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Buckovetz v. Dep’t of the Navy, No. 21-640, 2022 WL 4591795 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 29, 2022) (Hayes, J.)


Buckovetz v. Dep’t of the Navy, No. 21-640, 2022 WL 4591795 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 29, 2022) (Hayes, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning unlawful scheme by officers at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego (“MCRD”) to sell Marine Corps memorabilia, including commemorative coins

Disposition:  Denying plaintiff’s motion for discovery; ordering defendant to file supplemental declarations

  • Litigation Considerations, Discovery:  The court holds that “[MCRD's Chief of Staff and FOIA Initial Denial Authority’s] limited participation in the initial response to the . . . FOIA request does not require discovery or preclude summary judgment.”  The court explains that “[this individual’s] participation in responding to the . . . FOIA request does not overcome a presumption of good faith or require further inquiry because the declarations establish that [this individual] did not take an active role in the search for records.”  “Further, [this individual] ‘was not involved in the processing and production of materials’ from additional searches conducted in response to Plaintiff’s concerns.”  However, “[t]he Court concludes that [defendant’s] declarations are not sufficiently detailed to carry Defendant’s burden of demonstrating an adequate search because the declarations do not identify any reason for . . . five known missing emails.”  “[Defendant’s] declaration states that ‘IT staff at headquarters identified several reasons the emails might have been missing from MCRD’s search results,’ . . . but does not identify any reason the emails might have been missing.”  “Plaintiff requests that the Court permit discovery to address any insufficiencies in the declarations submitted by Defendant.”  “However, the Court concludes that requiring Defendant to submit a more detailed affidavit is sufficient to gather additional relevant information at this time.”
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Discovery
Updated November 14, 2022