'S NOTICE Re: Consent or Declination: Plaintiffs shall file a consent or declination to proceed before a magistrate judge. Note that any party is free to withhold consent to proceed before a magistrate judge without adverse substantive consequences. The forms are available at: http://cand.uscourts.gov/civilforms. Consent/Declination due by 4/10/2018. (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/27/2018) (Entered: 03/27/2018)

March 27, 2018

March 27, 2018

PACER
10

CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.. (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 4/2/2018) (Entered: 04/02/2018)

April 2, 2018

April 2, 2018

PACER
11

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER TO CONTINUE DATE TO RESPOND TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT AND TO CONTINUE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE filed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA). (Davis, Julie) (Filed on 4/4/2018) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
12

CLERK'S NOTICE Re: Consent or Declination: Defendants shall file a consent or declination to proceed before a magistrate judge. Note that any party is free to withhold consent to proceed before a magistrate judge without adverse substantive consequences. The forms are available at: http://cand.uscourts.gov/civilforms. Consent/Declination due by 4/18/2018. (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/4/2018) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
13

CONSENT/DECLINATION to Proceed Before a US Magistrate Judge by Transportation Security Administration (TSA).. (Davis, Julie) (Filed on 4/4/2018) (Entered: 04/04/2018)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
14

ORDER granting 11 Stipulation to Continue Date to Respond to Plaintiff's Complaint and to Continue Case Management Conference. Defendant will have until 5/30/2018 to respond to Plaintiff's Complaint. Initial Case Management Conference is reset from 6/14/2018 to 6/28/2018 at 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom C, 15th Floor. Case Management Statement due by 6/21/2018. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on 04/04/2018. (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/4/2018) (Entered: 04/05/2018)

April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018

PACER
15

CLERK'S NOTICE RESETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: Based on the court's scheduling conflict, the court continues the initial CMC from 6/28/2018 to 8/9/2018 at 11:00 a.m. in San Francisco, Courtroom C, 15th Floor and directs the filing of the initial CMC statement by 8/2/2018. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/21/2018) (Entered: 05/21/2018)

May 21, 2018

May 21, 2018

PACER
16

STIPULATION WITH PROPOSED ORDER TO CONTINUE DATE TO RESPOND TO PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT filed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA). (Davis, Julie) (Filed on 5/29/2018) (Entered: 05/29/2018)

May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018

PACER
17

Order by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler granting 16 Stipulation to Continue Date to Respond to Plaintiff's Complaint and to Continue Case Management Conference. Defendant will have until 6/13/2018 to respond to Plaintiff's Complaint. (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/29/2018) (Entered: 05/29/2018)

May 29, 2018

May 29, 2018

PACER
18

Defendant's ANSWER to Complaint byTransportation Security Administration (TSA). (Davis, Julie) (Filed on 6/13/2018) (Entered: 06/13/2018)

June 13, 2018

June 13, 2018

PACER
19

NOTICE of need for ADR Phone Conference (ADR L.R. 3-5 d) (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 7/9/2018) (Entered: 07/09/2018)

July 9, 2018

July 9, 2018

PACER
20

ADR Clerk's Notice Setting ADR Phone Conference on Monday, July 30, 2018, at 11:00 AM Pacific time. Please note that you must be logged into an ECF account of counsel of record in order to view this document. (af, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/10/2018) (Entered: 07/10/2018)

July 10, 2018

July 10, 2018

PACER
21

ADR Certification (ADR L.R. 3-5 b) of discussion of ADR options (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 7/24/2018) (Entered: 07/24/2018)

July 24, 2018

July 24, 2018

PACER
22

ADR Remark: ADR Phone Conference held on 7/30/2018 by Howard Herman. (cmf, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/1/2018) (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (Entered: 08/01/2018)

Aug. 1, 2018

Aug. 1, 2018

PACER
23

JOINT CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT filed by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 8/1/2018) (Entered: 08/01/2018)

Aug. 1, 2018

Aug. 1, 2018

PACER
24

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler: Initial Case Management Conference held on 8/9/2018. Initial Case Management Conference set for 11/15/2018 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom C, 15th Floor. Case Management Statement due by 11/8/2018. Total Time in Court: 4 minutes. Not Reported. Plaintiff's Attorney: Linda Lye. Defendant's Attorney: Julie Davis. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Date Filed: 8/9/2018) (Entered: 08/09/2018)

Aug. 9, 2018

Aug. 9, 2018

PACER
25

JOINT CASE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT filed by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. (Lye, Linda) (Filed on 11/8/2018) (Entered: 11/08/2018)

Nov. 8, 2018

Nov. 8, 2018

PACER
26

NOTICE by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California Notice of Withdrawal of Counsel Linda Lye and [Proposed] Order Permitting Withdrawal (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 11/14/2018) (Entered: 11/14/2018)

Nov. 14, 2018

Nov. 14, 2018

PACER
27

ORDER Permitting Withdrawal. Attorney Linda Lye terminated. Signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on 11/14/2018. (mklS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/14/2018) (Entered: 11/14/2018)

Nov. 14, 2018

Nov. 14, 2018

PACER
28

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler: Initial Case Management Conference held on 11/15/2018. The parties are working towards a resolution of the case. Further Case Management Conference set for 1/24/2019 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom B, 15th Floor. Case Management Statement due by 1/17/2019. (Total Time in Court: 6 minutes.) (Not reported.) Plaintiff's Attorney: Vasudha Talla. Defendant's Attorney: Julie Davis. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (mklS, COURT STAFF) (Date Filed: 11/15/2018) Modified on 11/15/2018 (mklS, COURT STAFF). (Entered: 11/15/2018)

Nov. 15, 2018

Nov. 15, 2018

PACER
29

CLERK'S NOTICE RESETTING CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE: The court resets the CMC from 1/24/2019 to 1/17/2019 to accommodate an all-day hearing in another case. Further Case Management Conference set for 1/17/2019 at 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom B, 15th Floor. Case Management Statement due by 1/10/2019. (This is a text-only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ejkS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/5/2018) (Entered: 12/05/2018)

Dec. 5, 2018

Dec. 5, 2018

PACER
30

NOTICE by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) OF SETTLEMENT (Davis, Julie) (Filed on 12/20/2018) (Entered: 12/20/2018)

Dec. 20, 2018

Dec. 20, 2018

RECAP
31

ORDER Approving Joint Notice of Settlement re 30 Notice filed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Further Case Management Conference set for 4/25/2019 11:00 AM in San Francisco, Courtroom B, 15th Floor. Signed by Judge Laurel Beeler on December 21, 2018. (mllS, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/21/2018) (Entered: 12/21/2018)

Dec. 21, 2018

Dec. 21, 2018

RECAP
32

STIPULATION of Settlement and Dismissal with Prejudice filed by American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. (Talla, Vasudha) (Filed on 1/2/2019) (Entered: 01/02/2019)

Jan. 2, 2019

Jan. 2, 2019

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

National Security

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 12, 2018

Closing Date: Jan. 2, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU of Northern California

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Transportation Security Administration, 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

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Issues

General:

Records Disclosure

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