District Court Decisions
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Dep't of Educ., No. 10-1712 (RMC), 2012 WL 5901027 (D.D.C. Nov. 26, 2012) (Collyer, J.). Holding: Granting summary judgment for the defendant regarding the adequacy of the search; denying plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment concerning Exemption 5. The court concludes that "DoEd…had no obligation to produce the documents in any particular format" when the plaintiff requested that the agency "search for records 'regardless of format…and including electronic records and information'…[but] did not request that DoEdproduce its records in electronic format, much less electronic format with metadata." The court "declines" plaintiff's invitation that it issue a finding "that a government agency must provide electronic copies and/or metadata to comply with FOIA," reasoning that it "does not see here in CREW's argument any basis to impose an electronic copy obligation on a federal agency." Plaintiff's "argument that it is entitled to metadata and blind copy addresses of all e-mails, when that information cannot be readily produced by DoEd, fails as a matter of law."
Labella v. FBI, No. 11-23, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37830 (E.D.N.Y. Mar.19, 2012) (Garaufis,J.). Holding: Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis that the FBI conducted an adequate search, and OJP adequately responded to plaintiff's request. Noting that because plaintiff did not contest the magistrate's report and recommendation to grant OJP's motion for summary judgment and conceded that OJP "could not reproduce the records in another 'electronic format,'" it "reviews [the magistrate's findings] for clear error" and finds none. As to plaintiff's argument that " OJP could have 'narrowed down the records on the released disc and sent [him] a sub-set in printed form," the court "finds no clear error in [the magistrate judge's] determination that '[n]either [plaintiff's] FOIA requests to defendant OJP, nor [his] complaint, include any demand for information from the Survey in printed form,' and [notes] that [plaintiff] did not seek production of data on the Survey in printed form until the instant cross-motions were filed." To the extent that plaintiff requested that OJP "aggregate data," the court concludes that "[a]s [the magistrate judge] correctly noted... FOIA did not obligate the OJP to provide [plaintiff] with 'aggregate data,'" which was not in existence.