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Judicial Watch • JW v DOJ Stay Order Ammo Case 00600

JW v DOJ Stay Order Ammo Case 00600

JW v DOJ Stay Order Ammo Case 00600

Page 1: JW v DOJ Stay Order Ammo Case 00600

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Number of Pages:4

Date Created:September 20, 2018

Date Uploaded to the Library:October 03, 2018

Tags:stay order, ammo, motions, 00600, cross, order, ATF, request, DOJ, FOIA


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Case 1:17-cv-00600-CKK Document Filed 09/20/18 Page
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH,
Plaintiff,
Civil Action No. 17-600 (CKK)
U.S. DEPARTMENT JUSTICE,
Defendant.
ORDER
(September 20, 2018)
This civil action brought Plaintiff Judicial Watch against Defendant United States
Department Justice based upon Plaintiff March 2015 FOIA request, directed the Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF seeking:
Any and all records communications, including but not limited to, emails, from
employees officials the ATF regarding, concerning, related the decision revise
the ATF 2014 Regulation Guide longer exempt 5.56 SS109 and M855 (i.e.,
green tip AR-15) ammunition from the definition armor-piercing ammunition. The
time frame this request for the period March 2014 March 2015.
Def. Mot. for Sum. Judg., ECF 14, Currently pending before this Court are the parties
cross-motions for summary judgment addressing the adequacy ATF search. See Def. Mot.
for Summary Judg., ECF No. 14; Pl. Cross-Mot. for Summary Judg., ECF No. 15. July 14, 2017, ATF released Plaintiff pages part and pages full,
response this FOIA request. See Supp. Decl. Peter Chisholm, Acting Chief, Disclosure
Div. Bureau ATF, ECF No. 19-1, During its search for documents responsive Plaintiff
FOIA request, ATF uncovered other documents; namely, 1,900 pages documents, which were
Case 1:17-cv-00600-CKK Document Filed 09/20/18 Page
carefully reviewed line-by-line for responsiveness but were ultimately determined nonresponsive and were not released the Plaintiff. Id. Plaintiff argues that ATF interpreted
its FOIA request too narrowly excluding those 1,900 pages. summary, Plaintiff asserts that:
[A]ny records that discuss both [the Notice Proposed Rulemaking and the 2014
Reference Guide] are responsive its request, even certain other portions the withheld
records are not. Since Defendant declarant has failed unequivocally state that none
the 1,900 pages discuss both the AFR-15 ammunition and the Reference Guide, the Court
should order the production all records.
Pl. Consolidated Reply Brief support Cross-Mot. and Mem. support Mot. Stay, ECF
No. 20,
Ultimately, however, Plaintiff requested that the cross-motions for summary judgment
held abeyance for days pending ATF response Plaintiff second FOIA request, dated
May 14, 2018, which asks for [t]he 1,900 pages records referenced paragraph the
Supplemental Declaration Peter Chisholm, Acting Chief, ATF Disclosure Division, filed
May 2018 the U.S. District Court for the District Columbia, civil action case number 17600-CKK. Id., Ex. [May 14, 2018 FOIA Request]. Defendant United States Department Justice DOJ did not oppose stay being entered but instead contested the length the stay
proposed Plaintiff. Defendant noted that does not believe 60-day stay will result any
meaningful change the current state affairs and suggested stay until days following
ATF final response Plaintiff recently submitted FOIA request. Def. Resp. Pl. Mot. Stay, ECF No. 25-1,
After receiving Plaintiff Reply concerning the motion for stay, this Court issued
Minute Order denying the motion for stay.
The Court rationale was that because
responsiveness the 1,900 pages was disputed issue this case well the driving force
Case 1:17-cv-00600-CKK Document Filed 09/20/18 Page
behind the second FOIA request, resolution the summary judgment motions might resolve
that second FOIA request. Therefore, this Court issued decision the pending cross-motion favor the Plaintiff, that decision would likely moot Plaintiff second FOIA request and avoid
everyone having wait for the Defendant processing that second FOIA request. This Court
noted further that would proceed evaluate the parties Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment.
See July 16, 2018 Minute Order. Having now reviewed the cross-motions for summary judgment,
the Court has determined that the most expeditious and reasonable course action stay this
case for 120 days allow for the review the Plaintiff second FOIA request. This stay should way interpreted any indication the Court consideration regarding the underlying
dispositive motions.
If, prior the end the stay, the Defendant processing Plaintiff second FOIA
request affects the resolution the pending motions for summary judgment, the parties may file request lift the stay for purposes filing notice this case. Furthermore, the Plaintiff
brings civil action regarding that second FOIA request, Plaintiff should note that the action
related this civil action that will assigned the undersigned. Finally, the end the
120-day stay, the parties shall file Joint Report informing the Court regarding the status
Defendant processing the second FOIA request and how the parties want proceed. that
time, the parties will either decide continue the stay while pursuing the processing the second
FOIA request, this Court will lift the stay and make its decision the cross motions.
Accordingly, this 20th day September, 2018,
ORDERED that Judicial Watch U.S. DOJ, Civil Action No. 17-600 (CKK) STAYED contrast, decision favor Defendant their summary judgment motion would
not relieve Defendant from having process Plaintiff second FOIA request.
Case 1:17-cv-00600-CKK Document Filed 09/20/18 Page
until January 18, 2019, which time the parties shall file Joint Status Report with this Court. ORDERED.
___________/s/___________________
COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE