FOIA Advisor

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Court opinions issued July 31, 2015

Court Opinions (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Dibacco v. U.S. Army (D.C. Cir.) -- affirming the adequacy of searched performed by Army and CIA, as well as the CIA's Exemption 1 and 3 withholdings; remanding for the district court to address in the first instance plaintiffs' challenges to redactions in records that the Army disclosed to plaintiffs while the appellate case was pending.  See article from Courthouse News Service here.

Justice v. Mine Safety & Health Admin. (S.D. W. Va.) -- holding that agency could not categorically withhold memos of investigative interviews under Exemptions 5 and 7(C), and ordering agency to re-review records for segregable, non-exempt information.    

Cole v. Fed. Bureau of Investigation (D.D.C.) -- ruling that FBI properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of employment and disciplinary records for an FBI agent who allegedly committed misconduct in connection with plaintiff's prosecution for transporting and distributing child pornography. 

Leopold v. Nat'l Sec. Agency (D.D.C.) -- rejecting most of plaintiff's challenges to the searches performed by NSA and DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel; ordering NSA to search its United States Signals Intelligence Directive System; ordering OLC to search for draft documents and to indicate whether its earlier searches located no records at all or located some records that were deemed non-responsive.

Tracy v. U.S. Dep't of Justice (D.D.C) -- determining that FBI conducted an adequate search and properly withheld  information under Exemptions 6, 7(C), and 7(E); further finding that agency's failure to timely process the request, which was the only issue that plaintiff raised in his brief, did not preclude summary judgment in agency's favor.    

Gordon v. Courter (D.D.C.) -- finding that DOJ's Criminal Division conducted an adequate search; properly withheld records under Exemptions 5, 6, and 7(C); satisfied the segregability requirements of FOIA; and satisfied its obligations under the Privacy Act.  The court also concluded that plaintiff's amended Complaint would cause undue delay, fundamentally alter the nature of the suit, and likely be futile.

Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Justice (D.D.C) -- concluding that DOJ properly invoked the attorney-work product privilege in response to request for records "detailing the number of hours DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman expended on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles."

Summaries of all cases since April 2015 are available here.