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United States District Court for the District of Columbia
December 20, 2022, Decided; December 20, 2022, Filed
Civil Action No. 19-1146 (RBW)
The plaintiffs, NBC 7 San Diego ("NBC 7"), Tom Jones, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (the "RCFP"), bring this civil action against the defendants, the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), the United States Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"), and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"), pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (the "FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552. See Complaint ("Compl.") ¶ 1, ECF No. 1. Currently pending before the Court are (1) the DHS's motion for summary judgment and the CBP's and the USCIS's motion for partial summary judgment, see Defendant U.S. Department of Homeland [*2] Security's Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendants U.S. Customs and Border Protection's and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment ("Defs.' Mot." or the "defendants' motion"), ECF No. 22;1 and (2) the plaintiffs' cross-motion for partial summary judgment, see Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment ("Pls.' Mot." or the "plaintiffs' motion"), ECF No. 24. Upon careful consideration of the parties' submissions,2 the Court concludes for the following reasons that it must (1) deny in part and deny without prejudice in part the defendants' motion, and (2) grant in part and deny without prejudice in part the plaintiffs' motion.
This case concerns several FOIA requests submitted by the plaintiffs to the defendants in 2019 seeking records regarding "a 'secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers' related to a migrant caravan [allegedly] approaching the United States' border with Mexico." Pls.' Facts ¶ 29; see Jones Decl. ¶ 3; id., Exhibit ("Ex.") 2 (Jones et al., Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database, NBC 7 [*3] (Mar. 6, 2019 3:57 p.m.) ("Jones Article")) at 6-16, ECF No. 24-4. The Court will discuss the requests at issue in the motions currently before the Court, before turning to the defendants' searches and the procedural posture of the case.
A. NBC 7's Request to the CBP
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228888 *; 2022 WL 17820557
NBC 7 SAN DIEGO, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, et al., Defendants.
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