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Poulsen v. DOD, No. 17-03531, 2019 WL 2568882 (N.D. Cal. June 21, 2019) (Orrick, J.)


Poulsen v. DOD, No. 17-03531, 2019 WL 2568882 (N.D. Cal. June 21, 2019) (Orrick, J.)

Re:  Request for surveillance of President Donald J. Trump or any of his advisors during the 2016 election campaign

Disposition:  Denying plaintiff's motion for attorney fees

Attorney Fees, Eligibility:  The court holds that "[t]here is no evidence that [plaintiff's] suit was the catalyst for or otherwise caused [the] processing and release [of certain records sought by plaintiff], and he is not entitled to attorney fees."  First, the court finds that "there was no change in the government's legal position with respect to [plaintiff] from before or during the litigation due to the existence of this lawsuit."  The court explains that "the government's change in position – from its full Glomar to its partial Glomar (for the FBI, NSD and OLC) and release of the Page FISA materials – was not caused by this lawsuit (or the parallel lawsuits) but by the unprecedented declassification decision of the President."  "In these circumstances, [plaintiff's] lawsuit was not a catalyst for the government's changed position."  Second, the court rejects plaintiff's argument that he is entitled to fees due to the court's "minute order adopting defendants' proposed schedule for the review and production of the Page FISA materials."  The court finds that "[the] scheduling order adopted the government's suggestion of when it would be able to process and produce the Page FISA materials."  "Had the government opposed processing and production of the Page FISA materials despite the official acknowledgments and been forced to do so because of this case, then [plaintiff] could obtain attorney fees."

Court Decision Topic(s)
Attorney Fees
District Court opinions
Updated July 2, 2019