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Braun v. USPS, No. 16-2079, 2018 WL 3213316 (D.D.C. June 30, 2018) (Sullivan, J.)


Braun v. USPS, No. 16-2079, 2018 WL 3213316 (D.D.C. June 30, 2018) (Sullivan, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning requester

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgement; denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 3:  The court finds that, USPS "redacted the names of employee witnesses in an investigation in two documents pursuant to the Inspector General Act . . . [and] also redacted . . . a unique identifier . . . '[that] qualif[ies] as commercial information under Section 410(c)(2)' because this technology is used 'to meet business and customer service goals' . . . [and] disclosure of this information 'would inhibit the Postal Service's ability to protect its information systems and effectively use technology to perform its mission.'"  Plaintiff does not object to these redactions, and the court concludes, "they satisfy the requirements of FOIA Exemption 3."  "The Inspector General Act expressly 'refers to particular types of matters to be withheld,' because it forbids OIG from 'disclos[ing] the identity of the employee' except in specified circumstances."  "Likewise, the Postal Reorganization Act describes information for which mandatory disclosure is not required by providing that USPS may 'withhold information of a commercial nature.'"  "Accordingly, the court concludes that the redacted information is exempt under FOIA Exemption 3 because the information is specifically exempted from disclosure by statute."
  • Exemption 6 & 7C:  "Here, pursuant to Exemptions 6 and 7[C], USPS redacted the names, employee identification numbers, phone numbers, physical addresses, and email addresses of USPS employees and private citizens."  "USPS asserts that identifying information of these employees and other individuals was redacted 'because if [it] was released, those individuals could become targets of harassment.'"  The court finds that, "[a]gainst these privacy concerns, [plaintiff] has not attempted to show any legitimate public interest supporting disclosure of these names, phone numbers, addresses, and other personally identifying information."  "Indeed, the Court does not see how disclosure of this information could 'she[d] light on an agency's performance of its statutory duties or otherwise let citizens know what their government is up to.'"  "Accordingly, the Court finds that USPS has properly invoked FOIA Exemptions 6 and 7[C]."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 3
Exemption 6
Exemption 7(C)
Updated January 31, 2019