District Court Decisions
Pub. Emps. for Envtl. Resp. v. U.S. Sec. Int'l Boundary & Water Comm'n, No. 11-261, 2012 WL 933709 (D.D.C. Mar. 20, 2012) (Rothstein, J.). Holding: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment on the basis that it demonstrated that it conducted an adequate search, released all reasonably segregable material, and properly justified its Exemptions 5, 6, 7(E), and 7(F) claims; dismissing plaintiff's Administrative Procedure Act claim as duplicative of its FOIA claims; denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment, and its motion for fees and costs on the basis that it did not substantially prevail; and denying plaintiff's claim for a written finding pursuant to Section 552(a)(4)(F)(i). The court denies plaintiff's request for a written finding pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(F)(i), referring the matter to the Office of Special Counsel, based on its claims that USIBWC "initially denied the existence of [a particular document], and that the agency exaggerated the threat of harm from releasing the withheld documents." The court notes that it "has already rejected these arguments" in connection with this decision, and notes that "the record is devoid of proof of any hostility on the part of the USIBWC." Additionally, the court comments that "there is actually some evidence to suggest the opposite; that the USIBWC handled [plaintiff's] FOIA request in exactly the same manner that it has handled requests from other parties."
Hernandez v. U.S. Customs & Border Protect. Agency, No. 10-4602, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14290 (E.D. La. Feb. 7, 2012) (Barbier, J.). Holding: Awarding attorneys' fees and costs to plaintiff in the amount of $51,526.60; and declining to refer the matter to the Office of Special Counsel where CBP's conduct in responding to plaintiff's FOIA request did not rise to the level of arbitrary and capricious. The court finds that "although CBP's initial failure to respond to Plaintiff's request was unreasonable, on the whole, the Court finds the conduct of the agency personnel involved does not rise to the level of arbitrariness and capriciousness." Accordingly, the court declines to issue "a written finding that the CBP employees involved acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, such that the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board [could] initiate an inquiry into the need for disciplinary proceedings against those employees" pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(F).