Case: The Human Rights Defense Center v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

2:18-cv-01141 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Filed Date: Aug. 3, 2018

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 3, 2018, the Human Rights Defense Center filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Freedom of Information Act. In March 2018, the plaintiff had requested from ICE certain records related to litigation against the organization. The plaintiff appealed ICE’s denial of its records request to the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor…

On August 3, 2018, the Human Rights Defense Center filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Freedom of Information Act. In March 2018, the plaintiff had requested from ICE certain records related to litigation against the organization. The plaintiff appealed ICE’s denial of its records request to the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, but had not received a response to the appeal by the time it filed the complaint. The plaintiff alleged that ICE wrongly withheld documents responsive to its properly submitted request in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The plaintiff sought declaratory relief, as well as an order that ICE disclose the requested records and attorneys’ fees. The case was assigned to Judge Thomas S. Zilly.

On August 7, 2018, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint to note that the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor had emailed a final denial of the appeal on August 6.

On March 15, 2019, the parties submitted a joint status report in which the defendants acknowledged that the plaintiffs were entitled to the requested records subject to exceptions delineated in the Freedom of Information Act. The parties noted that they had conferred regarding a rolling production schedule. Although the court set a trial date for December 2, 2019, the parties noted in their joint status report that the case will most likely be resolved by motions practice.

On February 14, 2020, the parties requested that the court continue the trial until after ICE's anticipated completion of its production of documents in response to plaintiffs' FOIA request. The motion states that "the parties agreed on a rolling production schedule where ICE processes 500 pages per month" and that ICE anticipates production through October 2020. The parties also submitted a proposed briefing schedule to begin in December 2020, but the parties stated that the case will most likely be resolved without the need for a trial. Judge Zilly granted the parties' motion on February 18; plaintiff's dispositive motion is due December 18, 2020 and a bench trial is set for April 26, 2021.

Summary Authors

Eva Richardson (5/22/2019)

Aaron Gurley (6/1/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7594589/parties/the-human-rights-defense-center-v-us-department-of-homeland-security/


Judge(s)

Zilly, Thomas Samuel (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)

Mutamba, Masimba (Florida)

Stahl, Eric (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lambert, Michelle R. (Washington)

Judge(s)

Zilly, Thomas Samuel (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Golden, Deborah Maxine (District of Columbia)

Mutamba, Masimba (Florida)

Stahl, Eric (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lambert, Michelle R. (Washington)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Feb. 18, 2020 Docket
1

Complaint

Aug. 3, 2018 Complaint
3

First Amended Complaint

Aug. 7, 2018 Complaint

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7594589/the-human-rights-defense-center-v-us-department-of-homeland-security/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Receipt # 0981-5421921), filed by The Human Rights Defense Center, Michelle Dillon. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/03/2018)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons

View on PACER

3 Summons

View on PACER

Aug. 3, 2018 PACER

Judge Thomas S. Zilly added. (CDA)

Aug. 7, 2018 PACER
2

Summons(es) Electronically Issued as to defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Main document - U S Dept of Homeland Security) (Attachments: # 1 Summons United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement)(CDA) (Entered: 08/07/2018)

1 Summons United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

View on PACER

Aug. 7, 2018 PACER
3

AMENDED COMPLAINT against defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, filed by The Human Rights Defense Center, Michelle Dillon.(Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/07/2018)

Aug. 7, 2018 PACER
4

APPLICATION OF ATTORNEY Deborah M. Golden FOR LEAVE TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE for Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center (Fee Paid) Receipt No. 0981-5440438 (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/20/2018)

Aug. 20, 2018 PACER
5

ORDER re 4 Application for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. The Court ADMITS Attorney Deborah M Golden for Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon and for The Human Rights Defense Center, by Clerk William M McCool. No document associated with this docket entry, text only.NOTE TO COUNSEL: Local counsel agrees to sign all filings and to be prepared to handle the matter, including the trial thereof, in the event the applicant is unable to be present on any date scheduled by the court, pursuant to LCR 83.1(d).(DS) (Entered: 08/20/2018)

Aug. 20, 2018 PACER
6

AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint on United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 8/7/2018, filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/22/2018)

Aug. 22, 2018 PACER
7

AFFIDAVIT of Service of Summons and Complaint on U.S. Department of Homeland Security on 8/7/2018, filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/22/2018)

