FOIA Advisor

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Court opinions issued May 12, 2015

Court Opinions (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Elkins v. FAA (D.D.C.) -- Dismissing lawsuit in part because plaintiff filed it before the FAA was obligated to respond to one of his FOIA requests.  With respect to plaintiff's second FOIA request, the court found that the FAA's search was  "commendable" but ultimately inadequate, because the agency's declaration failed to state "that all files likely to contain responsive records were searched or that no other offices would likely contain responsive documents."   Further, the court upheld the FAA's use of Exemption 7(E) to withhold an FAA Order that the court had previously reviewed in camera in a related lawsuit.  The court, however, ordered the FAA to release an aircraft radar plot because the FAA failed to demonstrate how such information was compiled for law-enforcement purposes.  Lastly, the court rejected plaintiff's motion to depose certain FAA officials, because plaintiff offered "no compelling reason" for his request. 

Alvin v. DOJ (M.D. Al.) -- Adopting Magistrate's recommendation to dismiss case on grounds that:  (1) plaintiff's administrative FOIA appeal was untimely filed, notwithstanding the fact that it was mailed before deadline and agency error delayed plaintiff's receipt of agency's initial determination; and (2) agency reasonably demonstrated that it did not received plaintiff's second FOIA request and plaintiff offered no proof that he actually submitted it.       

List of all cases since April 2015 here.