FOIA Advisor

Court opinions issued July 31, 2017 to August 3, 2017

Court Opinions (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

Aug. 3, 2017

Argus Leader Media v. USDA (D.S.D.) -- awarding plaintiff attorney fees and costs despite undisputed finding that agency had a reasonable basis for withholding certain food stamp program records pursuant to Exemptions 3 and 4.  See related news article

Aug. 2, 2017

Hall v. CIA (D.D.C.) -- deciding that: (1) CIA failed to demonstrate that its search for records pertaining to POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War era was adequate in all respects; (2) CIA properly invoked Exemption 1, but that Vaughn Index was deficient with respect to three documents; (3) CIA properly withheld records pursuant to Exemptions 3 and 5, noting that sunset provision of deliberative process privilege did not apply to this case; (3) Exemption 6 did not protect certain names of non-CIA employees because of substantial public interest in POW/MIA matters.    

Eakin v. DOD (W.D. Tex.) -- concluding that request for electronic files related to missing and unidentified veterans from World War II was not unreasonably burdensome.  In reaching its decision, the court noted that it could think of "few other government programs more solemn and worthy of public scrutiny than those tasked with ensuring that Americans who gave the last full measure of devotion in service to their nation are identified, returned home to their families or communities, and buried with honors."  Due to the volume of material, the court permitted DOD to make semi-annual productions over next four years.

July 31, 2017

Rios v. United States (D.D.C.) -- ruling that plaintiff properly certified his identity to Drug Enforcement Administration with respect to request concerning himself, and that DEA had waived its exhaustion of remedies defense regarding plaintiff's request concerning a third party.

Summaries of all opinions issued since April 2015 available here.