FOIA Advisor

Court Opinions (2018)

Court opinion issued Dec. 26, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Phillips v. DOJ (E.D. Cal.) -- ruling that plaintiff had failed to submit any new evidence warranting reconsideration of court’s earlier decision that plaintiff failed to meet statute’s six-year statute of limitations, and noting that state trial court judge’s statement about plaintiff’s federal records did not override FOIA’s statute of limitations.

Summaries of all published opinions issued since April 2015 are available here.

Court opinions issued Dec. 24, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Sierra Club v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv. (9th Cir.) -- on government’s appeal, affirming in part and reversing in part district court’s decision that government improperly relied on deliberative process privilege to withhold certain records generated during EPA rulemaking process concerning cooling water intake structures. A dissenting panelist noted that the Second Circuit had recently permitted the government to withhold similar records as deliberative.

Anguiano v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (N.D. Cal.) -- on ICE’s renewed motion for summary judgment, finding that: (1) ICE’s supplemental search for records was adequate; (2) ICE improperly relied on Exemption 7(E) to withhold portion of handbook on "The Law of Arrest, Search and Seizure for Immigration Officers"; and (3) ICE properly withheld portions of its “Enforcement and Removal Operations” training manual.

Summaries of all published opinions issued since April 2015 are available here.

Court opinions issued Dec. 18, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Elect. Privacy Inf. Ctr. v. IRS (D.C. Cir.) -- affirming district court’s decision that IRS properly withheld Donald Trump’s tax returns, but finding that proper basis for withholding was Exemption 3, in conjunction with 26 U.S.C. § 6103, rather than plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

Reyes v. NARA (D.D.C.) -- awarding plaintiff $429.20 in costs and $19,939.20 in attorney’s fees (reduced from $29,450.80 due to duplicative efforts of plaintiff’s attorneys) for substantially prevailing in case concerning records of female Filipino guerrilla fighters during World War 2. Notably, the court held that its consent order memorializing the parties’ mutually agreed upon production schedule was sufficient to establish plaintiff’s eligibility for fees, rejecting NARA’s argument to the contrary.

Summaries of all published opinions issued since April 2015 are available here.

Court opinions issued Dec. 14, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Jordan v. U.S. Dep't of Labor (W.D. Mo.) -- dismissing part of plaintiff’s lawsuit concerning records that are subject of plaintiff’s concurrent FOIA lawsuit in U.S. District Court for District of Columbia.

Rodriguez v. FBI (D.D.C.) -- ruling on renewed summary judgment motions that Criminal Division performed adequate search for records concerning plaintiff’s criminal case, and that the Criminal Division and Executive Office for United States properly withheld records pursuant to Exemptions 5, 6, 7(C), 7(D), and 7(F).

Summaries of all published opinions issued since April 2015 are available here.

Court opinion issued Dec. 7, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Democracy Forward Found. v. DOJ (D.D.C.) -- granting Office of Information Policy’s request for a stay until January 13, 2019 to process records from the Office of Legal Policy concerning appellate court nominees. In arriving at its decision, the court considered that OIP has seen a significant spike in requests over the past two years and that it has been sufficiently diligent in processing requests.

Summaries of all published opinions issued since April 2015 are available here.

Court opinions issued Dec. 6, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dep't of State (D.D.C.) -- in a blistering opinion against the government, ordering the parties “to meet and confer to plan discovery into whether [Hillary] Clinton used a private email to stymie FOIA, whether State’s attempts to settle [this] case in late 2014 and 2015 amounted to bad faith, and whether State’s subsequent searches have been adequate.”

Sorin v. DOJ (2nd Cir.) (summary order) -- affirming district court’s decision that government properly withheld records pertaining to plaintiff’s criminal prosecution pursuant to Exemption 3, in conjunction with Federal Rule of Criminal of Criminal Procedure 6(e); Exemption 5 (attorney work-product privilege); and Exemption 7(C).

Summaries of all published opinions issued since April 2015 are available here.