FOIA Advisor

Court opinion issued Oct. 21, 2015

Court Opinions (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment


Our Children's Earth Found. v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries Serv. (N.D. Cal.) -- ruling that: (1) the agency conducted an adequate search and that it was not required to submit declarations from each employee who participated in the search; (2) a low-level employee's "draft chart and summary" sent to senior employee was withheld appropriately pursuant to the deliberative process privilege; (3) the agency established that it had released non-exempt, reasonably segregable factual information from certain records, but that an 11-page document could not be withheld in full under the attorney-client privilege merely because the document had been sent to an agency attorney for review; (4) the agency appropriately used search cut-off dates based upon when its principal subject matter expert initiated searches, but noting that "a better policy is the search start date of each individual [subject matter expert]"; and (5) plaintiff was entitled to declaratory relief (and limited injunctive relief) as a result of agency's pattern and practice of failing to meet FOIA deadlines.

Summaries of all opinions issued since April 2015 available here.