Fee Calculations

Watkins v. U.S. Bureau of Customs & Border Protect., No. 09-35996, 2011 WL 1709852 (9th Cir. May 6, 2011) (Walter, J.).  Holding:  Affirming the district court's decision that Exemption 4 applies to the requested material, but concluding that CBP has waived that protection; and reversing the district court's determination that DHS's regulations control, rather than CBP's regulations, for FOIA fee purposes.  The Ninth Circuit reverses the district court's decision that DHS's FOIA fee regulations apply to the requests, rather than CBP's regulations.  DHS's FOIA regulations "apply to all components of DHS (which includes CBP)," "'[e]xcept to the extent a Department component has adopted separate guidance under the FOIA.'"  CBP has separate fee provisions and the Circuit finds that since the time that it promulgated the regulations, "CBP has continued to keep these regulations active by amending them and never repealing them."  Moreover,"[r]egardless of the district court's assertion that the revisions were merely technical . . . , they were revisions that demonstrate that the fee regulations are still valid."  Accordingly, the Circuit holds that CBP's regulations control and not those of DHS. 

Updated July 23, 2014

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