District Court Decisions
Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 09-1508, 2011 WL 2678930 (D.D.C. July 11, 2011) (Howell, J.). Holding: Granting Treasury's motion for summary judgment except for three documents that contain reasonably segregable material that should have been released. Based on an in camera review and the agency's submissions, the court holds that defendant properly withheld certain "information obtained from [a bank's] federal regulator, the FDIC," pursuant to Exemption 8. Contrary to plaintiff's assertions, the court finds that "Exemption 8 does not require the defendant to identify a specific report to which the information relates." The court notes that "defendant's declarations [ ] establish that the FDIC obtained the information it relayed to the defendant through its monitoring of the condition of the financial institutions it regulates" and, as such, "defendant's withholdings were properly made pursuant to Exemption 8 even if no specific report was identified." Moreover, the court finds that "Exemption 8's secondary purpose – to secure the relationship between banks and their supervising agencies – would also be harmed if the information [the bank at issue] disclosed to its regulator (the FDIC) were disclosed by the Treasury Department."
McKinley v. FDIC, No. 10-420, 2010 WL 5209337 (D.D.C.
Dec. 23, 2010) (Sullivan, J.). The court finds that the FDIC
has not demonstrated that "board meeting minutes and the memoranda
from agency staff to the Board" were properly withheld pursuant
to Exemption 8 where it failed to explain "whether the material
withheld contains or is derived from any part of an examination,
operating report or condition report," or to address "what specific
information about the financial institutions is contained in
these memoranda that would justify its withholding based on
McKinley v. FDIC, No. 09-1263, 2010 WL 3833667 (D.D.C.
Sept. 29, 2010) (Huvelle, J.). The Board properly invoked Exemption
8 to withhold "information furnished to the Board by institutions
regulated by the Board" consisting of "the identity of institutions
with exposure to Bear Stearns, the amount of such exposure,
and/or the activities these institutions had taken to limit
their exposure to Bear Stearns." "Given the breadth of Exemption
8, and the Board and the SEC's undisputed regulatory responsibilities
in relation to the financial institutions whose information
has been withheld," the court agrees with defendant that the
information provided to the Board "in 'real-time' about what
financial significance a Bear Stearns failure would have for
a given institution and financial markets more generally is
properly characterized as related to 'examination, operating,
or condition' reports about individual supervised institutions" as
defined by Exemption 8. Moreover, "the Court agrees that the
Board's 'ability to gather such information in furtherance of
its mission to regulate our nation's banking system would inarguably
be compromised if such information were now released.'"
Updated: October 2012