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Allen v. BOP, No. 16-0708, 2017 WL 2982941 (D.D.C. July 11, 2017) (Kollar Kotelly, J.)


Allen v. BOP, No. 16-0708, 2017 WL 2982941 (D.D.C. July 11, 2017) (Kollar Kotelly, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning administrative remedy request

Disposition:  Granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Time Limits:  The court holds that "[BOP's] need to search for and collect records from [a penitentiary following receipt of the request by its central office] establishes that extraordinary circumstances existed."
  • Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declaration:  In response to plaintiff's arguments, the court holds that "[d]eclarations 'contain[ing] hearsay in recounting searches for documents are generally acceptable' in FOIA cases, . . . and the BOP's supporting declarations are acceptable here."  The court explains that "BOP's declarant is a Paralegal Specialist at SCRO . . . whose statements are 'based on [her] review of . . . official [BOP] files and records . . . , [her] personal knowledge, or on the basis of information [she] acquired . . . through the performance of [her] official duties[.]"
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  In response to plaintiff's only objection about the results of the search, the court finds that "[p]laintiff's mere 'speculation as to the existence of additional records . . . does not render the search [ ] inadequate.'"
  • Exemption 7, Threshold:  The court relates that "BOP invokes FOIA Exemptions 7(C), 7(E) and 7(F) in withholding portions of . . . two reports."  The court finds that "BOP's supporting declarations presume that FOIA Exemption 7 applies, yet neither declaration actually states that the two reports were compiled for law enforcement purposes."  "Nor do the declarations explain that disclosure of certain redacted information would cause an enumerated harm."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 7
Exemption 7, Threshold
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declarations
Procedural Requirements, Time Limits
Updated December 14, 2021