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 1994. OIP is preparing additional compilations of decisions received during previous months and years. See FOIA Post, "Compilations of FOIA Decisions Now Reach Back Five Years" (posted 8/30/02).
Anderson v. DEA, No. 94-3387 (3d Cir. Sept. 12, 1994) (appeal dismissed for failure to prosecute).
Becker v. IRS,
34 F.3d 398 (7th Cir. 1994) (Exemptions 3 [26 U.S.C.
Butler v. Dep't
of Justice, No. 94-5078 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 8, 1994) (appeal dismissed by
agreement of the parties in this FOIA case where the district court ruled that
the government withheld information properly under Exemptions 2, 3 [Rule 6(e)
and 18 U.S.C.
Chenkin v. Dep't
of the Army, No. 94-7109 (3d Cir. Aug. 26, 1994) (summary affirmance denied
in this FOIA case where the district court ruled that the Army had properly
withheld records under Exemptions 5 (deliberative process privilege) and 3 (10
Church of Scientology Int'l v. Dep't of Justice, 30 F.3d 224 (1st Cir. 1994) (duty to search: the district court properly found that the agency's search of a computerized record system for documents concerning a check fraud scheme was reasonable based upon the information in defendant's affidavit) (adequacy of affidavit: Department of Justice's Executive Office for United States Attorneys' affidavits are "written too generally to supplement the index in any meaningful way" and the statements about segregability are "wholly conclusory") (Vaughn Index: applying Weiner v. FBI, holds that the Index is imprecise, there is a lack of justification for withholding lengthy documents in their entireties, segregability is not addressed, and the Index does not provide plaintiff with a "meaningful opportunity" to challenge decisions to withhold information) (Exemption 3 [Rule 6(e)]: documents identified as grand jury exhibits are properly withheld from disclosure; the defendant must explain why the release of documents that were simply located in grand jury files would compromise the secrecy of the grand jury process) (Exemption 5: at a minimum, an agency seeking to withhold a document under the attorney work-product privilege must identify the litigation for which the document was created and explain why the privilege applies to all or portions of the document) (Exemption 7(C): the index repeatedly fails to explain why the agency has withheld an entire document under this exemption rather than releasing it with the identifying information redacted) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, rules that the defendant must specify whether the source was provided with an express or implied promise of confidentiality and, if the latter, specify the surrounding circumstances to support an assertion of implied confidentiality).
Creel v. Dep't of State, No. 94-40237 (5th Cir. Dec. 5, 1994) (unpublished memorandum), 42 F.3d 641 (5th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (mootness: requester's challenge to the timeliness of agency's response to his FOIA request is moot once the defendant responds) (Exemption 5: the record contains an adequate factual basis for the district court's decision that interview notes are protected by the attorney work-product privilege).
Davoudlarian v. Dep't of Justice, No. 93-1787 (4th Cir. Aug. 15, 1994) (per curiam) (unpublished memorandum), 32 F.3d 562 (4th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (waiver: plaintiff did not meet his burden of demonstrating that specific documents and other items of evidence were officially placed in the public domain during the trial for murder of his wife) (Exemption 7(A): the investigation of this 11-year-old murder is still ongoing and consequently the production of the requested evidence could "reasonably be expected to interfere" with the pending enforcement proceeding).
Durham v. Dep't of Justice, No. 93-5354 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 29, 1994) (per curiam) (appeal dismissed; plaintiff's notice of appeal in this FOIA case was not filed within 60 days of the entry of the district court's order granting summary judgment to the defendant, nor given to prison authorities within 60 days of entry of judgment).
GC Micro Corp. v. Def. Logistics Agency, 33 F.3d 1109 (9th Cir. 1994) (Exemption 4: in this case where plaintiff seeks information contained in semiannual reports on small and disadvantaged business (SDB) subcontracting prepared by defense contractors for the Small Business Administration, finds that the percentage and dollar amount of work in the reports would not provide competitors with a profile of exactly how a defense contractor utilizes SDB subcontractors in various types of government contracts because the "data is made up of too many fluctuating variables for competitors to gain any advantage from disclosure").
Goldgar v. Office of Admin., Executive Office of the President, 26 F.3d 32 (5th Cir. 1994) (jurisdiction: agency's affidavit demonstrates that it does not possess any records concerning "thought transparency" therapy performed on the requester by a federal entity; the FOIA obligates agencies to allow requesters access to records which it has created and retained -- it does not require an agency to create a document) (joins the district court in warning plaintiff that should he file another FOIA complaint against any federal agency which is without jurisdictional basis, he may be assessed costs, attorney fees, and proper sanctions), reh'g en banc denied, 32 F.3d 568 (5th Cir. 1994).
Hutchins v. Nat'l Endowment for the Arts, No. 94-1146 (4th Cir. Oct. 19, 1994) (per curiam) (unpublished memorandum), 37 F.3d 1494 (4th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (jurisdiction: court lacks jurisdiction; plaintiff did not allege that his case was properly before the District Court for the District of Maryland because that is the district in which he resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which the agency records reside) (agency: a private non-profit organization is not an agency of the federal government and, therefore, is not subject to the FOIA).
Jones v. FBI, 41 F.3d 238 (6th Cir. 1994) (Vaughn Index: in this case where the plaintiff requested documents concerning himself and the "Afro Set" and a large number of documents have been withheld from the plaintiff, a random sampling of 197 pages of material, which constitutes 2% of the total number of pages at issue, is sufficient; the affidavits are of the type that have become accepted practice and they are sufficiently detailed) (in camera inspection: even though there is no evidence that the FBI acted in bad faith with regard to this FOIA action, there is evidence of bad faith or illegality with regard to the FBI's investigation; under these circumstances, the court must play a more active role because no other institution or party is available to ensure that the agency's assertions are reliable; the district court should not have granted summary judgment solely on the basis of the affidavits and should have conducted in camera inspection of the sample; this court has conducted in camera inspection of the initial random sampling provided by the FBI, augmented by 350 additional pages selected by the plaintiff) (Exemption 1 [E.O. 12,356]: the disclosure of numerical designators that are assigned to national security sources would reveal the identities of those sources) (Exemption 2: protects symbol numbers and file numbers used internally by the FBI to identify confidential sources) (Exemption 7 (threshold): applying the per se rule, finds that the records at issue were compiled for a law enforcement purpose; the FBI is a law enforcement agency and its methods in this instance were "not so far out of bounds that the overall investigation is outside the law enforcement exception") (Exemption 7(C): protects the identities of FBI Special Agents, other federal employees, state and local law enforcement personnel, informants, and third parties because disclosure would not shed light on the operations of the FBI; the fact that an FBI Special Agent testified does not give the plaintiff a right under the FOIA for information about that person) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that for sources who were given express promises of confidentiality, the FBI properly withheld the information provided by them and their assigned source symbol numbers, file numbers, and temporary symbols; information furnished in confidence by financial or commercial institutions where documents noted that they were "not to be made public except pursuant to a subpoena" and by nonfederal law enforcement agencies were properly withheld; the exemption protects the identities of sources who later testify at trial) (Exemption 7(E): protects law enforcement techniques not generally known to the public which continue to be successfully used) (discovery in FOIA litigation: a FOIA request is not a substitute for the normal process of discovery in civil and criminal cases).
