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Agrama v. IRS, No. 16-716, 2017 WL 4326385 (D.D.C. Sept. 28, 2017) (Collyer, J.)


Agrama v. IRS, No. 16-716, 2017 WL 4326385 (D.D.C. Sept. 28, 2017) (Collyer, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning penalty examination undertaken into plaintiff's tax payments

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records:  "Upon review of the affidavits submitted by IRS, the Court concludes that IRS met its obligation to conduct a reasonable search."  "[Plaintiff] sought records related to his ongoing penalty examination, and it is clear that IRS searched its internal databases for exactly that, and followed up that initial search with agents involved in the case."
  • Exemption 7(A):  The court relates that "IRS is in the process of an investigation, the records of which [plaintiff] is seeking."  "IRS is withholding many of these records, as well as details regarding them, on the grounds that doing so would prematurely disclose the fruits and direction of that investigation."  The court holds that "[t]his justification falls well within the boundaries of Exemption 7(A)[.]"
  • Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declaration:  "While [plaintiff] calls for further detailed descriptions of the documents as well as a Vaughn Index, such detailed descriptions of withheld documents are not required under Exemption 7(A), and the Court concludes that, based on the public and in camera submissions by IRS, that such further detail is unwarranted."  "To require further disclosure of information would destroy the purpose of the claimed exemption."
  • Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable" Requirements:  "[Plaintiff] does not dispute the IRS's segregability determinations, and the Court has no evidence contradicting the IRS's sworn statements."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 7(A)
Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declarations
Litigation Considerations, “Reasonably Segregable” Requirements
Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records
Updated December 15, 2021