Aug. 22, 2018 PACER
8

AFFIDAVIT of Mailing of Summons and Complaint to U.S. Department of Homeland Security on 8/7/2018, filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/23/2018)

Aug. 23, 2018 PACER
9

AFFIDAVIT of Mailing of Summons and Complaint to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 8/7/2018, filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 08/23/2018)

Aug. 23, 2018 PACER
10

ORDER setting deadline for parties to file a Joint Status Report. Joint Status Report due by 12/4/2018. Signed by Judge Thomas S. Zilly. (PM) (Entered: 09/05/2018)

Sept. 5, 2018 RECAP
11

NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Michelle R. Lambert on behalf of Defendants U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Lambert, Michelle) (Entered: 09/06/2018)

Sept. 6, 2018 PACER
12

ANSWER to 3 Amended Complaint by U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.(Lambert, Michelle) (Entered: 09/06/2018)

Sept. 6, 2018 RECAP
13

NOTICE of Change of Address/Change of Name of Attorney Eric M Stahl. Filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 11/15/2018)

Nov. 15, 2018 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Per telephonic request of counsel, the deadline for submission of a Joint Status Report is extended to 1/22/2019. (KD)

Nov. 30, 2018 PACER
14

Unopposed MOTION to Stay Deadline for Submitting Joint Status Report, filed by Defendants US Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 1/15/2019, (Lambert, Michelle) (Entered: 01/15/2019)

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Jan. 15, 2019 PACER
15

MINUTE ORDER extending deadline for parties to submit a Joint Status Report to 3/1/2019; striking as moot defendants' 14 Motion to Stay. Authorized by Judge Thomas S. Zilly. (SWT) (Entered: 01/22/2019)

Jan. 22, 2019 RECAP
16

Joint MOTION Regarding Joint Status Report, filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. Noting Date 2/28/2019, (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 02/28/2019)

Feb. 28, 2019 PACER

The parties' stipulated motion, docket no. 16, is GRANTED, and the deadline for the parties to submit a Joint Status Report is EXTENDED to March 15, 2019. (KK)

March 1, 2019 PACER
17

JOINT STATUS REPORT signed by all parties estimated Trial Days: 0. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 03/15/2019)

March 15, 2019 PACER
18

MINUTE ORDER SETTING TRIAL DATE AND RELATED DATES by Judge Thomas S. Zilly: Length of Trial: *1 day*. Bench Trial is set for 12/2/2019 before Judge Thomas S. Zilly. Dispositive motions due by 9/12/2019, Motions in Limine due by 10/31/2019, Trial briefs and Agreed Pretrial Order to be submitted by 11/15/2019, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to be submitted by 11/18/2019, Pretrial Conference set for 11/22/2019 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 15206 before Judge Thomas S. Zilly.(MW) (Entered: 04/10/2019)

April 10, 2019 RECAP
19

NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL: Attorney Deborah M Golden for Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 09/03/2019)

Sept. 3, 2019 RECAP
20

Stipulated MOTION Regarding Case Status and Schedule, filed by Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center. Noting Date 9/5/2019, (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 09/05/2019)

Sept. 5, 2019 RECAP
21

MINUTE ORDER granting parties' 20 Stipulated Motion to Continue Trial Date and Related Dates, as follows: Bench Trial is set for 6/1/2020 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 15206 before Judge Thomas S. Zilly. Dispositive motions due by 2/20/2020, Motions in Limine due by 4/30/2020, Pretrial Order due by 5/11/2020, Pretrial Conference set for 5/22/2020 at 1:30 PM in Courtroom 15206 before Judge Thomas S. Zilly. Trial briefs to be submitted by 5/11/2020, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to be submitted by 5/15/2020. Authorized by Judge Thomas S. Zilly.(SWT) (Entered: 09/11/2019)

Sept. 11, 2019 RECAP
22

APPLICATION OF ATTORNEY Masimba M. Mutamba FOR LEAVE TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE for Plaintiffs Michelle Dillon, The Human Rights Defense Center (Fee Paid) Receipt No. 0981-6025129 (Stahl, Eric) (Entered: 11/25/2019)

Nov. 25, 2019 PACER

Order on Application for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 25, 2019 PACER
23

