Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland et al

Filing 674

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR ORDER RE ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS re 669 Response ( Non Motion ) filed by Rahinah Ibrahim, 665 Notice (Other) filed by Rahinah Ibrahim. Signed by Judge Alsup on December 30, 2013. (whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/30/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 RAHINAH IBRAHIM, 10 Plaintiff, 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 9 12 13 No. C 06-00545 WHA v. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, et al., ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR ORDER RE ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS Defendants. 14 / 15 16 17 18 In this no-fly list challenge, plaintiff seeks an order granting access to classified documents. For the reasons stated below, the request is DENIED. The procedural history of this action has been summarized in prior orders and will not be 19 repeated again (Dkt. Nos. 399, 461, 532, 592). In brief, a December 2009 order stated that if 20 plaintiff attended and was present at trial, she would be entitled to hear the evidence presented, 21 whether or not it was SSI. However, short of attendance at trial, plaintiff could not view SSI 22 without being vetted by the background process (Dkt. No. 306). Plaintiff never sought or 23 obtained clearance to view SSI or classified documents. Plaintiff was not present for trial. 24 Several orders, including an April 19 order, recognized the government’s assertion of the 25 state secrets privilege for certain documents (Dkt. Nos. 462, 539, 613). Plaintiff’s counsel 26 obtained clearance to view SSI, but never sought or obtained clearance to view classified 27 documents. 28 On December 13, after the close of evidence, plaintiff’s counsel requested an order granting access to classified documents (Dkt. No. 665). In light of plaintiff’s request, an 1 opportunity was provided to brief whether and how one or more of plaintiff’s counsel could 2 obtain clearance to review the classified submissions. Plaintiff’s counsel responded with a long 3 list of conditions, if one or more of plaintiff’s counsel were to undergo the classified clearance 4 process (Dkt. No. 669). 5 Plaintiff’s conditions are unreasonable. For example, plaintiff’s counsel wants to be able 6 to “discuss the [classified] information with their client so that she and they may rebut any 7 allegations contained in the secret information.” Plaintiff, herself, has never sought or obtained 8 access to classified information. Plaintiff’s counsel also wants to have “full access to the 9 information at any time, without restrictions on their use of the information for the case.” This condition is unduly broad. Plaintiff’s counsel also seeks to reopen discovery after trial has 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 concluded in this action. Plaintiff’s counsel could have sought clearance to view classified 12 information well in advance of trial. Plaintiff’s counsel did not. Instead, plaintiff’s counsel 13 waited until after trial to request an order for access to classified information. This order will not 14 permit plaintiff’s counsel to circumvent the usual classified clearance process at this late date 15 when such unreasonable conditions are requested. 16 17 Accordingly, plaintiff’s request is DENIED. The action will proceed without the benefit of classified information provided to plaintiff’s counsel. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 Dated: December 30, 2013. WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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