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District Court Decisions

Hall v. CIA, No. 04-814, 2012 WL 3143839 (D.D.C. Aug. 3, 2012) (Lamberth, J.). Holding: Granting, in part, CIA's renewed motion for summary judgment on the basis that its searches for certain responsive records were adequate, that certain withholdings under Exemptions 1, 3, 5 and 6 were proper, and that it released all reasonably segregable material; ordering CIA to conduct searches for other records; concluding that CIA must take affirmative steps with respect to certain referred records; ordering release of certain information withheld under Exemption 6; determining DOD must further justify certain Exemption 3 withholdings; and denying plaintiffs' requests for discovery and for in camera review.

The court holds that the CIA satisfied its burden with respect to referred records where the agencies receiving the referrals have sent final responses to plaintiffs as to their determinations regarding those documents. However, with regard to referrals to "unnamed agencies" [sent prior to OIP's guidance directing agencies not to make referrals when the receiving agency cannot be named] for which plaintiffs have not received any information, the court finds that "the failure to produce the documents amounts to an improper withholding" by the CIA. The court observes that "[i]t has been over 10 months since the CIA sent the referral letter, and the CIA has offered no evidence that it has followed up with the 'unnamed agencies' in regard to the referral documents." Accordingly, the court concludes "[b]ecause the CIA is responsible [for those records] . . . the CIA must take immediate affirmative steps to be sure that each referral is being processed, which it shall describe in its supplemental filing." Additionally, the court concludes that the CIA "fulfilled its burden as to the coordination" of certain documents where it processed the responsive records and provided "supporting declarations from the coordinating agencies."

Inst. for Pol'y Stud. v. CIA, No. 06-960, 2012 WL 3301028 (D.D.C. Aug. 14, 2012) (Lamberth, J.). Holding: Granting, in part, defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis that certain withholdings under Exemptions 1, 2, 3 and 7(E) were proper and that plaintiff conceded other withholdings under Exemptions 2, 3, 6, 7(C), 7(D) and 7(F), and that all reasonably segregable material was released; denying plaintiff's motion to strike portions of the declarations; and ordering CIA to conduct searches for responsive records in three different directorates which were not initially searched. The court finds that the CIA "was correct in referring the documents" that originated with DEA and the Department of State to those agencies for their "direct response" to plaintiff.

Lewis v. DOJ, No. 09-746, 2011 WL 5222896 (D.D.C. Nov. 2, 2011) (Walton, J.). Holding: Granting, in part, defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment based on the adequacy of EOUSA's and the Office of Professional Responsibility's (OPR) searches, and the propriety of OPR's assertion of Exemptions 5 and 6 as well as EOUSA's and DEA's invocation of Exemptions 7(C) and 7(D); and denying summary judgment as to four pages of records referred from OPR to EOUSA, and OPR's reliance on Exemption 2. The court denies, in part, defendants' motion for summary judgment with respect to four pages of records referred by OPR to EOUSA. The court finds that "[n]otwithstanding the referral, the defendant must account for the disposition of these records . . . which it has not done."

Skinner v. DOJ, No. 09-725, 2010 WL 3832602 (D.D.C. Sept 30, 2010) (Friedman, J.). The court denies summary judgement in part "[b]ecause the results of the [ATF's] referral of records to [two agencies] have not been explained."

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