The following is a compilation of Freedom of Information Act decisions received by the Office of Information and Privacy during the months of July through December 2000. OIP is preparing additional compilations of decisions received during previous months and years.
Billington v. Dep't of Justice, 233 F.3d 581 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (rejects plaintiff's appeal with respect to Exemptions 7(C) and 7(E) for substantially the reasons given by the district court) (Exemption 7(D): government has not demonstrated that certain sources were given express promises of confidentiality; remands to allow the government to make a stronger showing; remands to allow the government to make a stronger showing as to whether certain sources were given implied promises of confidentiality; the government must provide evidence that informants predicated their assistance on such an implied assurance) ("reasonably segregable": on remand, the district court must determine if 4 documents have been reasonably segregated).
Daly v. Dep't of Justice, No. 00-5164, 2000 WL 1279284 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 2, 2000) (grants defendant's motion for summary affirmance; agency has demonstrated that it conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request).
Domingues v. FBI, No. 99-1976, 2000 WL 1140594 (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 2000) (unpublished order), 229 F.3d 1151 (6th Cir. 2000) (table cite) (duty to search: FBI's failure to search its field offices in response to plaintiff's FOIA request was not unreasonable) (adequacy of request: plaintiff's FOIA request did not "reasonably describe" any records which might be in the FBI field offices).
Favish v. Office of Indep. Counsel, 217 F.3d 1168 (9th Cir. 2000) (res judicata: sua sponte finds that plaintiff who served as associate counsel for Accuracy in Media is not collaterally estoppped from being a party to this action which also seeks records concerning the death of Vincent Foster) (Exemption 7(C): reverses and remands the district court opinion which found that the exemption protected 10 photographs relating to the death of Vincent Foster; finds that the personal privacy under the FOIA "extends to the memory of the deceased held by those tied closely to the deceased by blood or love"; because the government's affidavits are insufficiently detailed, on remand the district court must examine the photographs in camera and balance the privacy of the Foster family against the public interest to be obtained from their release) (Pregerson, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part, would find that affidavits were sufficient, just as D.C. Circuit found in Accuracy in Media).
Folstad v. Bd. of Governors of the Fed. Reserve Sys., No. 00-1056, 2000 WL 1648057 (6th Cir. Oct. 26, 2000) (unpublished memorandum), 234 F.3d 1268 (6th Cir. 2000) (table cite) (affirms district court grant of summary judgment to the government; agency demonstrated that it conducted a reasonable search for records in response to plaintiff's FOIA request; documents that were no longer in the possession of the agency at the time the FOIA request was made were not "improperly withheld"; agency is under no obligation to attempt to obtain new copies of records from the third party that had submitted them in order to satisfy a FOIA request).
Hale v. Dep't of Justice, 226 F.3d 1200 (10th Cir. 2000) (Exemption 7(D): in this FOIA case concerning investigatory records that relate to a violent crime committed in a small community, the agency’s affidavits demonstrated that this exemption protects confidential sources by dividing these sources into categories and explaining why the sources in each category would expect that their communications with the FBI would remain confidential; affirms district court ruling that the exemption protected sources who had an implied confidentiality due to the sources’ reasonable fears of retribution or close relationship to the plaintiff or victim and the fact that sources spoke to the FBI through third parties).
OSHA Data/CIH, Inc. v. Dep't of the Labor, 220 F.3d 153 (3d Cir. 2000) (fees (commercial requesters): in response to a FOIA request for information concerning 80,000 companies, finds that the agency properly determined that it would incur "review costs" when (authorized by agency regulation) it notified the affected companies in order to determine whether the information was "confidential" business information and when it evaluated the companies' responses; agency properly assessed these anticipated costs against the requester in the amount of $1.7 million and properly withheld the records based on nonpayment of these costs) (mootness: district court properly dismissed Count Three as moot, because plaintiff received the documents requested and it has not shown that future information requests will be denied).
Quinault Indian Nation v. Deer, No. 98-36231, 2000 WL 1036172 (9th Cir. July 27, 2000) (unpublished memorandum), 232 F.3d 896 (9th Cir. 2000) (table cite) (Exemption 6: affirms district court ruling that the exemption protects certain membership documents submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by a Native American Tribe as part of the administrative process of seeking acknowledgment).
Shafizadeh v. ATF, No. 99-5727, 2000 WL 1175586 (6th Cir. Aug. 10, 2000) (unpublished order), 229 F.3d 1153 (6th Cir. 2000) (table cite) (duty to search: district court properly found that the agency conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request) (Exemption 7(C): district court properly found that this exemption protects information that would identify federal law enforcement personnel and third parties) (Exemption 5: protects an internal memorandum that provided legal advice because this document would be privileged in civil discovery; agency has not demonstrated that an internal memorandum concerning an examination of an agency policy is protected by the deliberative process privilege; remands to the district court to determine whether the agency properly withheld this record).
Sorrells v. Fed. Mine Safety & Health Admin., No. 00-5128, 2000 WL 1648052 (6th Cir. Oct. 26, 2000) (unpublished order), 234 F.3d 1270 (6th Cir. 2000) (table cite) (affirms district court grant of summary judgment to the government; agency has provided plaintiff with all documents responsive to his FOIA request).
Stanbury Law Firm
v. IRS, 221 F.3d 1059 (8th Cir. 2000) (Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Welsh v. Dep't of Justice, No. 99-5401 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 1, 2000) (affirms district court ruling that Exemption 7(C) categorically protects the identities of federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel and investigators, informants, and third parties mentioned in investigative files).
Al-Fayed v. CIA, No. 00-2092, 2000 WL 34342564 (D.D.C. Sept. 20, 2000) (exhaustion: in this FOIA case where the father of Dodi Al-Fayed sought records concerning the August 1997 Paris automobile accident which caused the deaths of his son, Princess Diana, and their driver, finds that judicial review of an agency's denial of expedited processing may occur when an agency denies the request or, if the requester wishes to pursue an administrative appeal, after a denial of such an appeal) (preliminary injunction: denies plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction; plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits, that the public interest would be furthered by this injunction, and has failed to make a showing of irreparable injury) (failure to meet time limits: many agencies to which plaintiff directed his request for expedited processing failed to respond to this request within the 10-day statutory time period; "Such routine failure to comply with the statutory time limits is bad for morale in the agencies and breeds contempt by citizens who expect government officials to abide by, not routinely break, the law.").
Allnutt v. Dep't of Justice, Nos. Y-98-901, Y-98-1722, 2000 WL 852455 (D. Md. Oct. 23, 2000) (Exemption 7 (threshold): on in camera inspection, grants defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment; data collected in connection with researching plaintiff's tax liability meets the threshold requirement) (Exemption 7(E): the release of computer command codes used to access federal databases "could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law").
Aranha v. CIA,
No. 99 CIV.8644, 2000 WL 1505988 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2000) (Exemption 1 [E.O.
12,958] and Exemption 3 [50 U.S.C.
Aranha v. Dep't of Justice, No. 99CIV.2777, 2000 WL 1051908 (S.D.N.Y. July 31, 2000) (summary judgment granted to the government in this FOIA case because its affidavit demonstrates that information concerning the plaintiff was properly withheld under Exemptions 1, 2, 7(C), and 7(D)).
Baker v. IRS, No. S-00-1046, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13916 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 1, 2000) (exhaustion: where the IRS cured its failure to respond to this FOIA request within the statutory time period by responding to the request before suit was filed, finds that plaintiff was required to file an administrative appeal before filing suit) (jurisdiction: court lacks jurisdiction because plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies).
Bartolotta v. FBI, No. 99-1145 (D.D.C. July 13, 2000) (exhaustion: case dismissed because plaintiff failed to respond to defendants' motion for summary judgment; because plaintiff has neither paid DEA's and FBI's search and copying fees nor filed an application for a fee waiver, DEA and FBI need not produce the requested records) (Exemption 7(C): protects the identities of the subject of a proposed RICO prosecution, third parties, potential prison visitors, victims, witnesses, co-defendants, two attorneys, Deputy United States Marshals, law enforcement officers, and other government employees) (Exemption 7(F): protects the identity of a Bureau of Prison's confidential source and the identities of fellow inmates who should be kept separate from plaintiff) (Exemption 2 "high": disclosure of a teletype access code would enable individuals to interfere with intra-governmental communications) (Exemption 5: the attorney work-product and deliberative process privileges protect a document prepared by an attorney that discusses and analyzes collateral estoppel and double jeopardy issues in contemplation of RICO litigation) (Exemption 3 [Rule 6(e)]: protects grand jury transcripts) ("reasonably segregable": agency has released all segregable material).
Borelli v. FBI, No. 99-0464 (D.D.C. July 21, 2000) (summary judgment: denies plaintiff's motion for summary judgment without prejudice; plaintiff's FOIA case has been fully resolved on its merits; the res judicata effect of "with prejudice" bars plaintiff only from bringing the instant action again; plaintiff is not barred from bringing a new action in the future with respect to other requested records).
Boyd v. United States Marshals Serv., No. 99-2712, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14025 (D.D.C. Sept. 25, 2000) (mootness: action is not moot where the defendant claims it has produced all responsive, nonexempt information, but has not yet explained its withholdings) (dismissal of a FOIA case: denies defendant's motion to dismiss this FOIA case where the agency claimed that its initial response properly withheld all records under Exemption 7(A) and that it subsequently had produced the requested records, in whole or in part, before the commencement of this lawsuit; within 30 days defendant must release all responsive records or file a dispositive motion and a declaration describing the adequacy of its search, the information withheld and the basis for the withholding, and must include a statement concerning the segregability of each withholding).
Brace v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 99-2713, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14781 (D.D.C. Sept. 12, 2000) (grants defendants' unopposed motions to dismiss or for summary judgment; agencies' affidavits demonstrate that the IRS never received a FOIA request from the plaintiff, that two federal agencies could find no records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request, that plaintiff failed to file a privacy waiver with the Department of Justice so that he could receive third-party records, that the Justice Department properly relied on Exemptions 5, 6, and 7(C) to withhold information, and that all reasonably segregable nonexempt information has been disclosed).
Clark v. IRS, No. 00-C-305 (E.D. Wis. July 26, 2000) (summary judgment: grants IRS's motion for summary judgment; agency performed an adequate search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request and produced all responsive documents).
Comer v. IRS, No. 97-CV-76329 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 24, 2000) (Exemption 7(C): protects third-party driver's license information) (duty to search: with respect to one count, IRS has not conducted a reasonable search and it must contact individuals who may have knowledge of where the requested reports "might be found"; with respect to 4 other counts, finds that IRS has conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover all records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request) (FOIA not intended as a discovery tool: government is not required to expend the same efforts under FOIA that it would in response to a litigation-related document request).
Cooper Cameron Corp. v. Dep't of Labor, 118 F. Supp. 2d 757 (S.D. Tex. 2000) (Exemption 7(C): in this FOIA action for records concerning an OSHA investigation of a petrochemical facility finds that this exemption protects statements provided by employee-witnesses because the witnesses' privacy interests outweigh the public interest in disclosure, even though 3 witnesses have been identified by name; there is a public interest in nondisclosure because the release of this information about individuals could chill future cooperation and thus hamper government efforts) (Exemption 7(D): protects the identities of and information provided by employee-witnesses who were given express promises of confidentiality, even though the identities of 3 witnesses are known to the plaintiff; because of the small number of witness statements involved, segregable portions cannot be released without risking the disclosure of exempt information).
Czeck v. ATF, No. 99-1147, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12330 (D.D.C. July 26, 2000) (pro se plaintiff: grants as conceded defendants' unopposed motions for summary judgment in this FOIA case where pro se plaintiff was provided a copy of Rule 56(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and did not respond to these motions) ("no records" defense: the declarations of 2 defendants demonstrate that they found no records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request) (exhaustion: plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with respect to one defendant) (summary judgment: the affidavits of 6 defendants demonstrate that they properly withheld information under Exemptions 2, 3, 5, 7(C), 7(D), and 7(F) and that all reasonably segregable information has been released).
Davidson v. EPA, 121 F. Supp. 2d 38 (D.D.C. 2000) (duty to search: agency's affidavit does not demonstrate that it conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request; agency must file a renewed motion for summary judgment with sufficiently detailed supporting affidavits; if these affidavits do not demonstrate the adequacy of its search, "the Court will consider whether appointment of counsel will be necessary to depose agency officials on the adequacy of its search").
Davis v. Dep't of Justice, No. 88-0130 (D.D.C. Sept. 15, 2000) ("reasonably segregable": no segregation of the tapes is possible) (Exemption 7(C): release the speakers’ voices would result in an "unwarranted invasion" of those individuals’ privacy interests; considering the passage of "only about" 20 years since the events at issue took place, defendant has made adequate efforts to establish that the speakers are not deceased) (denies plaintiff’s request for interim attorney fees, because this matter is ready for final resolution).
In re Diet Drugs (Phentermine, Fenfluramine, Dexfenfluramine) Prods. Liability Litig., No. 1203, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15170 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 12, 2000) (discovery/FOIA interface: in this action where plaintiff's discovery requests were made through both subpoenas and the FOIA, the court will review the denial of information under the FOIA even though the plaintiff never formally filed suit against the FDA under the FOIA) (Exemption 5: on in camera inspection, finds that the deliberative process privilege does not protect any of the 132 withheld documents because they are factual in nature and contain communications concerning whether the FDA possessed certain records; the attorney-client privilege protects all of the withheld documents because they contain communications between officials and attorneys made in connection with formulating responses to subpoenas and letters from plaintiff and were intended to be confidential).
Doe v. Glickman, No. W-99-335 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 8, 2000) ("reverse" FOIA/Exemption 6: in this FOIA action where an animal rights organization seeks information that would identify farmers and ranchers who have requested or entered into cooperative agreements with the federal government regarding the use of an anti-wolf livestock protection collar, denies the government's motion to remand the proceedings to the agency for completion of the administrative record; if the government's decision to release these records was made without a complete record, the government must bear the responsibility for making a decision with no administrative support).
Eltayib v. United States Coast Guard, No. 99-1033 (D.D.C. Nov. 11, 2000) ("exceptional circumstances"/"due diligence": defendant "failed to comply with its statutory deadline well over three years ago and has made little effort to comply in the intervening time"; denies an Open America stay; defendant has made no attempt to quantify its backlog of FOIA requests, explain the basis for this backlog, identify where plaintiff's request falls in the processing queue, or describe measures currently being taken to reduce its backlog of requests; "agency's failure to assign even one full-time employee to coordinate its FOIA responsibilities is not an omission that must be born [sic] on the backs of the public").
Esseily v. Giuliani, No. 00CIV.5271, 2000 WL 1154313 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 14, 2000) ("not an agency" defense: the FOIA applies to federal agencies, not to city agencies).
Flores v. Executive Office for the United States Attorneys, 121 F. Supp. 2d 14 (D.D.C. 2000) (Exemption 3 [Rule 6(e)]: protects grand jury transcripts, ballots showing grand jurors' votes, and grand jury exhibits because disclosure would reveal the "inner workings" of the grand jury).
Gonzalez v. FBI, No. 99-5789 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 11, 2000) (proper party defendant: FOIA authorizes suit against federal agencies, not against individual federal employees) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C): government properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of records concerning an informant and any misconduct or investigations of 3 federal employees; the public interest in these records is "low" or "non-existent"; federal employees have a "high privacy interest which is not mitigated by their duties as federal employees") (Vaughn Index: here where the agency's affidavit is sufficient, denies plaintiff's motion for a Vaughn Index) (adequacy of search: defendant has conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request; FBI need not forward plaintiff's FOIA request to other agencies and to its field offices; agency need not provide the names of agency employees who conducted the search for records).
Grasheim v. FBI, No. 98-6768 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 28, 2000) (attorney fees: finds that the filing of this lawsuit caused the defendant to produce the requested documents because there was a 2-year delay before any search was even started; where plaintiff requested records for use in litigation, finds that this request "was not frivolous or economically motivated"; "while the Court is aware that the defendant has a backlog of work, there is no reasonable basis in law for the two-year delay before starting the search"; grants plaintiff $7,967.67 in attorney fees and costs).
Hamilton Sec. Group v. HUD, 106 F. Supp. 2d 23 (D.D.C. 2000) (jurisdiction: court lacks jurisdiction over this FOIA action because plaintiff failed to exhaust its administrative remedies, in this case where plaintiff and plaintiff's counsel were notified in advance of the agency's construction of their FOIA request and did not challenge this construction, although they challenged other aspects of the initial denial of the FOIA request) (exhaustion: plaintiff failed to exhaust its administrative remedies when it filed its administrative appeal one day after the 30-day regulatory time period had ended and, thus, lost its statutory right to bring suit) (Exemption 5: alternatively holds that the deliberative process privilege protects a draft audit report of the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage loan sale program because it was prepared by staff members, had no precedential value, was evaluative in nature, reflected the opinion of the authors rather than the policy of the agency, and was never approved by the District Inspector General; disclosure of the draft would "threaten the integrity of the agency's policymaking processes") ("reasonably segregable": since no portion of the report was signed, reviewed, and "signed off" by the District Inspector General, no portion is reasonably segregable; factual material is nonsegregable if the "manner of selecting or presenting" facts would itself reveal the deliberative process).
Hazel v. Dep't of Justice, No. 99-2117 (D.D.C. Sept. 11, 2000) (grants defendant's unopposed motion for summary judgment; agency's affidavit demonstrates that information was properly withheld under Exemption 7(C) (information that would identify law enforcement officers and inmate witnesses)).
Helmon v. IRS,
No. 3-00-0809, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17628 (W.D. Tex. Nov. 6, 2000) (magistrate's
recommendation) (Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Herrick v. Garvey, No. 99-0234, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20342 (D. Wyo. Dec. 14, 2000) (Exemption 4: protects certification materials for an aircraft submitted to the FAA's predecessor 65 years ago; information, which include drawings, blueprints, tests, and analyses, fits the definition of "trade secret" as a "secret, commercially valuable plan" used for the making of a commodity that can be said to be "the end product of either innovation or substantial effort, with a direct relationship between the trade secret and the productive process"; age of the materials is "irrelevant"; plaintiff has not shown that the corporation that is the successor-in-interest to the submitting company has no proprietary interest in the certification materials; corporation has reversed its earlier authorization to disclose aircraft drawings, and the materials at issue have not previously been released to the public).
Hoffman v. Dep't of Justice, No. 98-1733 (W.D. Okla. Sept. 20, 2000) (defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment denied in this FOIA case for records pertaining to the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building; defendant has demonstrated that the records at issue in this case are subject to a continuing prohibition against disclosure as the result of a clarified "protective order" issued by the criminal trial court judge, except to the extent that they were publicly disclosed at trial; the remaining questions are whether discovery materials used as trial exhibits were filed under seal or became a matter of public record through their use at trial and whether the videotapes already produced are the only records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request that were used as trial exhibits; this case will be set for hearing by the court).
Jefferson v. O'Brien, No. 96-1365 (D.D.C. July 3, 2000) (Exemption 7(D): protects in their entireties records containing the names of confidential informants and the information they provided, even though sources may have testified at trial; plaintiff has submitted no evidence as to the material offered at his criminal trial that would waive this privilege).
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Commerce, 127 F. Supp. 2d 228 (D.D.C. 2000) (discovery in FOIA litigation: grants plaintiff's motion for discovery; plaintiff may discover White House e-mail "that would reasonably lead to evidence" that the Department of Commerce was withholding documents from plaintiff during the pendency of its first FOIA request; plaintiff may not "fish" for information relating to whether the White House sold trade mission seats for political favors; because this case is "high-profile" and "contentious," the parties must file a joint proposal on the schedule and procedures to be followed).
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Justice, No. 99-2315, 2000 WL 33724693 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2000) (fees: Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm, is not entitled to a fee limitation under the FOIA because it is not a "representative of the news media"; plaintiff is not "organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public"; plaintiff does not have a "firm intention" to publish the information it requested under the FOIA) (fee waiver: plaintiff is not entitled to a fee waiver because it has not shown that disclosure of information about Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Atlanta Olympic bombing would be "meaningfully informative" to a "reasonably broad audience" and would contribute to the public understanding of the activities of the government).
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Justice,122 F. Supp. 2d 5 (D.D.C. 2000) (fee waiver: plaintiff, a self-described public interest law firm that focuses on alleged corruption in government, has not demonstrated with reasonable specificity how the disclosure of information on 9 individuals/corporations will serve the public interest; plaintiff's past record in "uncovering important facts about government activities" does not prove that the disclosure of this information is "likely to contribute to the public's understanding"; plaintiff has not expressed a specific intent to publish or disseminate the information at issue; plaintiff has not explained how the disclosure of the requested information would enhance the public's understanding of government activities or operations) (fees: courts must apply the "arbitrary and capricious" standard for fee category issues; plaintiff is not a representative of the news media because its method of "disseminating" is "merely" to make the requested information available to the public, it is not organized to publish or broadcast news, and it has failed to demonstrate a "firm intention" to publish this information).
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Justice, 122 F. Supp. 2d 13 (D.D.C. 2000) (fee waiver: in the "interests of clarity and fairness," construes plaintiff's appeal letters as part of the administrative record for purposes of fee-waiver review; defendant properly denied plaintiff's request for a fee waiver; plaintiff has not demonstrated that the disclosure of information about Senator Orrin Hatch and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International is "likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government") (fees (media requesters): defendant's decision not to categorize plaintiff as a "representative of the news media" was not "arbitrary and capricious"; "merely making information available to the public does not transform a requester into a representative of the news media").
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Justice, 133 F. Supp. 2d 52 (D.D.C. 2000) (fee waiver: finds (incorrectly) that the de novo standard of review, rather than the "arbitrary and capricious" standard, applies to decisions as to which fee category fits a FOIA requester; while calling the plaintiff a "self-anointed" representative of the news media and while finding that the amended FOIA had not "anticipated the evolution of the Internet or the morphing of the 'news media' into its present indistinct form," finds that plaintiff is a representative of the news media and that, as such, it should be granted a "waiver" of search fees, when, in fact, the amended FOIA says that media representatives cannot be charged search fees; denies plaintiff a waiver of duplication fees because it has not demonstrated that "the disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of operations or activities of the government").
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Exp.-Imp. Bank, 108 F. Supp. 2d 19 (D.D.C. 2000) (discovery in FOIA litigation: denies plaintiff discovery on the adequacy of the Bank's search because plaintiff has not raised sufficient question that the Bank acted in bad faith) (adequacy of search: Bank's affidavit demonstrates that it conducted a reasonable search in response to 5 items in plaintiff's FOIA request) (adequacy of request: Bank properly refused to conduct a search for a sixth item that was "unreasonably broad" and imposed an "unreasonable burden" on the Bank, where, despite the Bank's repeated attempts, plaintiff declined to clarify the request) (Exemption 4: insurance applicants' financial status and/or export plans are "commercial" or "financial" and they were obtained from a person; disclosure of this information would enable a competitor to have an unfair advantage if it had this information before or after the insurance policy is approved and it would damage the insured's negotiating position when seeking future financing on favorable terms; disclosure would make it difficult for the Bank to obtain reliable information in the future, thereby hindering its ability to fulfill its statutory purpose; disclosing factual information would amount to disclosing information protected by this exemption) (Vaughn Index: the use of a categorical Vaughn Index in an Exemption 4 case is adequate because rather than "explaining over and over again the basis for withholding the same information from essentially identical forms, the Bank took the clear and more efficient course of setting forth only once the reason that the release of a particular type of information would be harmful") (Exemption 5: the deliberative process protects, in whole or in part, internal staff memoranda that were prepared by staff members, which contain evaluations, opinions, and recommendations and where disclosure would make it "very difficult" for the staff to give open and frank comments about the risk of various financial transactions; the attorney-client privilege protects handwritten notes containing legal advice from the Office of the General Counsel regarding the ethical implications of accepting a dinner invitation and a draft memorandum of understanding) (Exemption 6: protects personal bank account numbers, passport numbers, credit card numbers, and a Social Security number; Bank must disclose the resumes of individuals whose insurance applications were approved because the "slight infringement of personal privacy" is outweighed by the public interest in knowing the qualifications of individuals who run businesses that the Bank approves for insurance; telephone numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses, and "similar information" may be withheld; resumes of individuals whose insurance applications were withdrawn or declined may be withheld) ("reasonably segregable": all reasonably segregable information has been disclosed).
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. GSA, No. 98-2223 (D.D.C. Sept. 25, 2000) (fee waiver: because the agency did not determine that plaintiff had a commercial interest in records concerning certain leasing activities of GSA, the court finds that plaintiff has no commercial interest in this information; plaintiff's allegations of possible government improprieties are sufficiently specific to show that disclosure is in the public interest; even though plaintiff did not specify which newspaper it would utilize or which of its customary methods of dissemination it would use, its "track record" proves that the "organization is equipped to disseminate, and will disseminate FOIA-disclosed information to the public"; plaintiff's Web site may "serve as an electronic clearinghouse of information which citizens would otherwise have to cull from a variety of disparate sources"; while most of this information may already be in the public domain, "more widespread dissemination" will allow the public to make "a more informed assessment of the fiscal prudence, legality and ethical propriety" of certain leases; directs GSA to grant fee waiver to plaintiff).
Kenemore v. Dep't of Justice, No. 99-0500 (D.D.C. Sept. 28, 2000) (grants defendant's motion for summary judgment; agency conducted a reasonable search for documents responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request and no records were located).
Krese v. Executive Office of the President, No. 99-2415, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14024 (D.D.C. Sept. 25, 2000) (grants defendant's motion for summary judgment; plaintiff, who has not agreed to pay the search and copying fees associated with his FOIA request, has not exhausted his administrative remedies).
LaRouche v. Dep't
of Treasury, 112 F. Supp. 2d 48 (D.D.C. 2000) (jurisdiction: on defendant's
motion for relief from judgment, finds that this court lacks jurisdiction because
the defendant has filed a notice of appeal; because the court would grant Treasury's
motion in its entirety if the court had jurisdiction, Treasury may move the
court of appeals for a remand in order that relief may be granted; on remand
this court will find that Treasury is not required to release approximately
250 pages because the issues relating to these pages are being litigated by
the plaintiff in a separate action against the Justice Department; page 150
is protected from disclosure under Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Lucabaugh v. IRS, No. 97-23893, 2000 Bankr. LEXIS 959 (Bankr. E.D. Pa. July 28, 2000) (jurisdiction: bankruptcy court lacks jurisdiction over FOIA matters).
Martin v. Dep't of Justice, No. 96-2866 (D.D.C. Aug. 30, 2000) (attorney fees: finds, without specification, that plaintiff has substantially prevailed in this action; there is no public benefit because the release of records concerning the government's prosecution of plaintiff's bank fraud case does not have any general applicability to the government's prosecution of all such cases; plaintiff sought these records in order to challenge his own criminal conviction; it was reasonable for the government to withhold third-party records until plaintiff provided proof-of-death; court questions the application of the Equal Access to Justice Act to FOIA attorney fee matters; attorney fees denied).
McDonald Douglas Corp. v. NASA, 109 F. Supp. 2d 27 (D.D.C. 2000) (denies plaintiff's motion for reconsideration where the court previously found this "reverse" FOIA case to be moot because of the withdrawal of the FOIA request underlying the litigation).
Morales Cozier v. FBI, No. 1:99-0312 (N.D. Ga. Sept. 25, 2000) (Exemption 1 [E.O. 12,958]: agency has demonstrated that the national security would be damaged by the disclosure of intelligence activities, sources, and methods (FBI's internal terminology, file codes, numerical designators, and dissemination instructions) and foreign activities (the FBI's characterization of the case, the scope of the investigation, and the source of the information); in some instances, the FBI has withheld entire paragraphs or pages without a reasonable justification; FBI must produce these documents for in camera inspection within 30 days) (Exemption 2 "low": protects facsimile numbers of FBI employees because they are trivial and of no interest to the public) (Exemption 7 (threshold): requirement met by records compiled in the course of an FBI investigation of plaintiff after she invited an official of the Cuban government to the United States to speak at Georgia State University because this was an activity that could have presented a violation of federal law or "an interference with United States foreign policy or national security") (Exemption 7(C): protects the identities of FBI agents, other federal employees, informants, and third parties because their privacy interests are "considerable" and outweigh the "negligible" public interest in disclosure; with respect to 2 paragraphs that the FBI withheld in their entireties, denies summary judgment to the FBI) (Exemption 7(D): affidavits do not demonstrate (regarding these same 2 paragraphs) that sources spoke with the FBI under implied promises of confidentiality; document must be submitted to the court for in camera inspection within 30 days).
Nat'l Sec. Archive
v. CIA, No. 99-1160 (D.D.C. July 31, 2000) (Exemption 1 [E.O. 12,958]: E.O.
12,958 applies in this case because while the records sought may have been created
under the previous executive order, they were reevaluated under the current
one; CIA properly refused to confirm or deny whether it keeps biographies on
seven named living former Eastern European political leaders because disclosing
which leaders it keeps biographic intelligence on would reveal how the CIA allocates
its resources and, thereby, aid adversaries in determining how best to deploy
counterintelligence measures) (Exemption 3 [50 U.S.C.
Neely v. FBI, No. 7:97-0786 (W.D. Va. Nov. 8, 2000) (after in camera review of a random sampling of over 2000 pages responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request, finds that the FBI properly applied the FOIA exemptions and grants FBI's motion for summary judgment; attorney fees denied).
Nicolaus v. FBI, No. C-95-3614 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2000) (FOIA case is dismissed; FBI's Vaughn Index demonstrates that information was properly withheld under Exemption 7(C) (identities of witnesses and FBI agents) and Exemption 7(D) (identities of sources who provided information under an express or implied promise of confidentiality)).
Perry v. Kaufman County, No. 3:98-2870, 2000 WL 1372832 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 22, 2000) (agency: FOIA does not apply to state or local governments).
Physicians Comm. for Responsible Med. v. Glickman, 117 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2000) (Exemption 6: in this FOIA request concerning records about the membership of an advisory committee, finds that the exemption does not protect the sources of income for committee members and the curriculum vitae of individuals who were not appointed to the committee; the public interest in disclosure of possible conflicts of interest outweighs the personal privacy interests of committee members; the curricula vitae of those who were not appointed must be disclosed (except for information such as telephone numbers, home addresses, e-mail addresses, and Social Security numbers) because the "minimal" privacy interests are outweighed by the public interest in the nomination process).
Robert C. Murphey
Family Trust v. United States, No. 00-55, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19514 (D.
Ariz. Sept. 29, 2000) (displacement of FOIA: 26 U.S.C.
Robinson v. Dep't of Justice, No. 99-1139 (D.D.C. Oct. 10, 2000) (duty to search: agency demonstrated that it conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request) (Vaughn Index: agency failed to provide an adequate description of withheld information; within 20 days, agency must file a renewed motion for summary judgment which includes a Vaughn Index or a copy of all the redacted records provided to the requester, describing each withheld document portion and containing a statement concerning the segregability of each record).
Robinson v. DEA, No. 99-1146 (D.D.C. Aug. 1, 2000) ("exceptional circumstances"/"due diligence": grants the FBI's unopposed motion for an Open America stay until December 15, 2000; FBI has demonstrated the extent to which it is backlogged and its efforts to reduce that backlog) (duty to search: two agencies have demonstrated that, after conducting reasonable searches, no records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA requests were found) (summary judgment: agencies' affidavits demonstrate that they properly withheld information under FOIA Exemptions 2, 3, 5, 7(C), 7(D), 7(E), and 7(F); no segregable material was improperly withheld).
Schwarz v. Dep't
of Treasury, 131 F. Supp. 2d 142 (D.D.C. 2000) (summary judgment: summary
judgment is granted to the defendant in this action against 79 entities because
it has shown that either that no records exist, that all responsive documents
have been produced, or that the documents sought are exempt from disclosure)
(Vaughn Index: a Vaughn Index is "imposed in connection with a
motion for summary judgment"; there is no requirement for a Vaughn Index
when an agency is responding to an initial request for records) (not an "agency":
as plaintiff has been advised in previous litigation, offices within the White
House whose functions are limited to advising and assisting the President, are
not "agencies" for purposes of the FOIA; any further attempt by plaintiff to
name such an agency in a FOIA or Privacy Act action will be "subject to dismissal
as malicious" under 28 U.S.C.
Sinito v. Dep't of Justice, No. 87-0814, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22504 (D.D.C. July 12, 2000) (duty to search: defendants have conducted adequate searches in response to plaintiff's FOIA request, even when no responsive records were located) (Vaughn Index: plaintiff may not question the representativeness of a sample Vaughn executed in 1992 merely because documents outside the sample were subsequently released to the plaintiff; "the government cannot be expected to follow an endlessly moving target") (waiver: using the JFK Act, plaintiff cannot now make a claim of prior disclosure that was not made to the agency many years ago at the time of his FOIA request; even though some documents were inadvertently released to the public and published in part in a newspaper, none of the information redacted by the agency was published in the newspaper article; agency is not barred from invoking an exemption in litigation even though it was not raised at the administrative level) (Exemption 2 "high": release of source and surveillance symbol numbers, for sources both living and deceased, would "undermine federal criminal statutes and the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies") (Exemption 3 [18 U.S.C. § 2518]: under penalty of contempt and violation of Title III, the FBI may not release applications, affidavits, and orders issued in connection with the lawful interception of wire and oral communications that are under court seal) (Exemption 7 (threshold): requirement met by records compiled by the FBI and the Department of Labor's Inspector General in the course of their investigations of plaintiff for labor racketeering activities) (Exemption 7(C): protects the identities of supervisory agents, laboratory personnel, the employees of commercial or financial institutions, agency employees and informants; the passage of time does not diminish the applicability of this exemption; in this case where the FOIA request was initially processed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, finds that the FBI need not reprocess it now "long after such documents were initially reviewed" in order to release the names of individuals who have since deceased; where documents were inadvertently released to the public and published in part in a newspaper, the privacy interests of employees and informants remain strong and must be protected because none of the information redacted by the agency was published in the newspaper article) (Exemption 7(D): protects the identities of and the information provided by sources who provided information to the FBI under express or implied promises of confidentiality because disclosure would chill cooperation with the government and pose a risk of retaliation; protection of this exemption is not diminished by death or by testimony in court; even though in pre-Landano times Labor's Inspector General routinely treated all witness information as confidential, the Landano standard is satisfied here where the nature of the crime and the relationship of the source to the crime point to an implied promise of confidentiality) (Exemption 7(E): protects the use of body microphones as a law enforcement technique, although it is widely known to the public, because disclosure "could reduce or nullify" its effectiveness).
Smilde v. Rossotti, No. 99 C 5758, 2000 WL 960738 (N.D. Ill. July 10, 2000) (proper party defendant: neither the heads of agencies nor the United States are proper party defendants under the FOIA; rather than dismiss the case, the court grants plaintiff leave to amend his complaint).
Sobers v. NLRB, No. 00-2471 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 4, 2000) (mootness: this FOIA action is moot because all requested documents have been provided to the plaintiff).
Sw. Ctr. for Biological
Diversity v. USDA, 170 F. Supp. 2d 931 (D. Ariz. 2000) (Exemption 5: the
deliberative process privilege does not protect raw research data underlying
a published study of the population of northern goshawks living in a small area
outside the boundaries of the Grand Canyon National Park because it is not predecisional
and because disclosure of purely factual data about birds will not inhibit the
deliberative process; this privilege may protect information relating to the
budgeting of the bird-tracking study; exemption does not protect research data
underlying a published study because this data is normally and routinely disclosed
in the course of civil discovery) (Exemption 3 [16 U.S.C.
Spencer-Cullen v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 99Civ.9423, 2000 WL 1800747 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 6, 2000) (pro se plaintiff: even though pro se plaintiff has failed to prosecute this action, the court considers her claim on its merits) (summary judgment: grants defendant's motion for summary judgment because it has provided plaintiff with all the records responsive to her FOIA request).
Stoianoff v. Comm'r of Motor Vehicles, 107 F. Supp. 2d 439 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (agency: the FOIA applies to federal agencies, not to state agencies).
Sylvain v. INS, No. 99-3326 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 2, 2000) (magistrate's recommendation) (attorney fees: plaintiff has substantially prevailed because agency released most of the records after suit was filed; there is a public benefit here because of the public debate and media scrutiny of the INS deportation proceeding against a United States citizen; finds that plaintiff's (and, subsequently, his estate's) interest in his deportation records "was a valid one"; agency's position was unreasonable because it turned over 63 of the 68 requested documents after litigation was initiated; reduces the number of hours billed for time spent on telephone calls between plaintiff's attorneys; grants attorney fees and costs in the amount of $7855.08), adopted (S.D. Fla. Oct. 26, 2000).
Szkutak v. IRS, No. 99-1342, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21344 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 2000) (Exemption 6: protects a federal employee's Social Security number) (duty to search: agency has conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request) (attorney fees: pro se plaintiff, who has not shown that he sacrificed regular pay for a day or more to pursue this suit, is not entitled to an award of attorney fees; plaintiff has not substantially prevailed because he was successful at the administrative level and, therefore, this action was not necessary).
Tavakoli-Nouri v. CIA, No. 99-3470, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13987 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 26, 2000) (duty to search: agency's affidavit demonstrates that it conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request) (on in camera inspection, without further specification, finds that the CIA properly withheld information under Exemptions 1, 3, and 5).
Tolotti v. IRS, No. N-97-003, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12083 (D. Nev. July 14, 2000) ("no records" defense: defendant cannot be required to recreate the destroyed records requested by plaintiff, absent proof of improper agency conduct; agency is not required to conduct research in response to a FOIA request; agency's rules and regulations are published in the Federal Register and need not be provided to the plaintiff under the FOIA) (exhaustion: plaintiff, who never sought a fee waiver, failed to exhaust his administrative remedies when he agreed to pay $5.00 in fees and the regulations require him to agree to pay fees of up to $25.00).
Tota v. United States, No. 99-0445E, 2000 WL 1160477 (W.D.N.Y. July 28, 2000) (proper party defendants: the United States and the Director of the FBI are not proper party defendants under the FOIA) (jurisdiction: in this FOIA case, plaintiff's original request to the FBI received a "no records" response (which informed him of his right to administratively appeal) and plaintiff then followed with further letters requesting substantially the same information; finds that this court lacks jurisdiction because plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies when he did not file an administrative appeal) (no improper withholding: FBI conducted a reasonable search and was unable to finds records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request).
Tule River Conservancy v. United States Forest Serv., No. F 97-5720 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 12, 2000) (attorney fees: in this FOIA case where the agency first claimed that it had no records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request, finds that this action was necessary and caused the production of many agency records within the scope of plaintiff's original FOIA request; plaintiff is a non-profit environmental group interested in protecting the Tule River ecosystem, which is a public concern; plaintiff has no financial interest in this information; disclosure of information that may uncover covert timber harvesting in our national forests benefits the public; agency's explanation for its narrow interpretation of plaintiff's FOIA request is "unpersuasive"; plaintiff is entitled to attorney fees; based on legal experience and the nature of the case, finds that 2 attorneys and one paralegal have submitted claims for hourly rates and time that appear reasonable, with the exception of 35.62 unnecessary or duplicate hours; even though this case was not legally complex, novel, or difficult, no fee adjustment is required; grants attorney fees and costs in the amount of $39,219.72).
Twomey v. FBI, No. 2:00-041, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20757 (W.D. Mich. July 14, 2000) (magistrate's report) (on in camera inspection finds that the FBI properly withheld information under FOIA Exemptions 2, 5, and 6; plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed because the allegations in it "rise to the level of delusional, irrational and wholly incredible"), adopted, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20756 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 10, 2000) (adopts magistrate's findings that the FBI properly withheld information under FOIA Exemptions 2, 5, and 6 and that plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed because the allegations in it "rise to the level of delusional, irrational and wholly incredible").
Voinche v. CIA, No. 98-1883, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14291 (D.D.C. Sept. 27, 2000) (duty to search: the CIA has demonstrated that it has conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover all documents related to plaintiff's FOIA request) (fees: under its regulations, the CIA properly required plaintiff to pay $355.20 in search and copying fees before releasing the records).
Voinche v. FBI, No. 99-1931 (D.D.C. Nov. 17, 2000) (adequacy of search: FBI has demonstrated that it conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover all documents responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request for records concerning the Oklahoma City bombing; FBI properly required plaintiff to pay an estimated search fee of $1920 before it conducted a manual search of the Oklahoma City bombing main file) (Exemption 7(C): FBI properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of nonpersonal information on 3 named individuals in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing investigation because plaintiff had submitted neither privacy waivers nor proofs of death; the appearance of these 3 individuals' names in publications is not the same as official FBI acknowledgment of the existence of FBI records on these individuals).
Walker v. Dep't of Justice, No. 00-0106 (D.D.C. July 17, 2000) (mootness: FOIA action is moot because no responsive records exist) (attorney fees: in this FOIA case where the agency's letters to plaintiff were consistently misaddressed, finds that a lawsuit was necessary because plaintiff's letters to the Parole Commission effectively received neither response nor acknowledgment; plaintiff substantially prevailed because the filing of this lawsuit elicited a properly addressed response from the defendant, well beyond the statutory time limit; court need not decide whether pro se plaintiff is entitled to costs under the FOIA, because he is entitled to, and is awarded, costs under the Privacy Act).
Warren v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 98-CV-0116E, 2000 WL 1209383 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 22, 2000) (adequacy of search: agency has conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request) (Exemption 5: the deliberative process privilege protects score sheets of successful and unsuccessful applicants and the "well-qualified" list for a federal job vacancy because this information is predecisional and relates to the formation of the slate of those who would be further considered for the position; the privilege does not protect the ordered rank of the applicants because it is not predecisional and it is a product of the decisionmaking process) (Exemption 6: balancing personal privacy interests against the public interest in disclosure, finds that the exemption protects the identities of unsuccessful job applicants, award nomination forms for specific individuals, the identities of individuals denied award bonuses, the panel scores of the successful and unsuccessful applicants, and the names of individuals determined to be "well-qualified" for the position vacancy) ("reasonably segregable": documents at issue may be withheld in full because if the agency were to remove all the exempt information "the resulting materials would be little more than templates").
Warren v. United
States, No. 1:99-1317, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17660 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 31, 2000)
(Exemption 7 (threshold): requirement met by information compiled by an IRS
agent in the course of an investigation of plaintiff for potential violations
of internal revenue laws, even though the IRS agent's actions may have been
"improper or overly zealous") (Exemption 7(A): disclosure of records could potentially
interfere with IRS's ongoing enforcement proceedings) (Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Washington v. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, No. 00 C 0284, 2000 WL 1053968 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2000) (denies pro se mandamus petition; despite the fact that agency may have tarried in responding to plaintiff's FOIA request, its eventual response renders the mandamus petition moot; money damages are not available under the FOIA).
Weatherhead v. United States, 112 F. Supp. 2d 1058 (E.D. Wash. 2000) (attorney fees: in this FOIA case where plaintiff requested an Extradition Letter written by the British Home Office, finds that this litigation was necessary and that "common sense supports the finding" that this litigation caused the United States government to release this letter to the plaintiff; plaintiff cannot be found to have prolonged this litigation when he belatedly disclosed that he had a letter from the British Consul in Seattle which revealed a significant portion of the Extradition Letter; the Supreme Court's vacatur of the lower courts' decisions does not affect the determination that the plaintiff is eligible for fees; there was some public interest here in promoting frank disclosures by the government in criminal proceedings involving extradited defendants and in exposing the government's silence with respect to a foreign country's concerns about the ability of its citizens to receive a fair trial; there will be minimal dissemination of the information disclosed to the plaintiff and disclosure will have a minimal public impact; the commercial benefit factor weighs heavily in favor of an award of fees because it is "extremely unlikely" that plaintiff was motivated by an economic factor; plaintiff was attempting to force the government to comply with the "spirit of the FOIA"; while the government's position in refusing to release the Extradition Letter cannot be said to be unreasonable, the "government's tactic of stonewalling" the plaintiff was "disheartening" and it's "lack of cooperation early on is particularly troublesome" because of the "time-sensitive needs of a criminal defendant"; awards plaintiff attorney fees; finds that the plaintiff's billing statements are adequate, even though they recorded hours on a daily basis, rather than by task, but his claims prior to December 16, 1999 will be decreased by 5% to reflect the inaccuracies of a 30-minute billing system; plaintiff is not entitled to an award of fees for time spent unsuccessfully opposing the government's motion for vacatur; plaintiff is entitled to be compensated for a district court brief and his Supreme Court brief, because plaintiff was ultimately successful in obtaining the release of the Extradition Letter; plaintiff, an attorney, cannot be compensated at $150 per hour for "routine clerical work" or for time spent coordinating with the amicus curiae; plaintiff's attorneys have exercised "billing judgment" in the number of hours claimed; grants a Washington state attorney with no FOIA experience hourly rates between $130 and $150 per hour, depending on number of years of legal experience at the time service was rendered; plaintiff reasonably hired a Washington, D.C. law firm with the requisite FOIA experience and experience litigating before the Supreme Court; grants hourly rates for Washington, D.C. attorneys [former assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel] and their staff between $50 and $360 per hour; grants attorney fees and costs in the amount of $199,638.68).
Wewee v. IRS,
No. 99-475, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20285 (D. Ariz. Oct. 13, 2000) (magistrate's
recommendation) (duty to search: IRS has demonstrated that it conducted a reasonable
search for records in response to 4 of plaintiff's FOIA requests and court should
grant the government's motion for summary judgment regarding these requests;
IRS has not conducted a reasonable search for records in response to 2 FOIA
requests submitted by plaintiff; court should order the IRS to conduct reasonable
searches) (Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Williams v. FBI, No. 99-0899 (D.D.C. July 31, 2000) (Exemption 7(D): protects information provided by a prison informant who provided information under an implied promise of confidentiality) ("reasonably segregable": all reasonably segregable information has been released) .
Williams v. FBI, No. 99-3378, 2000 WL 1763680 (D.D.C. Nov. 30, 2000) ("exceptional circumstances"/"due diligence": grants the FBI an Open America stay until May 2, 2001; the FBI has shown that it is exercising diligence in processing an enormous volume of FOIA requests and has shown the steps it has taken to reduce its backlog of requests; plaintiff, who is seeking these records only in connection with his upcoming criminal trial, has not made a showing of "exceptional need" for these records).
Willis v. FBI, No. 99-73481 (E.D. Mich. July 12, 2000) (magistrate's recommendation) (Exemption 2 "low": protects case and file numbers, access codes, distribution codes, informant numbers and file numbers, and other administrative markings) (Exemption 3 [Rule 6(e)]: protects grand jury information because disclosure would reveal a secret aspect of the grand jury's investigation) (Exemption 7(C): protects information that would identify FBI agents, local and foreign law enforcement officers, a U.S. Customs officer, postal employees, subjects of investigative interest, informants, and third parties) (Exemption 7(D): FBI properly withheld the identities of and information provided by 2 regular confidential sources, 3 individuals who were provided express promises of confidentiality, and 54 individuals and 4 foreign police agencies to whom assurances of confidentiality may be inferred because of the nature of plaintiff's crimes and his association to these individuals) (Exemption 7(F): protects information pertaining to 3 informants and 2 symbol-number informants who furnish information to the FBI on a regular basis because disclosure of this material would enable plaintiff to identify these individuals and endanger their safety) (in camera inspection: denies plaintiff's request for in camera inspection of approximately 250 pages because the FBI has shown good faith in complying with the FOIA) (attorney fees: denies attorney fees to this pro se plaintiff; denies costs because the defendant's motion for summary judgment should be granted), adopted (E.D. Mich. Sept. 26, 2000) (defendant must produce one document to the court by October 6, 2000 for in camera review). (posted 6/14/01)
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