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Judge Officially Finds FAA’s “Moot” – Rojas v. FAA 5

Likely to ensure that there is no ambiguity of what happened during the status conference, the FAA’s motion to assert new exemptions has been officially denied.

U.S. District Court

DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

Notice of Electronic Filing

The following transaction was entered on 4/18/2018 at 7:45 AM MST and filed on 4/18/2018

Case Name: Rojas v. Federal Aviation Administration et al
Case Number: 2:16-cv-03067-GMS
Filer:
Document Number: 39(No document attached)

Docket Text:
Pursuant to discussions at the status conference on April 6, 2018, IT IS ORDERED finding [33] the Motion for Leave to File moot. Ordered by Judge G. Murray Snow. (GMS, ag)(This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.)

Status Hearing – New Exemption Claims DENIED – Rojas v. FAA 5

The FAA brought Russell Christensen, FAA’s Managing Director for Litigation,  to the 11 minute status hearing held today. At issue was whether FAA could assert new exemptions. The Court held that Defendant would have to produce the documents. The hiring of air traffic control specialists was found to not be a matter of national security. The Court further suggested that the facts and circumstances of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. United States Department of Justice, which FAA cited as their reason for claiming new exemptions, didn’t apply. 854 F.3d 675, 680 (D.C.Cir. 2017).

We look forward to working with the FAA to bring these documents to the sunlight.

Accordingly, the Court ordered FAA provide all documents within 30 days.

U.S. District Court

DISTRICT OF ARIZONA

Notice of Electronic Filing

The following transaction was entered on 4/6/2018 at 11:09 AM MST and filed on 4/6/2018

Case Name: Rojas v. Federal Aviation Administration et al
Case Number: 2:16-cv-03067-GMS
Filer:
Document Number: 37(No document attached)

Docket Text:
MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge G Murray Snow: Status Conference held on 4/6/2018. FAA has 30 days to comply with supplemental disclosure of documents as set forth on the record. Plaintiff shall have 15 days thereafter to file a Motion for Order to Show Cause and Motion for Sanctions.

APPEARANCES: Michael Pearson for Plaintiff, who is also present. Paul Bullis for Defendant. Russell Christensen is also present. (Court Reporter Charlotte Powers.) Hearing held 9:55 AM to 10:06 AM. This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no PDF document associated with this entry. (KFZ)

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FAA Files “Response” to Status Report, Pleads for Exemptions, due to “human error”, Rojas v. FAA 5

At 10:06pm, the FAA filed a “Response” to the Status Report filed in Rojas v. FAA 5. Along with the Status Report, the FAA filed over 10 declarations, along with a Vaughn Index identifying withheld records.

The FAA pleads the Court to allow it to assert exemptions – despite the Court ordering otherwise.

Defendants also recognize this Court’s admonition that it would not entertain requests to apply exemptions after the Court’s order on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 26.) Nevertheless, Defendants respectfully request that the Court exercise its discretion to allow consideration of the redactions and withholdings based on these exemptions for the following reasons.

[…]

Having acknowledged their responsibility for not asserting the exemptions in a timely manner, and presented this Court with their plan to ensure that FOIA exemptions are asserted in a timely manner in the future, Defendants suggest that the first extraordinary circumstance recognized in Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is present here. The first prong has been met: the correct exemptions were not asserted due to pure human error. Defendants acknowledge this.

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