Friday, October 18, 2013
Re: Records pertaining to plaintiff Disposition: Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment with respect to "remaining withholdings of the grand jury material pursuant to Exemption 3, and the remaining names and identifying information of government witnesses pursuant to Exemption 7(C)"
- Exemption 3: The court concludes that defendants have now met their burden of showing that information pertaining to the grand jury was properly withheld pursuant to Exemption 3 and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e). "[T]he Court finds that both the FBI and EOUSA satisfied their burden to establish that, at a minimum, information that would otherwise reveal the names or identities of individuals subpoenaed to testify before the federal grand jury was properly withheld." Likewise, the court finds that the FBI and EOUSA properly withheld "information that identifies the particular records subpoenaed by the federal grand jury as well as the substantive information actually obtained and considered by the grand jury pursuant to those subpoenas." The court observes that disclosure of these documents "would shed light on how the grand jury went about its work."
- Exemption 7(C): The court also finds that information withheld under Exemption 7(D) was also properly withheld under Exemption 7(C). Accordingly, the court decides that it "need not resolve the question of whether EOUSA satisfied its burden to establish confidentiality under Exemption 7(D)." In its previous ruling, the court "held that the privacy interest in one's name and identifying information outweighed any public interest in disclosure in this case." "Thus, the Court finds it unnecessary to address whether EOUSA has provided sufficient justification to warrant the withholdings under Exemption 7(D) because the Vaughn index, along with the Court's previous conclusion regarding the balance of Exemption 7(C)'s privacy and public interests, support the conclusion that the names and identifying information of government sources and law enforcement officers were properly withheld under Exemption 7(C)."
Updated August 6, 2014