Case: EPIC v. United States Postal Service

1:21-cv-02156 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: Aug. 12, 2021

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 12, 2021, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of District of Columbia against the United States Postal Service and United States Postal Inspection Service (the Services). The court assigned the case to Judge Trevor N. McFadden. EPIC sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the Services violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Specifically, the EPIC alleged that the Services violated the Admini…

On August 12, 2021, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of District of Columbia against the United States Postal Service and United States Postal Inspection Service (the Services). The court assigned the case to Judge Trevor N. McFadden.

EPIC sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the Services violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Specifically, the EPIC alleged that the Services violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it failed to conduct and publish a Privacy Impact Assessment as required by the E-Government Act of 2002.

EPIC alleged that the Postal Service failed to conduct and publish a Privacy Impact Assessment related to the Internet Covert Operation Program (iCOP). iCOP aimed to identify black market trading and other illegal activities within the postal systems through technology surveillance. The surveillance collected identifiable information such as names, biographical info, and facial imaging to trace and identify individuals involved in the alleged illegal activity. EPIC, citing the Government Accountability Office, alleged that the Services used iCOP technology to identify individuals involved in civil unrest, protest, and riots during the summer of 2020. EPIC unsuccessfully attempted to locate the Privacy Impact Assessment through a FOIA request and directly requesting a copy from the Services. As of February 3, 2022, the case was ongoing.

Summary Authors

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (9/12/2021)

Betsy Sheppard (2/5/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60149255/parties/electronic-privacy-information-center-v-united-states-postal-service/


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Butler, Alan (District of Columbia)

Davisson, John L. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Butler, Alan (District of Columbia)

Davisson, John L. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

1:21-cv-02156

Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief

Electronic Privacy Information Center v. United States Postal Service

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60149255/electronic-privacy-information-center-v-united-states-postal-service/

Last updated Sept. 1, 2022, 3:16 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number ADCDC-8663445) filed by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Civil Cover Sheet, # 8 Summons, # 9 Summons, # 10 Summons, # 11 Summons)(Davisson, John) (Attachments 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, and 11 flattened and replaced on 8/13/2021) (ztnr). (Entered: 08/12/2021)

1 Exhibit A

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2 Exhibit B

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3 Exhibit C

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4 Exhibit D

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5 Exhibit E

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6 Exhibit F

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7 Civil Cover Sheet

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8 Summons

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9 Summons

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10 Summons

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11 Summons

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Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

Clearinghouse

NOTICE OF ERROR re 1 Complaint; emailed to davisson@epic.org, cc'd 2 associated attorneys -- The PDF file you docketed contained errors: 1. Incorrect coversheet. Please use the cover sheet at https://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/new-case-forms & file using the event Civil Cover Sheet., 2. COMPLIANCE DEADLINE is by close of business today. This case will not proceed any further until all errors are satisfied. (znmg, )

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

PACER
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER re Notice of QC- New Case, filed by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER. Related document: Notice of QC- New Case,.(Davisson, John) (Entered: 08/12/2021)

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

PACER
3

LCvR 26.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER (Davisson, John) (Entered: 08/12/2021)

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

PACER

Case Assigned to Judge Trevor N. McFadden. (znmg)

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

PACER
4

STANDING ORDER Establishing Procedures for Cases Before Judge Trevor N. McFadden. The parties are hereby ORDERED to read and comply with the directives in the attached standing order. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 08/12/2021. (lctnm2) (Entered: 08/12/2021)

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

RECAP
5

SUMMONS (4) Issued Electronically as to UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (Attachment: # 1 Notice and Consent)(znmg) (Entered: 08/12/2021)

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

RECAP

Notice of QC- New Case

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

PACER

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021

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 8/20/2021. Answer due for ALL FEDERAL DEFENDANTS by 10/19/2021. (Davisson, John) (Entered: 08/24/2021)

Aug. 24, 2021

Aug. 24, 2021

PACER
7

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 8/30/21. (Davisson, John) (Entered: 09/10/2021)

Sept. 10, 2021

Sept. 10, 2021

PACER
8

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE served on 8/30/2021 (Davisson, John) (Entered: 09/10/2021)

