FOIA Advisor

Court opinions issued Sept. 29, 2017

Court Opinions (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

Sheridan v. OPM (D.D.C.) -- holding that Office of Personnel Management properly relied on Exemption 7(E) to withhold computer files containing the source code for agency's Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (e-Qip) System.

Spataro v. DOJ (D.D.C.) -- deciding that: (1) FBI performed reasonable search for records concerning plaintiff's criminal case except with respect to certain documents housed in New Jersey facility damaged by Hurricane Sandy; (2) FBI properly relied on Exemption 6 and 7(C) to withhold records concerning law enforcement personnel and other third parties; and (3) FBI properly invoked Exemption 7(D) to withhold certain source information, but did not adequately explain basis for withholding source information pursuant to express assurances of confidentiality.

Digirolamo v. DEA (S.D.N.Y.) -- determining that: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration properly relied on Exemptions 7(C), 7(D), 7(E), or 7(F) to withhold records concerning plaintiff; (2) agency properly denied fee waiver request because disclosure would primarily benefit only plaintiff; (3) agency properly invoked Exemptions 6 and 7(C) to categorically withhold records about third parties.

Sarno v. DOJ (D.D.C.) -- ruling that: (1) Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives conducted adequate search for records concerning plaintiff's criminal case and properly withheld records pursuant to Exemption 7(A); (2)  DOJ's Tax Division performed adequate search and properly withheld records pursuant to Exemptions 3, 5, 6, and 7(C); (3) Executive Office for United States Attorneys properly invoked Exemption 3 to withhold grand jury records; (4) FBI properly withheld wiretap records pursuant to Exemption 3; (5) Internal Revenue Service properly withheld grand jury material pursuant to Exemption 3. 

Coffey v. BLM (D.D.C.) -- concluding that Bureau of Land Management did not perform reasonable search for records concerning sale of wild horses and burros, because agency neglected to produce multiple email attachments or to identify all locations where it searched for records.

Long v. ICE (D.D.C.) -- finding that: (1) government performed adequate search for snapshots of enforcement database used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol; (2) government properly relied on Exemption 6 to withhold names and contact information of agency employees; (3) government failed to justify withholdings under Exemptions 7(C) and 7(E); and (4) evidentiary hearing would be required in lieu of further briefing. 

Goldstein v. IRS (D.D.C.) -- declaring that plaintiff failed to perfect certain but not all requests concerning tax examination file and return and return information of his father's Estate.

Goldstein v. TIGTA (D.D.C.) -- deciding that: (1) plaintiff's newly discovered evidence did not warrant relief under Rule 60(b); and (2)  Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration properly relied on Exemption 3 to withhold certain records, but failed to justify its use of Exemption 7(C).

Summaries of all opinions issued since April 2015 available here