Biear v. AG, No. 15-3873, 2018 WL 4688705 (3d Cir. Oct. 1, 2018) (Fuentes, J.)

Date: 
Monday, October 1, 2018

Biear v. AG, No. 15-3873, 2018 WL 4688705 (3d Cir. Oct. 1, 2018) (Fuentes, J.)

Re:  Requests for records concerning requester

Disposition:  Affirming in part, reversing and remanding in part government's motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Proper FOIA Requests:  The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds that "[the requester's] request is sufficiently specific to meet the requirements of the Department of Justice's regulations and FOIA because he requested records 'containing' his name, not 'relating to' him."  The court finds that "[i]t would be counterintuitive in the extreme to require such an individual to have sufficient knowledge of an agency's organizational units to be able to identify the specific units of an agency that might contain the records sought."

 

  • Litigation Considerations, Mootness and Other Grounds for Dismissal:  The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit holds that "[t]he District Court should have continued to exercise jurisdiction over [the requester's] claim regarding the sufficiency of the FBI's response to his request."  The court relates that "[the requester] filed suit before the FBI made its production[.]"  "The adequacy of the FBI's production only became an issue ripe for consideration when the action had already commenced in the District Court."  "Because [the requester's] lawsuit was underway when the adequacy of the FBI's disclosure became ripe for disposition, the District Court should have continued to exercise jurisdiction over the issue and declined to dismiss it as moot."
Topic: 
Court of Appeals
Litigation Considerations
Mootness
Procedural
Updated January 31, 2019