Case: American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency

1:23-cv-00907 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Feb. 3, 2023

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 3, 2023, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), representing itself, filed this lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In this lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union sought public release of opinions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) regard…

On February 3, 2023, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), representing itself, filed this lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. In this lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union sought public release of opinions from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) regarding Section 702 surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). 

Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, 50 U.S.C. § 1881a, permits the AG and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance targeting the communications of non-U.S. persons located abroad. Section 702 requires that the AG, through the DOJ, and DNI, through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), submit annual “certifications” that define the categories of foreign actors that may be appropriately targeted. These certifications must be approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

The ACLU alleged that on December 22, 2022, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), it requested all FISC opinions since 2021 about “novel or significant legal issues” and asked to expedite the process. When it did not receive the opinions, it filed this lawsuit, alleging a FOIA violation. The ACLU also noted that Section 702 of FISA was set to expire in December 2023 unless Congress reauthorized it. As a result, the ACLU believed timely disclosure of these opinions was “vitally necessary to an informed debate about whether these surveillance powers should be reauthorized or reformed.” The ACLU sought an injunction requiring Defendants to process the requests immediately and preventing Defendants from assessing fees for the processing of the requests, as well as attorneys’ fees.

The case was assigned to Judge Lewis J. Liman and designated to Magistrate Judge Valerie Figueredo. The case was then reassigned to Judge Arun Subramanian on August 10, 2023.

Joint status reports have been submitted by the parties and the case is in the discovery phase. As of November 24, 2023, the case is ongoing. 

Summary Authors

Venesa Haska (11/24/2023)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/66784521/parties/american-civil-liberties-union-v-national-security-agency/


Judge(s)

Liman, Lewis Jeffrey (New York)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Grossman, Perry (New York)

Larios, Gabriella (New York)

Taitz, Sarah (New York)

Attorney for Defendant

Aronoff, Peter Max (New York)

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
1

1:23-cv-00907

Complaint for Injunctive Relief

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

Complaint

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/66784521/american-civil-liberties-union-v-national-security-agency/

Last updated March 17, 2024, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (Filing Fee $ 402.00, Receipt Number ANYSDC-27291100)Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

Clearinghouse
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET filed..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

PACER
3

RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

PACER
4

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to National Security Agency, re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

PACER
5

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Central Intelligence Agency, re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

PACER
6

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Office of the Director of National Intelligence, re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

PACER
7

REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SUMMONS as to Department of Justice, re: 1 Complaint,. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/03/2023)

Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023

PACER

CASE OPENING INITIAL ASSIGNMENT NOTICE: The above-entitled action is assigned to Judge Lewis J. Liman. Please download and review the Individual Practices of the assigned District Judge, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/judges/district-judges. Attorneys are responsible for providing courtesy copies to judges where their Individual Practices require such. Please download and review the ECF Rules and Instructions, located at https://nysd.uscourts.gov/rules/ecf-related-instructions..(vf)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER

Magistrate Judge Valerie Figueredo is so designated. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 636(c) and Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b)(1) parties are notified that they may consent to proceed before a United States Magistrate Judge. Parties who wish to consent may access the necessary form at the following link: https://nysd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/AO-3.pdf. (vf)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER

Case Designated ECF. (vf)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER
8

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to National Security Agency. (vf) (Entered: 02/06/2023)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER
9

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Central Intelligence Agency. (vf) (Entered: 02/06/2023)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER
10

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (vf) (Entered: 02/06/2023)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER
11

ELECTRONIC SUMMONS ISSUED as to Department Of Justice. (vf) (Entered: 02/06/2023)

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER

Case Opening Initial Assignment Notice

Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023

PACER
12

FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT DOCKET ENTRY - FILER ERROR - NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Gabriella Larios on behalf of New York Civil Liberties Union..(Larios, Gabriella) Modified on 2/7/2023 (lb). (Entered: 02/07/2023)

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

PACER
13

FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT DOCKET ENTRY -(WRONG ATTORNEY LOGIN) - NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Gabriella Larios on behalf of New York Civil Liberties Union..(Larios, Gabriella) Modified on 2/7/2023 (lb). (Entered: 02/07/2023)

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

PACER
14

FILING ERROR - DEFICIENT DOCKET ENTRY - FILER ERROR - NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Perry Grossman on behalf of New York Civil Liberties Union..(Grossman, Perry) Modified on 2/7/2023 (lb). (Entered: 02/07/2023)

