FOIA Advisor

Court Opinions (2018)

Court opinions issued Nov. 13, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Anguiano v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (N.D. Cal.) -- ruling that : (1) ICE failed to show that its search was adequate in all respects; (2) court could not evaluate ICE's use of Exemptions 5 and 7(E) without reviewing certain documents in camera; and (3) ICE properly relied on Exemptions 6 and 7(C) to protect information regarding third parties and ICE employees.

Chase v. DOJ (D.D.C.) -- finding that plaintiff had offered no new arguments that warranted changing court’s earlier opinion that government had performed adequate search for records concerning plaintiff’ criminal conviction and that it properly withheld names of third parties pursuant to Exemption 7(C).

Pubien v. Exec. Office for U.S. Attorneys (D.D.C.) -- concluding that EOUSA performed adequate search for grand jury information regarding plaintiff’s criminal case, and that it properly withheld the names of government employees pursuant to Exemption 6.

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

Court opinion issued Nov. 7, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Liounis v. DOJ (D.D.C.) -- concluding that Executive Office for United States Attorneys performed reasonable search for grand jury records pertaining to plaintiff’s criminal case and properly withheld records pursuant to Exemption 3, in conjunction with Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), and Exemption 5 (attorney-work product).

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

Court opinion issued Nov. 1, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Baker v. CFPB (D.D.C.) --denying plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction seeking production of as many as 630,000 pages of responsive records about Zillow Group, because plaintiff failed to show that he has a likelihood of success on the merits, that he will face irreparable harm, or that the balance of the hardships and the public interest weigh in plaintiff’s favor.

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

Court opinion issued October 26, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Bloomgarden v. NARA (D.D.C.) -- determining that agency properly invoked Exemption 6 to withhold two letters pertaining to firing of lead prosecutor in plaintiff’s murder case two decades ago, because prosecutor maintained privacy interests in avoiding disclosure of embarrassing information despite passage of time and that public interest “in negligent job performance and unremarkable misconduct of a staff-level attorney is relatively low.”

Arledge v. IRS (N.D. Tex.) -- concluding that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, because: (1) plaintiff incorrectly submitted request to Assistant United States Attorney at field office instead of to main office in Washington D.C.; and (2) plaintiff requested protected “return” information from IRS without submitting agency forms establishing his right of access.

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

Court opinions issued Oct. 24, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Canning v. U.S. Dep’t of State (D.D.C.) -- in consolidated case, ruling that: (1) agency performed adequate search for records requested by plaintiff SAE Productions concerning Muslim Brotherhood; (2) agency properly justified its use of Exemption 1 for all but four withheld records; (3) agency failed to adequately explain how three draft letters sought by plaintiff Canning fall within deliberative process privilege, but that agency properly withheld other draft material disputed by plaintiff SAE.

Godaire v. Rosentstein (D.D.C.) -- finding that Office of Information Policy properly informed plaintiff that DOJ’s leadership offices, including Deputy Attorney General, typically do not maintain copies of search warrants pertaining to individuals, and that plaintiff was required to contact FBI and DHS directly for records maintained by those agencies.

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

Court opinion issued Oct. 16, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Hughes v. DOJ (N.D. Ill.) -- concluding that U.S. Marshals Service properly issued Exemption 7(C) Glomar in response to plaintiff’s request for records concerning his brother, who is alive and did not consent to disclosure; rejecting plaintiff’s personal interest in records for probate proceeding as sufficient to override subject’s privacy interests.

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

Court opinions issued Oct. 15, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Sieverding v. DOJ (D. Mass.) -- concluding that plaintiff failed to state claim for which relief could be granted, because plaintiff sought ratification of Office of Information Policy’s decision to remand request to EOUSA for further processing of responsive records.

Stalcup v. DOD (D. Mass.) -- on remand from First Circuit, finding that three agency offices failed to demonstrate adequacy of their searches for records pertaining to crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996.

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

Court opinion issued Oct. 12, 2018

Court Opinions (2018)Allan BlutsteinComment

Gov't Accountability Project v. DHS (D.D.C.) -- finding that agency’s search was inadequate because it relied on too few keywords and excluded obvious synonyms; adopting plaintiff’s metaphor that “FOIA requests are not a game of Battleship. The requester should not have to score a direct hit on the records sought based on the precise phrasing of his request.”

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