Sept. 10, 2021

Sept. 10, 2021

PACER
9

RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE served on 8/30/2021 (Davisson, John) (Entered: 09/10/2021)

Sept. 10, 2021

Sept. 10, 2021

PACER
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Cormac A. Early on behalf of All Defendants (Early, Cormac) (Main Document 10 replaced on 10/26/2021) (znmw). (Entered: 10/19/2021)

Oct. 19, 2021

Oct. 19, 2021

PACER
11

MOTION to Dismiss by UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Early, Cormac) (Entered: 10/19/2021)

1 Memorandum in Support

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2 Text of Proposed Order

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Oct. 19, 2021

Oct. 19, 2021

RECAP
12

Joint MOTION for Briefing Schedule in Connection With Forthcoming Amended Complaint by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Davisson, John) (Entered: 10/27/2021)

Oct. 27, 2021

Oct. 27, 2021

PACER

MINUTE ORDER granting 12 Joint Motion for Briefing Schedule. Plaintiff shall file its amended Complaint on or before November 9, 2021. Defendant shall file an Answer or other responsive motion to that Complaint by December 7, 2021. If Defendant files a responsive motion, Plaintiff shall file by January 4, 2022 any opposition to that motion. Defendant shall then file any reply to plaintiffs opposition by January 18, 2022. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 10/28/21. (lctnm2)

Oct. 28, 2021

Oct. 28, 2021

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Amended Complaint due by 11/9/2021. Defendants' Answer or responsive motion due by 12/7/2021. Plaintiff's Opposition due by 1/4/2022. Defendants' Reply due by 1/18/2022. (hmc)

Oct. 28, 2021

Oct. 28, 2021

PACER

Order on Motion for Briefing Schedule

Oct. 28, 2021

Oct. 28, 2021

PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines

Oct. 28, 2021

Oct. 28, 2021

PACER
13

AMENDED COMPLAINT against All Defendants filed by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit Redline comparison)(Davisson, John) (Attachments 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 flattened and replaced on 11/10/2021.) (ztnr) (Entered: 11/09/2021)

1 Exhibit A

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2 Exhibit B

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3 Exhibit C

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4 Exhibit D

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5 Exhibit E

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6 Exhibit F

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7 Exhibit Redline comparison

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Nov. 9, 2021

Nov. 9, 2021

RECAP

MINUTE ORDER. In light of Plaintiff's 13 Amended Complaint, the pending 11 Motion to Dismiss the previous 1 Complaint is hereby DENIED as moot. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 11/11/21. (lctnm2)

Nov. 11, 2021

Nov. 11, 2021

PACER

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Nov. 11, 2021

Nov. 11, 2021

PACER
14

MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction, MOTION to Dismiss by UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Early, Cormac) (Entered: 12/07/2021)

Dec. 7, 2021

Dec. 7, 2021

PACER
15

Memorandum in opposition to re 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION to Dismiss filed by ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Davisson, John) (Entered: 01/04/2022)

Jan. 4, 2022

Jan. 4, 2022

PACER
16

REPLY to opposition to motion re 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION to Dismiss filed by UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. (Early, Cormac) (Entered: 01/14/2022)

Jan. 14, 2022

Jan. 14, 2022

PACER
16

REPLY to opposition to motion re 14 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction MOTION to Dismiss filed by UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. (Early, Cormac) (Entered: 01/14/2022)

Jan. 14, 2022

Jan. 14, 2022

PACER
17

MEMORANDUM OPINION re Defendants' 14 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Judge Trevor N. McFadden on 3/25/22. (lctnm2)

March 25, 2022

March 25, 2022

RECAP
18

Order on Motion to Dismiss AND Order on Motion to Dismiss/Lack of Jurisdiction

March 25, 2022

March 25, 2022

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 12, 2021

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues.

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

US Postal Service, Federal

US Postal Inspection Service, Federal

United States Postal Service (Washington, District of Columbia), Federal

United States Postal Inspection Service (Washington, District of Columbia), Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Government services

Records Disclosure

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