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

PACER

***NOTICE TO ATTORNEY REGARDING REMOVAL OF PARTY. Notice to attorney Perry Grossman and Gabriella Larios. The following party/parties has been removed from this case: New York Civil Liberties Union. The party was added to the case in error. (lb)

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

PACER
15

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Gabriella Larios on behalf of American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Larios, Gabriella) (Entered: 02/07/2023)

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

RECAP
16

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Perry Grossman on behalf of American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Grossman, Perry) (Entered: 02/07/2023)

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

PACER

Notice to Attorney Regarding Removal of Party

Feb. 7, 2023

Feb. 7, 2023

PACER
17

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Sarah Taitz on behalf of American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Taitz, Sarah) (Entered: 02/09/2023)

Feb. 9, 2023

Feb. 9, 2023

PACER
18

NOTICE OF INITIAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE: This case has been assigned to me for all purposes. It is hereby: ORDERED that counsel for all parties appear for an Initial Pretrial Conference by TELEPHONE on March 21, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. Parties are directed to dial into the Court's teleconference number at 888-251-2909, Access Code 2123101, and follow the necessary prompts. And as set forth herein. Counsel for Plaintiffs is ordered to notify Defendants of this Notice. SO ORDERED. Telephonic Initial Conference set for 3/21/2023 at 03:00 PM before Judge Lewis J. Liman. (Signed by Judge Lewis J. Liman on 2/14/2023) (ama) (Entered: 02/14/2023)

Feb. 14, 2023

Feb. 14, 2023

RECAP
19

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED. National Security Agency served on 2/10/2023, answer due 3/3/2023. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/28/2023)

Feb. 28, 2023

Feb. 28, 2023

PACER
20

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED. Central Intelligence Agency served on 2/13/2023, answer due 3/6/2023. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/28/2023)

Feb. 28, 2023

Feb. 28, 2023

PACER
21

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED. Department Of Justice served on 2/13/2023, answer due 3/6/2023. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/28/2023)

Feb. 28, 2023

Feb. 28, 2023

PACER
22

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED. Office of the Director of National Intelligence served on 2/14/2023, answer due 3/7/2023. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/28/2023)

Feb. 28, 2023

Feb. 28, 2023

PACER
23

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED. All Defendants. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/28/2023)

Feb. 28, 2023

Feb. 28, 2023

PACER
24

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED. All Defendants. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 02/28/2023)

Feb. 28, 2023

Feb. 28, 2023

PACER
25

JOINT LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer addressed to Judge Lewis J. Liman from Sarah Taitz dated 03/14/2023. Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Toomey, Patrick) (Entered: 03/14/2023)

March 14, 2023

March 14, 2023

PACER
26

ORDER granting 25 JOINT LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer addressed to Judge Lewis J. Liman from Sarah Taitz dated 03/14/2023. Parties are to provide a further status report to the Court in 30 days, on April 13, 2023, and governments time to answer is extended through the same date. The Initial Pretrial Conference previously scheduled for March 21, 2023 is CANCELED. All other relief regarding the case management plan and scheduling is granted as proposed. (All Defendants answer due 4/13/2023.) (HEREBY ORDERED by Judge Lewis J. Liman)(Text Only Order) (mf) (Entered: 03/16/2023)

March 16, 2023

March 16, 2023

PACER

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

March 16, 2023

March 16, 2023

PACER
27

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Peter Max Aronoff on behalf of Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 03/17/2023)

March 17, 2023

March 17, 2023

PACER
28

STATUS REPORT. (joint) and scheduling proposal Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 04/13/2023)

April 13, 2023

April 13, 2023

RECAP
29

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 28 Status Report filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Lewis J. Liman on 4/14/23) (yv) (Entered: 04/14/2023)

April 14, 2023

April 14, 2023

PACER
30

JOINT LETTER addressed to Judge Lewis J. Liman from Peter Aronoff dated 4/27/2023 re: proposal for processing third record. Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 04/27/2023)

April 27, 2023

April 27, 2023

PACER
31

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 30 Letter proposal for processing third record, filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Lewis J. Liman on 4/28/23) (yv) (Entered: 04/28/2023)

April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023

PACER
32

CONSENT LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time status report, and proposal for further status report by August 14 addressed to Judge Lewis J. Liman from Peter Aronoff dated July 11, 2023. Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 07/11/2023)

