Am. Ctr. for Law & Justice v. Dep't of State, No. 16-2516, 2018 WL 623827 (D.D.C. Jan. 30, 2018) (Boasberg, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning funding of political organization that opposed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Disposition: Granting defendant's renewed motion to dismiss
- Litigation Considerations: The court holds that "[plaintiff] is not entitled to equitable relief." First, the court notes that "the agency does not dispute that its delays contravene the Act[.]" Second, "the Court finds no evidence that State has any policy, formal or otherwise, of forcing requesters to file suit before releasing material." "No one would deny that Defendant is habitually late in providing determinations to requesters, but 'while tardiness would violate FOIA, it only becomes actionable when "some policy or practice" also undergirds it.'" Finally, the court finds that "[t]he conduct that [plaintiff] accuses State of here, even if true, is not 'sufficiently outrageous[.]'" "Weighing State's non-compliance against its good-faith efforts to come up with ways to reduce its backlog and respond promptly, as well as the absence of malice in its delays, the Court sees no need for an injunction here."
- Litigation Consideration, Discovery: "[T]he Court rejects Defendant's presumption that [plaintiff] is not entitled to discovery simply because this is a FOIA case." However, the court finds that, "[g]iven the undisputed facts in the record, Plaintiff's request seems little more than the proverbial fishing expedition." "Plaintiff's . . . Motion for Discovery will, therefore, be denied."