Kotmair v. Dep't of Justice, 42 F.3d 1386 (4th Cir. 1994) (per curiam) (affirms district court ruling that Exemption 3 (Rule 6(e)) protects grand jury transcripts).
Latshaw v. FBI, 40 F.3d 1240 (3d Cir. 1994) (table cite) (government properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of records on a named individual).
Lovett v. DeAngelos, No. 94-15628 (9th Cir. Nov. 8, 1994) (unpublished memorandum), 39 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (in this FOIA case where the district court dismissed the action against federal employees, holds that mandamus relief is not available to the plaintiff because he could have pursued remedies available under the FOIA).
McCutchen v. HHS, 30 F.3d 183 (D.C. Cir. 1994) (Exemption 7(C): from a list of all investigations of scientific misconduct conducted by the Office of Scientific Integrity, protects the names of the scientists investigated and exonerated and the names of the individuals who alleged misconduct, because the negligible public interest in disclosure does not outweigh the substantial privacy interest; this exemption can be adequate to protect identities of sources) (waiver in litigation: because plaintiff did not raise in district court the issue of whether his FOIA request encompassed the final reports of investigation, the court will not consider this issue on appeal).
Or. Natural Res. Council v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 94-35696 (9th Cir. Dec. 9, 1994) (appeal dismissed for lack of a final order in this FOIA case where the district court denied plaintiff's request for a fee waiver).
Prof'l Programs Group v. Dep't of Commerce, 29 F.3d 1349 (9th Cir. 1994) (Exemption 6: disclosure of the names and addresses of persons registered to take the August 1991 patent bar examination would be a "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy").
Sierra Club Legal Def. Club v. Bibles, No. 93-35383 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 1994) (unpublished memorandum), 34 F.3d 1073 (9th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (fee waiver (Reform Act): affirms district court's order upholding agency's denial of this nonprofit organization's request for a $790 fee waiver; the plaintiff did not explain how his organization's efforts would add to the vast amount of knowledge already disseminated and publicized).
Strout v. United States Parole Comm'n, 40 F.3d 136 (6th Cir. 1994) (prompt disclosure: the Commission did not delay unreasonably in complying with plaintiff's FOIA request; because plaintiff's request came at the same time he was appealing an adverse parole decision, his records were not available to the regional office) (Exemption 6: the Commission properly redacted the names and addresses of people who wrote letters to the Commission opposing plaintiff's parole) (fees (Reform Act): the Commission properly requested the payment of an "already-accrued processing fee" rather than an "advanced payment" after the expense of search and duplication had already been incurred).
Taylor v. Appleton, 30 F.3d 1365 (11th Cir. 1994) (exhaustion: applying Oglesby v. Department of the Army, finds that after an agency responds to a FOIA request belatedly, but before a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff must file an administrative appeal and receive a denial or wait until the time period passes in order to exhaust his administrative remedies before going to court).
United States v. Reed, No. 94-5111 (6th Cir. Sept. 26, 1994) (unpublished order), 36 F.3d 1098 (6th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (exhaustion: plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies under the FOIA when he simply told the court he was entitled to information concerning his unfortunate incarceration).
Young v. CIA, No. 93-2470 (4th Cir. July 15, 1994) (per curiam) (unpublished memorandum), 28 F.3d 1212 (4th Cir. 1994) (table cite) (affirms district court's bench ruling that granted the agency's motion for summary judgment; without mentioning the exemptions applied, finds that the CIA's affidavits show that 144 documents were properly withheld in part and 265 in full).
Bailey v. FTC, No. 93-127 (E.D. Ky. July 22, 1994) (FOIA as a discovery tool: plaintiff seeks documents to aid in his defense in a related civil enforcement proceeding; plaintiff should not be able to obtain any significant information from his FOIA request that is not otherwise directly discoverable in that enforcement action) (Exemption 5: the attorney work-product privilege protects handwritten notes from a prosecutorial summary; such notes are not routinely available for discovery) (Exemption 7(A): the release of two other documents would give plaintiff a "distinct and unfair advantage" in the enforcement action; disclosure would "clearly hamper" the agency's investigation).
Bartlett v. Dep't of Justice, 867 F. Supp. 314 (E.D. Pa. 1994) (jurisdiction: court lacks jurisdiction in this FOIA case because the FBI is not improperly withholding agency records; the FBI is not required under the FOIA to create records in response to plaintiff's request for a comparison of signatures; the FBI does not have custody of plaintiff's U.S. Draft Registration Card and drivers license).
Berg v. DOE, No. 94-0488 (D.D.C. Nov. 5, 1994) (duty to search: agency's affidavit is sufficiently detailed to establish that it conducted an adequate search in response to plaintiff's FOIA requests; plaintiff merely speculates that other documents might exist; subsequent release of information by an agency after its initial search is not conclusive evidence that its FOIA search was inadequate and to hold otherwise could operate as a disincentive to subsequent agency disclosures).
Berkery v. Dep't of Justice, No. 92-3738 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 17, 1994) ("no records" defense: defendant in its affidavit must describe the nature and structure of its filing system in order to demonstrate that it would not be able to assemble the information plaintiff seeks in requests 1 through 8 without creating a new system of records or a new computer program; the information in 6 other requests was clearly generated by other agencies; however, the Bureau of Prisons in its affidavit must state that these items have never been acquired by it; the information in the 5 remaining requests would appear to be information maintained by defendant; defendant's motion for summary judgment denied).
Blanton v. Dep't of Justice, No. 93-2398, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21444 (W.D. Tenn. July 14, 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): in this FOIA case where the agency gave a "Glomar" denial for records concerning plaintiff's former attorney, finds that defendant did not meet the threshold requirement because it failed to show that any records it might have were part of its investigative files) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C): do not protect information about the validity of the law license of counsel who represented plaintiff when he was prosecuted by the Department of Justice; the only conceivable circumstance under which some privacy interest of the attorney would be at stake would be when the government's source of information was not official state records, but allegations from other sources; since the government has not met its burden of proving there is a privacy interest at stake, it is unnecessary to balance it against the public interest in disclosure) (the defendant must advise the court within 10 days whether any information of this type exists; if information exists but is limited to information about the validity of counsel's law license and it was obtained from public sources, it must be disclosed to plaintiff within 10 days; if this information exists, but was obtained from other sources, the information must be submitted to the court within 10 days for in camera review).
Bostic v. FBI, No. 1:94-71 (W.D. Mich. Dec. 16, 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): applying the per se test in Jones v. FBI, finds that records compiled by the FBI meet the threshold requirement) (Exemption 7(C): protects the name of an informant, on a duplicative basis) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano to this case where plaintiff seeks information from his pre-employment investigative file, finds that the exemption protects the name of an informant who expressly requested confidentiality).
Burcher v. McCauley, 871 F. Supp. 864 (E.D. Va. 1994) (jurisdiction: court lacks jurisdiction because plaintiffs have not made an allegation that any records were ever requested from any agency of the federal government and none of the defendants is in any way connected to the federal government).
Burkins v. United States, 865 F. Supp. 1480 (D. Colo. 1994) (Exemption 5: the deliberative process privilege does not protect Army Inspector General's inquiry memorandum; the author claimed that his findings were the "same" as a report from the State of Hawaii, the findings of which he believed had already been released to the plaintiff; this constitutes an express adoption, which waives the protection) (Exemptions 6 and 7(C): without agency affidavits and in camera inspection, finds that the exemptions do not protect the identities of persons contacted during a criminal investigation; none of these individuals were subject to charges or disciplinary action as a result of the investigation and the public interest in the inquiry is great because of plaintiff's allegations of wrongdoing).
Buros v. HHS, No. 93-571 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 26, 1994) (Exemption 7(C): confirming or denying the existence of a possible criminal investigation of Richard Scott, former director of the Vernon County Department of Human Services, would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, even though Scott's potential relationship to the mishandling of funds is already known by the public; "confirming the initiation of a federal criminal investigation brushes the subject with an independent and indelible taint of wrongdoing"; "disclosing the results of an investigation of one particular individual rarely will provide enough information about the agency's operations to outweigh an individual's interest in privacy").
Canning v. Dep't of Justice, 919 F. Supp. 451 (D.D.C. 1994) (Exemption 3 [Rule 6(e)]: to justify the withholding of material from the Interim Prosecutive Report, the defendant must prepare a supplemental Vaughn Index, written by an individual with personal knowledge of the withheld information, showing that it came from a grand jury and that its disclosure would reveal "matters occurring before the grand jury") (Exemption 7(C): in this case where plaintiff seeks information about 3 individuals who were interviewed by the FBI in connection with investigations into the Lyndon LaRouche political movement, finds that the balance weighs in favor of protecting the identities of individuals who testified at state criminal trials; however, orders the FBI to submit a supplemental affidavit, because there is still the question of whether any segregable material should be disclosed; in this affidavit the FBI must also state whether one further redaction was the name of an individual or an organization) (Exemption 7(D): the FBI in its supplemental affidavit must also demonstrate that express assurances of confidentiality had been given for material withheld under this exemption) (adequacy of search: with one exception, plaintiff has not offered sufficient evidence to raise "material questions" about the adequacy of defendant's searches; because the FBI was aware that "Charles Zimmerman" was known to the authorities as "Charles Cunningham," an adequate search should have produced files listed under both names; to correct this, the FBI is ordered to perform an additional search under the name "Charles Cunningham").
Ceballos-Peralta v. DEA, No. 92-239 (W.D. Pa. July 28, 1994) (magistrate's recommendation) (grants summary judgment to defendant; defendant's uncontested affidavit demonstrates that information was properly withheld under the FOIA's Exemptions 2, 7(C), 7(D), and 7(F)), adopted (W.D. Pa. Aug. 31, 1994).
Chen v. Slattery, 862 F. Supp. 814 (E.D.N.Y. 1994) (publication: the January 1993 rule which would confer upon plaintiff an expanded interpretation of the standards for refugee status was never published; contrary to Zhang v. Slattery, finds that an agency cannot be bound by a nonpublished rule in a situation where the agency never actually adopted the rule).
Cohen v. FBI, No. 93-1701 (D.D.C. Oct. 11, 1994) (Exemption 1 [E.O. 12,356]: minor inconsistencies in the defendants' affidavits do not evince intentional misrepresentation on their part; new markings on portions of 2 documents are not ineffective merely because they were affixed during the course of the second classification review of those documents after plaintiff had made her FOIA request; the documents were properly classified) (Exemption 7(C): defendants properly excised the identity of the original classification authority from the 2 documents; before the filing of the public declaration, there was a substantial privacy interest and a minimal public interest in the disclosure of the name of the original classification authority).
Comdisco, Inc. v. GSA, 864 F. Supp. 510 (E.D. Va. 1994) ("Reverse" FOIA/Exemption 4: applying Acumenics Research & Technology, Inc. v. Department of Justice, orders the disclosure of Additional System Resource prices contained in plaintiff's successful disaster relief recovery contract bid; disclosure of the unit price information would not impair the government's ability to obtain such information in the future; disclosure would also not cause plaintiff to suffer competitive harm because these are peripheral equipment and services that may be ordered by an agency to enhance its Core System; in Acumenics, the Fourth Circuit adopted National Parks in its entirety and it is, therefore, controlling here, rather than Critical Mass; the voluntary/mandatory inquiry is relevant only to the "impairment" issue and the National Parks test serves this function well without the Critical Mass modification).
Computer Prof'ls for Soc. Responsibility v. United States Secret Serv., No. 93-0231 (D.D.C. July 1, 1994) (in camera inspection: in this case where the plaintiff seeks information about a meeting of computer enthusiasts in 1992 that was dispersed by local police, in camera inspection is "absolutely necessary" due to the confidential nature of the criminal investigation) (Exemption 7 (threshold): defendant's in camera submission and public declarations demonstrate that the records were compiled for (unspecified) law enforcement purposes) (Exemption 7(C): does not protect the names of suspects, witnesses, or investigators because the mere fact that defendant has maintained materials relating to this incident in connection with a criminal investigation does not mark the participants in this meeting with the "stigma" of being associated with a criminal investigation) (Exemption 7(D): defendant's claim does not survive Landano, because defendant has offered no evidence of an express or implied promise of confidentiality) (Exemption 7(A): defendant has failed to demonstrate that the release of this information would interfere with an investigation of telephone fraud; defendant may redact from the documents information that would identify witnesses, informants, and individuals under investigation and information that would reveal the strategy or parameters of the investigation).
Computer Prof'ls for Soc. Responsibility v. United States Secret Serv., No. 93-0231 (D.D.C. Oct. 6, 1994) (defendant's motion for reconsideration denied in this FOIA case; although defendant filed its motion within 10 days of the entry of judgment, it did not serve plaintiff within 10 days of entry of judgment, as required by Rule 59(e)).
Crancer v. Dep't of Justice, No. 89-234 (E.D. Mo. Oct. 4, 1994) (magistrate's recommendation) (Exemption 7(A): on remand, finds that defendant's generic affidavit sufficiently describes the records in 67 volumes of the FBI's Hoffa file; at some time in the future, if the FBI denies a FOIA request for these same documents, it could again be required to show that the investigation is ongoing and that the release of these documents would interfere with that proceeding; or perhaps the argument that the case is too old to be truly open would be persuasive; since the case is ongoing and the document-by-document review was conducted in 1989, presumably new documents have been added to the file on a regular basis; defendant has 30 days to complete a document-by-document review of the documents placed in the Hoffa file from April 1989 to the present), adopted (E.D. Mo. Nov. 7, 1994) (defendant has 30 days to complete the document-by-document review of the records added to the Hoffa file since April 1989).
Cucci v. DEA, 871 F. Supp. 508 (D.D.C. 1994) (Exemption 7(A): the FBI's generic affidavit demonstrates that it properly withheld information concerning multiple, intermingled narcotics investigations, that are intertwined with records the plaintiff seeks concerning the terminated investigation which resulted in his narcotics conviction; there are no segregable nonexempt portions to release) (Exemption 7(C): protects initials and other information that would identify law enforcement agents and support personnel, subjects of investigative interest, and third parties mentioned in law enforcement files) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that the Virginia State Police gave records to the United States Customs Service with the express understanding that they would remain confidential; the Customs Service has provided sufficient information to show that an assurance of confidentiality should be inferred; the affiant had the requisite personal knowledge based upon her examination of the records and her discussions with a representative of the Virginia State Police) (Vaughn Index: the agencies' indexes were adequate; it is not necessary for the exemptions to be listed on the actual pages of the documents) (plaintiff's claim that exculpatory information was withheld should be raised in a habeas corpus proceeding, not in a FOIA case).
Davin v. Dep't of Justice, No. 92-1122 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 23, 1994) (summary judgment granted to defendant for reasons stated in open court).
Davis v. United States Attorney, Dist. of Md., No. 92-3233 (D. Md. July 5, 1994) (adequacy of request: case dismissed because the plaintiff failed to comply with the administrative requirements of the FOIA; with his FOIA request, plaintiff did not provide a notarized example of his signature or a declaration that he verifies his signature under penalty of perjury).
Elec. Privacy Info. Ctr. v. FBI, 865 F. Supp. 1 (D.D.C. 1994) ("exceptional circumstances"/"due diligence": denies defendant's request for an Open America stay in this FOIA request where the plaintiff sought documents referred to by the FBI Director in his efforts to obtain a new wiretapping law; the documents in question have already been summarized and reviewed by the FBI; under the new Justice Department standard a FOIA request may be expedited if the information requested is exceptionally newsworthy or if it involves "questions about the government's integrity"; by November 4, 1994, the defendant must either present the documents to the court for in camera review or must submit a Vaughn Index).
Fox v. Dep't of Justice, No. 94-4622, 1994 WL 923072 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 16, 1994) (expedited treatment: denies plaintiff's July 1993 request for expedited treatment for records needed to challenge the validity of his parents' trust from which he is excluded) ("exceptional circumstances"/"due diligence": grants the FBI an Open America stay until 1999; the FBI has a FOIA backlog of 11,828 requests which it is processing on a "first-in, first-out" basis, with a "small staff that Congress refuses to expand").
Friends of the Coast Fork v. Dep't of Interior, No. 94-6140 (D. Or. Nov. 10, 1994) (magistrate's recommendation) (fee waiver (Reform Act): in this FOIA case where plaintiffs requested documents relating to a Fish & Wildlife Service decision to deny Endangered Species Act listing status for the Western Pond Turtle, finds that plaintiffs have sufficiently identified the public interest to be served by disclosure and have provided information on their history of disseminating such material; denial of the fee waiver based solely on the availability of documents in public reading rooms is not justified) (on August 18, 1995, the district court judge granted a 10% fee waiver reduction for the first plaintiff, and a 25% reduction for the second).
Fritchey v. United States, No. 93-1613, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16401 (D.D.C. Oct. 11, 1994) (dismisses this FOIA case against 5 federal agencies; plaintiff never received dispositive motions that were properly served upon him at his last known address, because he moved without leaving a forwarding address; it is the responsibility of a party not represented by an attorney to file notice of a change in address or telephone number with the Clerk of the Court).
Gabel v. Comm'r, 879 F. Supp. 1037 (N.D. Cal. 1994) (summary judgment: defendant has given plaintiff the documents he requested under the FOIA; without citing any exemptions, grants summary judgment to the IRS because it has provided adequate justification for the 8 pages it withheld in part or in full; defendant need not prepare a Vaughn Index).
Galedrige Constr., Inc. v. IRS, No. 93-20339 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 18, 1994) (attorney fees: it was not "reasonably necessary" for plaintiff to file this action in order to receive the pages that had been withheld; earlier release does not demonstrate that the lawsuit had a substantial causative effect on the release of the documents; plaintiff quickly resorted to filing suit, it failed to make further communications with the IRS, and it did not demonstrate that any urgency was involved in this request; plaintiff has failed to submit sufficient information about its entitlement to fees).
Gersh & Danielson v. EPA, 871 F. Supp. 407 (D. Colo. 1994) (displacement of FOIA: in this case where plaintiff requested EPA studies under both the FOIA and the Clean Water Act, finds that FOIA Exemptions 4 and 7(A) are inapplicable because they conflict with the more specific disclosure provisions of the Clean Water Act).
Giampaoli v. Dep't of Justice, No. C94-1220 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 1994) (on in camera inspection finds that 49 documents concerning murders in Humboldt County, California were properly withheld in whole or in part under FOIA Exemptions 7(C) and 7(D)).
Gilbert v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 93-1055 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 28, 1994) (mootness: court will dismiss this matter when defendants provide plaintiff with another copy of his Social Security records, and provide the court with proof of service on the plaintiff) (attorney fees: nonattorney, pro se plaintiffs are not entitled to attorney fees) (proper party defendant: FOIA does not authorize suit against individual employees of federal agencies).
Gilmore v. FBI, No. C93-2117 (N.D. Cal. July 26, 1994) (expedited processing: plaintiff has sufficiently shown that the information he seeks on key escrow encryption and digital telephony will be "less valuable" if the FBI processes his FOIA requests on a "first-in, first-out" basis; the FBI must complete the processing of plaintiff's requests within one year and must make interim releases of documents beginning at the earliest practicable date).
Goff v. Dep't of the Treasury, No. 93-7299 (S.D.N.Y. July 28, 1994) (summary judgment granted to defendant in this FOIA case based on its affidavit indicating that all items in plaintiff's FOIA request that could be found have been released).
Gray v. Dep't of Justice, No. 92-775 (D.D.C. Aug. 2, 1994) (duty to search: the supplemental affidavit demonstrates that defendant's search was reasonable) (Exemption 5: the attorney work-product privilege protects the handwritten notes of an Assistant United States Attorney which contain a summation of evidence, an analysis of facts and law, and an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a case in anticipation of criminal prosecution) (Exemption 6: applying Reporters Committee, finds that the exemption protects information that would identify employees and former employees of the Farmers Home Administration) (res judicata: plaintiff's challenge to the withholding of information in 2 documents is barred because the plaintiff has previously been in litigation against the Department of Agriculture concerning a fee waiver for these same documents).
Greytok v. Clinton, No. 94-430 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 20, 1994) (duty to search: the defendant's affidavit demonstrates that the White House Office of Administration has conducted a reasonable search in response to plaintiff's FOIA request for records relating to Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro) (agency: the White House Office is not itself subject to the FOIA; plaintiff failed to specify which other entities within the Executive Office of the President were withholding records; he also did not establish that any of the documents were not "Presidential Records" covered by the Presidential Records Act) (the court will not permit discovery in this case).
Gulf States Steel v. Sec'y, Dep't of Labor, No. 1:94-2760 (N.D. Ga. Nov. 15, 1994) ("Reverse" FOIA: denies Defendant Beers Construction Company's request for injunctive relief to prevent the government from releasing to plaintiff a copy of a metallurgical test report that Beers paid to have prepared; submitter asserted no exemption or other reason to bar FOIA disclosure).
Guzman v. United States, No. 93-1949 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 4, 1994) (exhaustion: plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies when his request did not "reasonably describe" the records he sought under the FOIA; although the agency conducted a search in this instance, its attempt to comply with plaintiff's request should not be treated as a waiver of the exhaustion requirement).
Hammes v. United States Customs Serv., No. 94-4868 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 2, 1994) (Exemption 7(E): protects criteria used by Customs officers to determine which passengers to stop and examine).
Hunsberger v. DOD, No. 93-0387 (D.D.C. July 27, 1994) (plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction denied in this pro se FOIA case; plaintiff has failed to show either the likelihood of success on the merits or irreparable injury).
Hunsberger v. Dep't of Justice, No. 93-1945 (D.D.C. July 6, 1994) (denies as untimely plaintiff's motion for an extension of time in which to file an appeal).
Hunsberger v. Dep't of Justice, No. 94-0168 (D.D.C. July 6, 1994) (denies plaintiff's motion for an extension of time in which to file an appeal; plaintiff has failed to demonstrate good cause for such an extension).
Hunt v. United States Marine Corps, No. 94-2317 (D.D.C. Oct. 28, 1994) (denies plaintiff's request for a temporary restraining order to expedite the production of a Vaughn Index for documents pertaining to Oliver North; applying The Nation Magazine v. Department of State, and Assassination Archives & Research Center, Inc. v. CIA, finds that FOIA requests concerning political candidates pending weeks before an election do not constitute "exceptional need or emergency"; plaintiff will not be irreparably harmed if the documents are not released; North's privacy interests might suffer irreparable harm if the documents are prematurely released; compelling expedited release and itemization would create an undue burden on the agency).
Inman v. Comm'r,
871 F. Supp. 1275 (E.D. Cal. 1994) (Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Johnston v. United States, No. 93-5605 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 29, 1994) (proper party defendant: the FOIA does not create a right of action against individual employees of federal agencies) ("exceptional circumstances"/"due diligence": grants the FBI an 18-month stay; the FBI has taken steps to decrease its backlog, despite budgets cuts, and is processing FOIA requests on a "first-in, first-out" basis).
Katz v. NARA, No. 92-1024 (D.D.C. Aug. 24, 1994) (in this FOIA case where the court ruled that under FOIA the government properly withheld the JFK autopsy photographs and x-rays, finds that the exhibits plaintiff submitted with his motion for reconsideration come too late and do not provide a sufficient basis for the court to reconsider its decision to grant the defendant's motion for summary judgment; the Deed of Gift, not the National Archives, "controls" this material within the meaning of Tax Analysts).
Kay v. FCC, 867 F. Supp. 11 (D.D.C. 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): FCC's statutory authority to revoke licenses or deny license applications is a qualifying law enforcement purpose under the FOIA; the threshold requirement is met by records compiled by the FCC in the course of an investigation of the plaintiff for possible violation of federal law) (Exemption 7(A): the release of approximately 200 partially redacted pages at this time would reveal to plaintiff the precise focus of the investigation and the strength of FCC's case against him; there is a possibility of witness intimidation) (waiver of exemption: plaintiff has made no showing that the sources identified in documents that were inadvertently released to him are identical to the sources whose identities are currently being withheld; an agency does not waive FOIA exemptions by not raising them at the administrative level).
Key v. Attorney Gen. of the United States, No. 94-0916 (D.D.C. Dec. 23, 1994) (summary judgment is appropriate in this case because the IRS is not withholding any agency records) (plaintiff's request for discovery is denied).
Kotmair v. Dep't of Justice, No. 94-721 (D. Md. July 12, 1994) (Exemption 3 [Rule 6(e)]: protects grand jury transcripts).
Kubany v. Bd. of Governors of the Fed. Reserve Sys., No. 93-1428 (D.D.C. July 19, 1994) (exhaustion: plaintiff has failed to exhaust his FOIA administrative remedies because he did not respond to Customs Service's request for a notarized authentication of his identity) ("reasonably described" records: plaintiff's request to the Board, which sought any records "with respect to the transactions described in the [5 accompanying] exhibits," clearly does not "reasonably" describe the records sought; "a more difficult to interpret command for a search would be hard to find").
Lamb v. IRS,
871 F. Supp. 301 (E.D. Mich. 1994) (exhaustion: plaintiff has exhausted his
administrative remedies; the IRS did not respond to plaintiff's FOIA requests
within 10 days nor did it inform plaintiff of his right to appeal) (adequacy
of request: most of plaintiff's requests are outside the scope of the FOIA --
he seeks answers to questions, legal research, or his requests are unspecific)
(Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Landano v. Dep't of Justice, 873 F. Supp. 884 (D.N.J. 1994) (Exemption 7(D): applying the recent Supreme Court decision in this case, finds that an implied assurance of confidentiality is warranted in this case where the documents concern the gang-related murder of a police officer in the course of an armed robbery; the generic circumstances demonstrate that the nature of the sources' relationships to the crime is such that they may well have feared for their safety in providing the FBI with information; information from a cooperating state or local law enforcement agency enjoys an inference of confidentiality when the communications relate to an active investigation or to information about a gang; the exemption is waived only as to information provided in trial testimony by confidential sources) (attorney fees: this suit was necessary to obtain the withheld materials because there is no statute of limitations for murder and plaintiff has the possibility of a retrial weighing on him; the government would not have made its supplemental release of material nor would it have released information previously disclosed in the course of trial without the filing of this lawsuit; the public clearly benefits from the disclosure since it has an interest in the fair and just administration of the criminal justice system; plaintiff has a strong privacy interest in this information; although the government was reasonable in withholding information, the clear public benefit in disclosure and plaintiff's lack of purely private or pecuniary interests in disclosure warrants an award of attorney fees).
Leach v. RTC, 860 F. Supp. 868 (D.D.C. 1994) (in this case where the Ranking Minority Member of the House Banking Committee requested that the defendants produce all records in their possession pertaining to the Madison Savings & Loan Association, the court declines to review the case under the doctrine of remedial discretion, and leaves the dispute to be resolved internally by Representative Leach and his fellow legislators; Representative Leach's dispute is primarily with his fellow legislators who refuse to join his request for these materials; Representative Leach has available a clear "collegial remedy" capable of affording him more than "substantial relief" in the instant case; the court is extremely hesitant to interfere with the legislative process; resolution of the proper interpretation and application of the Congressional savings clause is best left in the legislative branch).
Lutz v. HHS, No. 94-1107 (E.D. La. Dec. 8, 1994) (orders in camera inspection of 6 documents withheld under Exemptions 5 (deliberative process privilege) and 6).
Matlack, Inc. v. EPA, 868 F. Supp. 627 (D. Del. 1994) (attorney fees: this lawsuit was necessary because plaintiff's 3 FOIA requests were either ignored by EPA or handled in a way that violated regulations; this litigation substantially caused the release of 7 redacted documents; the documents in question are only relevant to plaintiff's activities at a toxic dump site and their disclosure contributed minimally to the public fund of information; fighting its designation as a responsible party to the dump site and the resulting liability was sufficient incentive to institute this litigation; there was no reasonable basis for withholding these 7 documents; EPA's attempt to explain its delay in responding to these FOIA requests is insufficient to demonstrate "exceptional circumstances"; while this action is not to be taken as condoning EPA's delays and assertion of exemption without merit, after weighing the entitlement factors, attorney fees are denied).
McDonnell v. United States, 870 F. Supp. 576 (D.N.J. 1994) (attorney fees: in this FOIA case where the plaintiff sought information about a 1934 fire aboard the Morro Castle luxury liner finds that as a result of the filing of this complaint the plaintiff received a juvenile's records, a deceased person's identity, 10 pages of previously withheld material about individuals determined to be deceased, 1744 pages of new information, and more legible copies of at least 100 pages; the institution of this lawsuit was necessary in order for plaintiff to achieve this result; this case raised exactly the same Exemption 7(D) issue as Landano; the fact that the Third Circuit decided Landano before this case cannot now be used to find that the plaintiff did not prevail on this issue; after filing suit the plaintiff received 76 pages of previously withheld witness statements and portions of another 146 pages; since plaintiff filed his complaint in 1988, if he had given up his pursuit of these records, he would not have received documents released after the recent change in Justice's disclosure policy; the public has an interest in discovering government actions taken in connection with the Morro Castle disaster and the FBI's investigation of an individual; this litigation established new principles for legibility and the withholding of witness statements and juvenile records; finding that plaintiff may have a strong personal interest in these documents is not inconsistent with finding that there is an equally strong public interest and does not bar the recovery of attorney fees; since plaintiff has a genuine scholarly interest in this material, the prospect of commercial gain from book sales is secondary; the government's refusal to release witness statements after the Landano decision was unreasonable; plaintiff requests, and the government does not challenge, $54,170 in attorney fees and $1023.23 in costs; however, this amount must be reduced downward by 60% because plaintiff was not successful on the majority of his claims; plaintiff is awarded $21,668 in attorney fees and $1023.23 in costs).
Michaels v. IRS, No. 93-1800 (D. Ariz. July 27, 1994) (because plaintiff has not responded to IRS's motion to dismiss, accepts as uncontroverted evidence that the IRS has provided plaintiff with the information he seeks in this FOIA action and dismisses the case as moot).
Moscony v. FBI, No. 93-2064 (D.N.J. Dec. 21, 1994) (denies plaintiff's petition for writ of mandamus to compel agency to produce records he requested under the FOIA; under the FOIA, plaintiff should have filed an ordinary civil suit).
Nation Magazine v. United States Customs Serv., No. 94-0808 (D.D.C. July 29, 1994) (Exemption 7(C): the agency properly refused to confirm or deny the existence in its investigatory files of records concerning proposals by H. Ross Perot to privatize certain drug interdiction efforts; plaintiff admits that a search of the agency's investigatory files is unlikely to yield any information; even if Perot's name did appear in the files, the FOIA is designed to allow requesters to learn about the activities of the federal government, not private citizens) (duty to search: agency's affidavits demonstrate that it conducted a reasonable search of 2 field offices and the Executive Secretariat to find the noninvestigatory documents requested by plaintiff).
Nation Magazine v. United States Customs Serv., No. 94-0808 (D.D.C. Oct. 7, 1994) (denies plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of court's July 29, 1994 ruling; there is no new evidence to cause the court to reconsider its judgment; defendant has conducted a reasonable search for records concerning H. Ross Perot).
Noll v. IRS, No. 93-0100 (D. Idaho Sept. 14, 1994) (magistrate's recommendation) (recommends that the case be dismissed because the IRS provided plaintiff with the general jurisdictional information he requested under the FOIA), adopted (D. Idaho Oct. 12, 1994).
Novotny v. IRS,
No. 94-F-549, 1994 WL 722686 (D. Colo. Sept. 8, 1994) (exhaustion: plaintiff
is deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies with respect to his
first 3 FOIA requests because the IRS did not reply to them in a timely manner;
defendant responded to plaintiff's fifth request in 9 working days) (in camera
inspection: in camera inspection is unnecessary when, as here, the affidavit
is sufficiently detailed) (Exemptions 7(C) and 3 [26 U.S.C.
Oglesby v. Dep't
of the Army, No. 87-3349 (D.D.C. Nov. 2, 1994) (fee waiver (Reform Act):
plaintiff is not entitled to a waiver of search charges and copying fees from
the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Congress enacted a
statute, 44 U.S.C.
Pac. Energy Inst. v. IRS, No. 94-313 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 3, 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): investigations involving the enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code satisfy the threshold requirement) (Exemption 7(D): upon review of the 15 pages at issue finds that they were furnished to the IRS with an expectation of confidentiality and that disclosure would reveal the identity of the individual who contacted the IRS).
Pederson v. RTC, No. 93-C-241 (D. Colo. July 20, 1994) (partially grants defendant's motion for reconsideration in this FOIA case; pro se attorneys who substantially prevail under the FOIA are not entitled to attorney fees; plaintiffs may recover the value of annual leave time taken to attend court-ordered conference settlements as a litigation cost), vacated (D. Colo. Sept. 8, 1994) (solely to the extent that it finds plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for annual leave).
Proctor v. Dep't of Justice, No. 88-3340 (D.D.C. Aug. 8, 1994) (Vaughn Index: FBI's revised Vaughn Index is sufficiently detailed to allow meaningful review by the appellate court) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that an expectation of confidentiality may be inferred in this case where plaintiff was convicted of murdering a witness who was to testify against him).
Quiñon v. FBI, No. 93-0763 (D.D.C. Aug. 4, 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): requirement is met by records compiled in the course of a one-month FBI investigation into the possible obstruction of justice by plaintiff and 2 other attorneys) (Exemption 7(C): protects the identities of informants; allegations of government misconduct are based upon speculation alone) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that an assurance of confidentiality can be inferred in this case because all the individuals interviewed knew the subjects of the investigation, and several had social or professional contacts with them).
Randle v. Comm'r, 866 F. Supp. 1080 (N.D. Ill. 1994) (summary judgment granted to defendant in this FOIA case where plaintiff sought his personnel records and background investigation report; agency's Vaughn Index adequately demonstrates that information was properly withheld under Exemptions 7(C) and 7(D); applying Kimberlin v. Department of the Treasury and Brant Constr. Co. v. EPA, finds that sources agreed to provide information under the condition of confidentiality).
Ray v. Dep't
of Justice, 856 F. Supp. 1576 (S.D. Fla. 1994) (attorney fees: applying
Kay v. Ehrler, finds that a pro se attorney litigant may not recover
attorney fees under the FOIA; denies plaintiff's request for the application
of an enhancement factor for the services of plaintiff's hired attorney because
the outcome of this case was not "out of the ordinary, unusual or rare"; plaintiff's
attorney is entitled to recover fees at the rate of $150 per hour for the 9
hours he spent working on an unsuccessful motion for contempt; plaintiff's attorney
may recover $5145.00 in fees for time spent litigating the fee issue; plaintiff
is limited in the recovery of expert witness fees to $40 per day as provided
by 28 U.S.C.
Raye v. United States, No. 94-60145 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 28, 1994) (defendant is entitled to summary judgment in this case where the CIA demonstrated that it has no records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request).
Reeves v. United States, Nos. 94-1291, 94-1292, 1994 WL 782235 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 15, 1994) (interaction of (a)(2) & (a)(3): dismisses plaintiffs' FOIA request for federal regulations authorizing the IRS to tax the plaintiffs; this information is all publicly available) ("no records" defense: IRS need not conduct legal research or create documents in response to FOIA requests) (exhaustion: plaintiffs have not exhausted their administrative remedies because they did not "reasonably describe" the records they sought nor did they follow IRS's published rules) (attorney fees: plaintiffs are not entitled to attorney fees because they have not substantially prevailed).
Ruotolo v. Dep't of Justice, No. 3:93-2372 (D. Conn. July 11, 1994) ("reasonably described" records and "unreasonably" burdensome: where plaintiff sought, among other items, all Vaughn Indexes, affidavits and declarations for all FOIA requests from taxpayers from 1978 to the present day, finds that the request is unreasonably broad and unduly burdensome).
Samble v. Dep't of Commerce, No. 1:92-225 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 22, 1994) (Exemption 6: information submitted in the process of applying for a federal job qualifies as a "personnel" or "similar" file under this exemption; the public interest in information concerning unsuccessful applicants is outweighed by the infringement upon the unsuccessful applicants' privacy that disclosure would cause; the defendant properly withheld all personal information about the successful applicant; however, information that bears on his competency and qualifications must be released, including his undergraduate grades, private sector performance awards, foreign language abilities, and his answers to questions concerning prior firings, convictions, etc.) (Exemption 2 "high": disclosure of criteria used for evaluating job applications would compromise the validity of the rating process) (FOIA as a discovery tool: court will not allow the FOIA to be used to "supplement the rules of civil discovery").
Sheet Metal Workers' Int'l Ass'n Local Union No. 9 v. Dep't of the Air Force, No. 93-429 (D. Colo. July 21, 1994) (attorney fees: having previously found that an award of attorney fees was appropriate, grants plaintiff $11,108.85 for fees and costs).
Sheet Metal Workers' Int'l Ass'n Local Union No. 9 v. Dep't of the Air Force, No. 93-429 (D. Colo. Aug. 1, 1994) (in this FOIA case where the court ordered the disclosure of redacted payroll records and apprentice registration forms, finds that the question of whether the defendant is fulfilling its monitoring obligations under the Davis-Bacon Act and Department of Labor regulations is a matter of public interest).
Si v. Slattery, 864 F. Supp. 397 (S.D.N.Y. 1994) (publication: the purpose of the FOIA's publication requirement is to ensure that all persons who may be affected by a particular regulation have notice of its provisions; the FOIA cannot be used to force an agency to adopt a new regulation that it withdrew from publication for the specific purpose of determining whether or not it should be adopted).
Sierra Club v. Dep't of Transp., No. C86-3384 (N.D. Cal. July 12, 1994) (publication: a proposed rulemaking did not have to be published because plaintiff had actual notice of the joint planning policy concerning the use of parkland and cannot show an adverse effect).
Sims v. Dep't of Justice, No. 92-2180 (D.D.C. July 5, 1994) (after in camera inspection, grants defendant's motion for summary judgment in this case; an adequate search was conducted and information was properly withheld under Exemptions 1 and 3).
Stewart v. Johnson, No. 1-94-143 (N.D. Ohio Nov. 7, 1994) (adequacy of request: IRS is under no obligation to respond to FOIA requests that are improperly addressed or do not request specific information) (summary judgment: summary judgment is granted to the defendant as to plaintiff's remaining FOIA requests because defendants have not improperly withheld agency records).
Thomas v. Weise, No. 91-3278 (D.D.C. Oct. 7, 1994) (Exemption 4: it was undisputed that information about the importation of certain Suzuki vehicles was provided to the Customs Service voluntarily and that the information would not normally be released to the public; summary judgment granted to plaintiff).
Trenerry v. IRS, No. 94-C-92 (N.D. Okla. Sept. 13, 1994) (fees (Reform Act): the IRS properly notified plaintiff that it would process her present FOIA request when she paid or agreed to pay an outstanding balance due of $102 for search of previously requested documents; defendant reasonably believed that plaintiff was attempting to break a FOIA request down into a series of requests in order to avoid the assessment of fees) (exhaustion: the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter because the plaintiff has failed to exhaust her administrative remedies due to nonpayment of fees).
Tuuri v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. C94-2448 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 11, 1994) (mootness: because defendant has answered all of plaintiff's questions, this case is moot) (attorney fees: pro se plaintiffs in FOIA actions are not entitled to attorney fees; however, defendant must pay plaintiff $131 in costs reasonably incurred before this action became moot).
Upper Peninsula Envtl. Coalition v. Forest Serv., No. 2:94-021 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 28, 1994) (Exemption 6: protects the names and addresses of individuals who used the Sylvania Wilderness campgrounds in 1992; disclosure would be a "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" that outweighs the derivative public interest in allowing plaintiff to assist the Forest Service in its plan to manage this Wilderness; it is not the purpose of the FOIA to "encourage private citizens to do work for government agencies").
Valera v. DEA, No. 92-575 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 20, 1994) (magistrate's recommendation) (Exemption 7(C): protects information about a DEA Agent who plaintiff alleges is involved in a criminal conspiracy) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that due to the violent nature of plaintiff's drug trafficking network, a promise of confidentiality may be inferred), adopted (M.D. Fla. Oct. 19, 1994).
Vosburgh v. IRS,
No. 93-1493, 1994 WL 564699 (D. Or. July 5, 1994) (Exemption 7(A): disclosure
of a Department of Motor Vehicle's record, a memorandum of interview, a Police
Report, and portions of Execution of Search Warrants would interfere with potential
criminal proceedings against the plaintiff) (Exemption 6: protects an IRS Special
Agent's social security number, third-party information and the identities of
low-level IRS employees) (Exemption 3 [26 U.S.C.
Washington v. Police Dep't, City of N.Y., No. 93-5962 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 22, 1994) (agency: a municipal agency is not an agency of the federal government and, therefore, is not subject to the FOIA).
Wickline v. FBI, No. 92-1189, 1994 WL 549756 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): threshold test met by records compiled by the FBI in the course of its investigation of a series of murders involving organized crime groups) (Exemption 7(C): applying Reporters Committee, finds that the exemption protects the identities of FBI Special Agents and personnel, third parties, and informants, even in those instances where plaintiff has knowledge of their names) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that a permanent source's ongoing relationship with the FBI involves an express assurance of confidentiality; because of the character of the crimes under investigation and the relationship of the sources to the crime, finds that nonfederal law enforcement officers and agencies, individuals who provided information as a result of their employment, and other informants are entitled to an implied assurance of confidentiality) (Exemption 7(E): protects interagency communications concerning the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit and details of recording equipment used to gather the information) ("reasonably segregable": remands 46 documents to the FBI for a demonstration that all reasonably segregable, nonexempt material has been released from them).
Williams v. FBI, No. 90-2299 (D.D.C. Nov. 8, 1994) (Exemption 7 (threshold): FBI had a reasonable law enforcement purpose in launching an investigation of plaintiff who was a member and officer of Afro Set, an organization that the FBI considered to be a threat to the internal security of the country) (Exemption 7(D): applying Landano, finds that with respect to express confidential sources the FBI properly withheld source symbols, file numbers, dates of contact with regular sources, names of and information provided by regular sources, and the identities of and information provided by a financial institution and people whose employment gave them access to information; applying Landano, finds that with respect to the impliedly confidential sources the FBI properly withheld identities of current or former members of the Afro Set or related organizations, nonfederal law enforcement agencies, a state government employee, and an employee whose position gave the source access to information; the nature of the crimes allegedly committed by the Afro Set were serious, the sources were closely related to the Afro Set, and faced potential physical danger if exposed).
Wrenn v. Dep't of the Treasury, 866 F. Supp. 525 (N.D. Ala. 1994) (attorney fees: in this case, there is no claim that agency records existed or were withheld from the plaintiff; "the mere vindication" of a plaintiff's position is not a basis for awarding fees under the FOIA).
Zhang v. Slattery, 859 F. Supp. 708 (S.D.N.Y. 1994) (publication: the January 1993 rule which confers upon the plaintiff an expanded interpretation of the standards for refugee status became effective despite the agency's failure to publish it in the Federal Register; the decision to deny the plaintiff's application for asylum is remanded for application of the appropriate standard). (posted 2/5/03)
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