July 11, 2023

July 11, 2023

RECAP

Order on Motion for Extension of Time

July 11, 2023

July 11, 2023

PACER
33

ORDER granting 32 Letter Motion for Extension of Time (HEREBY ORDERED by Judge Lewis J. Liman)(Text Only Order) (Liman, Lewis) (Entered: 07/11/2023)

July 11, 2023

July 11, 2023

PACER

Notice of Case Assignment/Reassignment

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT to Judge Arun Subramanian. Judge Lewis J. Liman is no longer assigned to the case. (tg)

Aug. 10, 2023

Aug. 10, 2023

PACER
34

STATUS REPORT. (joint) and proposal for further status report by September 14, 2023 Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 08/11/2023)

Aug. 11, 2023

Aug. 11, 2023

RECAP
35

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 34 Status Report, filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: The proposal is adopted. The parties will provide another written status update by September 14, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Arun Subramanian on 8/15/2023) (vfr) (Entered: 08/15/2023)

Aug. 15, 2023

Aug. 15, 2023

PACER
36

STATUS REPORT. (joint) and proposal for further status report by November 14, 2023 Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 09/14/2023)

Sept. 14, 2023

Sept. 14, 2023

PACER
37

MOTION for Sarah Taitz to Withdraw as Attorney . Document filed by American Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation..(Taitz, Sarah) (Entered: 09/14/2023)

Sept. 14, 2023

Sept. 14, 2023

PACER
38

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 36 Status Report, filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Arun Subramanian on 9/15/2023) (vfr) (Entered: 09/15/2023)

Sept. 15, 2023

Sept. 15, 2023

PACER
39

MEMO ENDORSEMENT granting 37 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to terminate Sarah Taitz as counsel in this matter and close ECF No. 37. Attorney Sarah Taitz terminated. (Signed by Judge Arun Subramanian on 9/15/2023) (vfr) (Entered: 09/15/2023)

Sept. 15, 2023

Sept. 15, 2023

PACER
40

STATUS REPORT. (joint) and proposal for further status report by December 14, 2023 Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 11/14/2023)

Nov. 14, 2023

Nov. 14, 2023

PACER
41

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 40 Status Report, filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Arun Subramanian on 11/15/2023) (tg) (Entered: 11/15/2023)

Nov. 15, 2023

Nov. 15, 2023

PACER
42

STATUS REPORT. (joint) and proposal for further status report by January 31, 2024 Document filed by Central Intelligence Agency, Department Of Justice, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence..(Aronoff, Peter) (Entered: 12/14/2023)

Dec. 14, 2023

Dec. 14, 2023

PACER
43

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 42 Status Report, filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. The Court expects that by January 31, 2024, this case will either be resolved or the parties will be prepared to press forward with litigation on an expedited basis. (Signed by Judge Arun Subramanian on 12/15/2023) (vfr) (Entered: 12/15/2023)

Dec. 15, 2023

Dec. 15, 2023

PACER
43

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 42 Status Report, filed by Department Of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency. ENDORSEMENT: SO ORDERED. The Court expects that by January 31, 2024, this case will either be resolved or the parties will be prepared to press forward with litigation on an expedited basis. (Signed by Judge Arun Subramanian on 12/15/2023) (vfr) (Entered: 12/15/2023)

Dec. 15, 2023

Dec. 15, 2023

PACER
44

Status Report

Jan. 31, 2024

Jan. 31, 2024

PACER
44

Status Report

Jan. 31, 2024

Jan. 31, 2024

PACER
45

Memo Endorsement

Jan. 31, 2024

Jan. 31, 2024

PACER
45

Memo Endorsement

Jan. 31, 2024

Jan. 31, 2024

PACER
46

Status Report

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

PACER
46

Status Report

March 1, 2024

March 1, 2024

PACER
47

Memo Endorsement

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

PACER
47

Memo Endorsement

March 4, 2024

March 4, 2024

PACER
48

Status Report

March 15, 2024

March 15, 2024

PACER
48

Status Report

March 15, 2024

March 15, 2024

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)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 3, 2023

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nonprofit human rights organization.

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 (- United States (national) -), Federal

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (- United States (national) -), Federal

Central Intelligence Agency (- United States (national) -), Federal

United States Department of Justice (- United States (national) -), Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Freedom of speech/association

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Issues

General/Misc.:

Confidentiality

Courts

Record-keeping

Records Disclosure

Search policies

Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues