Summary judgment

A judicial ruling on a matter where the court determines there is no genuine issue of material fact in dispute, and therefore the person seeking such a ruling is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment absolves the need for a jury trial, as a judge can simply apply the law to the undisputed facts and render a ruling.

Journalist awarded more than $400,000 in FOIA case against FBI

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | October 22, 2012
October 22, 2012

A federal court awarded a California-based journalist and author nearly half a million dollars in fees, concluding two FOIA litigation battles with the FBI that lasted for more than 25 years.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco ruled Thursday that the FBI must pay Seth Rosenfeld $479,459 in attorneys’ fees because the journalist “substantially prevailed” in the two lawsuits he filed against the FBI.

Justice Department opposes release of "targeted killing" records

Emily Miller | Freedom of Information | News | June 22, 2012
June 22, 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion for summary judgment Wednesday in a federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, opposing the release of documents regarding the CIA's use of “targeted killings.”

Anti-SLAPP statute does not protect Calif. lawyer from malicious prosecution claim

Amanda Simmons | Libel | News | June 13, 2012
June 13, 2012

A California appeals court ruled Friday that a malicious prosecution lawsuit against a Los Angeles-based attorney may proceed, reversing a lower court's holding that the state's anti-SLAPP statute protected the lawyer.

Dallas judge dismisses defamation case against neighborhood blogger

Andrea Papagianis | Libel | News | April 30, 2012
April 30, 2012

A Texas judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit against a neighborhood blogger in Dallas, who was sued by a local bar owner for posting stories about customer violence and business ordinance violations.

Judge orders release of additional Reagan FBI documents

Rachel Bunn | Freedom of Information | Feature | March 9, 2012
March 9, 2012

A U.S. District Court ruled that the FBI must release unredacted documents about Ronald Reagan to a journalist who has legally sought the information for the last 27 years in an attempt to prove that the former president was not only a bureau informant, but that the FBI assisted in his political career in return.

Federal court rules to keep Calif. fire documents public

Haley Behre | Secret Courts | Feature | February 2, 2012
February 2, 2012

A federal trial court in California granted a newspaper's request for documents in a civil lawsuit involving a 2007 forest fire that burned down tens of thousands of acres northeast of Sacramento, ruling that the writings became public records once they were filed with the court.