Bloomgarden v. DOJ, No. 12-0843, 2014 WL 231949 (D.D.C. Jan. 22, 2014) (Huvelle, J.)

Date: 
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Re: Request for records concerning termination of and complaints against Assistant United States Attorney Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
  • Litigation Considerations, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies:  The court "will not grant defendant's motion for summary judgment on exhaustion grounds."  The court finds that "'if [defendant] [sic] did not receive a response [to his FOIA request within the statutory period], then by operation of statute, he constructively exhausted his administrative requirements.'"  The court notes that "plaintiff in this case filed both a complaint and a declaration (under the penalty of perjury) stating that he never received a response from defendant."
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  The court finds that defendant "'made a 'good faith effort to conduct a search for the requested records, using methods which can be reasonably expected to [produce] the information requested.''"  The court finds that defendant was justified in engaging in a "targeted search for personnel documents that was reasonable in light of the narrow nature of plaintiff's request" and "was justified in its decision not to complete the search of its litigation databases because 'it was determined that the records Plaintiff sought—relating to personnel action—would not be contained in criminal case files.'"  Additionally, "though plaintiff is able to present evidence that responsive documents may once have existed . . . the fact that these documents were not found as part of defendant's FOIA search does not render the agency's search inadequate."
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Exhaustion
Litigation Considerations
Updated August 6, 2014