Ecological Rights Foundation v. Federal Emergency Management Agency

Filing 50

ORDER re 46 Opposition/Response to Motion, filed by Federal Emergency Management Agency, 42 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Ecological Rights Foundation. Signed by Judge Maria-Elena James on 5/11/2017. (mejlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/11/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 ECOLOGICAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 11 v. Case No. 16-cv-05254-MEJ ORDER RE: CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Re: Dkt. Nos. 42, 46 FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, United States District Court Northern District of California Defendant. 12 13 Pending before the Court are the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment. EcoRights 14 Mot., Dkt. No. 42; FEMA Mot., Dkt. No. 46. The parties argued their motions on May 11, 2017. 15 Based on the record in this case, the position of the parties, and the relevant legal authority, the 16 Court ORDERS the following: 17 (1) No later than May 25, 2017, FEMA shall provide to EcoRights a complete, corrected 18 production of responsive documents that is consecutively Bates-labeled and that indicates the 19 request(s) to which particular documents are responsive. FEMA shall file a notice when it has 20 complied with this paragraph. 21 (2) No later than May 25, 2017, FEMA shall file a declaration explaining the basis for the 22 apparent discrepancy between its position that all responsive documents that are not being 23 withheld pursuant to Exceptions 5 and 6 have been produced, and the responses of the third party 24 agencies to which FEMA referred documents for review. 25 (3) No later than June 8, 2017, FEMA shall file a declaration from a person having 26 personal knowledge of FEMA’s efforts to ensure it has not withheld segregable information. The 27 declaration shall provide a more complete description of FEMA’s efforts than is currently offered 28 by Mr. Neuschaefer in his declaration, for example, by describing FEMA’s process for evaluating 1 whether responsive information should be withheld, and its quality-control efforts to ensure its 2 redactions are narrowly-tailored. 3 (4) No later than June 15, 2017, FEMA shall file a revised Vaughn Index that refers to the 4 new Bates-labeled production and offers particularized descriptions sufficient to show the 5 exceptions FEMA invokes apply to each document withheld or redacted. See Yonemoto v. Dep’t 6 of Veterans Affairs, 686 F.3d 681, 695 (9th Cir. 2012), overruled on other grounds by Animal 7 Legal Defense Fund v. U.S. FDA, 836 F.3d 987 (9th Cir. 2016). By this date, FEMA shall 8 produce any additional documents it has determined are not properly withheld after this revision 9 and/or file a declaration confirming it is not withholding any responsive documents other than 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 those listed in its revised Vaughn Index. (5) After reviewing the revised Vaughn Index, EcoRights shall file either a declaration 12 challenging specific entries and concisely indicating the basis for the challenges, or a notice 13 indicating it does not challenge the revised Vaughn Index. 14 (6) The Court notes EcoRights’ argument that FEMA has failed to comply with the 15 parties’ settlement agreement. The Court encourages the parties to meet and confer on this issue 16 before resorting to motion practice. 17 The parties’ cross-motions otherwise are under submission. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 21 22 Dated: May 11, 2017 ______________________________________ MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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