First Amendment Coal. v. DOJ, No. 12-1013, 2014 WL 7148340 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 15, 2014) (Wilken, J.)
Re: Request for OLC memoranda concerning Anwar al-Awlaki
Disposition: 1) Granting plaintiff's motion to vacate court's earlier order which had granted DOJ's motion for summary judgment and denied plaintiff's cross motion for summary judgment, and 2) denying plaintiff's motion for attorney fees
- Litigation Considerations, Mootness and Other Grounds for Dismissal: "The Court finds that the case is moot based on both parties' decision to abandon their right to review." "Ten days after this Court entered its order, the Second Circuit issued its opinion," in a different lawsuit brought by other plaintiffs which ordered disclosure of the document at issue. As a result, "the Court asked the parties to inform it whether they agreed that the Second Circuit's disclosure order mooted the instant case." "The parties responded by reporting that they agreed that no substantive issues remain in the case." Accordingly, "[t]he Court finds that the case is moot based on both parties' decision to abandon their right to review." "Not only did the government abandon its right to seek en banc review in the Second Circuit or to file a petition for a writ of certioriari, it voluntarily disclosed the CIA memorandum to Plaintiff in this case and, when asked to state its position on whether this case is moot, responded that there were no issues left for this Court to consider." "At the same time, Plaintiff abandoned its right to pursue its motion for reconsideration [of the court’s earlier ruling], to appeal this Court's summary judgment order and to challenge the redactions to the OLC-DOD memorandum and the CIA memorandum."
- Attorney Fees: "[T]he Court denies Plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees." The court finds that "[d]efendant in this case released the documents largely as a result of the Second Circuit's ruling in NY Times, not as a result of the ruling in this case." "Moreover, Plaintiff voluntarily abandoned its motion for reconsideration of the Court's order and agreed that no issues remained for litigation instead of pursuing an appeal."