ORDER re 22 Application for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. The Court ADMITS Attorney Masimba Mutamba for Michelle Dillon and The Human Rights Defense Center, by Clerk William M McCool. No document associated with this docket entry, text only.NOTE TO COUNSEL: Local counsel agrees to sign all filings and to be prepared to handle the matter, including the trial thereof, in the event the applicant is unable to be present on any date scheduled by the court, pursuant to LCR 83.1(d).(CDA) (Entered: 11/25/2019)

Nov. 25, 2019 PACER
24

Notice of Withdrawal of Counsel

Jan. 31, 2020 PACER
25

Stipulation

Feb. 14, 2020 PACER
26

MINUTE ORDER: The parties' second stipulated motion, docket no. 25 , to continue the trial date and related deadlines is GRANTED. The trial date and related deadlines are CONTINUED as follows: Bench Trial (1 day) is set for 4/26/2021 befor e Judge Thomas S. Zilly. Plaintiffs' dispositive motion due by 12/18/2020, Defendants' consolidated cross-motion and response to Plaintiffs' motion due by 1/15/2021, Plaintiffs' consolidated response and reply due by 2/12/2021, Defendants' reply due by 2/26/2021. Plaintiffs' motion and defendants' cross-motion shall both be noted for 2/26/2021, Trial Briefs and Agreed Pretrial Order due by 4/12/2021, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law to be submitted by 4/12/2021, Pretrial Conference set for 4/16/2021 at 01:30 PM before Judge Thomas S. Zilly. Authorized by Judge Thomas S. Zilly. (MW)

Feb. 18, 2020 RECAP
27

Miscellaneous Relief

Dec. 15, 2020 PACER
28

MINUTE ORDER granting Parties' 27 Stipulation and Joint Motion Regarding Case Status and Schedule: The trial date set for 4/26/2021, and all related deadlines, see docket no. 26 , are hereby STRICKEN. Any dispositive motions shall be filed on or before Thursday, 2/18/2021, and shall be noted on the motions calendar no later than the fourth Friday thereafter. Authorized by Judge Thomas S. Zilly.(MW)

Dec. 16, 2020 RECAP
29

Summary Judgment

Feb. 18, 2021 PACER
30

Declaration

Feb. 18, 2021 PACER
31

Declaration

Feb. 18, 2021 PACER
32

Response to Motion

March 9, 2021 PACER
33

Declaration

March 9, 2021 PACER
34

Declaration

March 9, 2021 PACER
35

Reply to Response to Motion

March 12, 2021 PACER
36

ORDER: Plaintiffs' Motion, docket no. 29 , is GRANTED as to Plaintiffs' claim that Defendants violated FOIA by improperly withholding the names in the Settlement; Plaintiffs' Motion, docket no. 29 , is otherwise DENIED. The Court sua sponte GRANTS summary judgment in favor of Defendants as to Plaintiffs' claim that Defendants violated FOIA by failing to timely respond. This claim is DISMISSED with prejudice; The Court hereby declares that the redaction of names in the Settlement are subject to disclosure under FOIA; Defendants are hereby enjoined from withholding the redacted names and are ORDERED to produce the unredacted version of the Settlement to Plaintiffs within fourteen (14) days of this Order. Se e 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B); Plaintiffs are awarded reasonable attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(E), in an amount to be determined; Plaintiffs are DIRECTED to file any motion for attorneys' fees and costs within thirty (30) days of this Order. Signed by Judge Thomas S. Zilly.(MW)

April 6, 2021 RECAP
37

Stay

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

April 9, 2021 PACER
38

Stipulated Motion

April 14, 2021 PACER
39

STIPULATION AND ORDER re Parties' 38 Stipulated Motion to Stay Pending Appeal: The Court hereby STAYS, until May 20, 2021, the portion of its Order dated April 6, 2021 (Dkt. No. 36 ) that requires Defendants to release an unredacted version of the "Settlement" referenced in the Order (Dkt. No. 34-8). The Court further DENIES AS MOOT Defendants' Motion for Stay Pending Appeal (Dkt. No. 37 ). signed by Judge Thomas S. Zilly.(MW)

April 15, 2021 RECAP
40

Stipulated Motion

April 23, 2021 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines AND Terminate Motions (Public, notice to parties)

April 24, 2021 PACER
41

Stipulated Motion

May 27, 2021 PACER
42

STIPULATION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL. Signed by Judge Thomas S. Zilly. (MW)

May 28, 2021 RECAP

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 3, 2018

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the human rights of people held in U.S. detention facilities.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

U.S. 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: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Records Disclosure