Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. v. DOJ, No. 17-00432, 2018 WL 1092154 (D.D.C. Feb. 28, 2018) (McFadden, J.)
Re: Request for court order requiring publication of "'all existing and future . . . [OLC] formal written opinions'"
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion to dismiss; denying plaintiff's motion for limited discovery
- Litigation Considerations, Relief: The court holds that plaintiff's "claim fails as a matter of law, since at least some of the documents sought are subject to FOIA Exemption 5, which protects both the deliberative process privilege and the attorney-client privilege." "This well-settled law presents an obvious and insurmountable barrier to ordering the universal publication of OLC's formal written opinions."
- Litigation Considerations, Discovery: The court relates that "[i]mplicitly conceding that only some of OLC's formal written opinions are subject to disclosure, [plaintiff] seeks discovery to provide 'a full record to evaluate the scope of DOJ's obligations under § 552(a)(2)[.]'" "But the possibility that some formal written OLC opinions are subject to disclosure cannot rescue a complaint that by its own terms seeks all such opinions." The court finds that "[t]o avoid dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), [plaintiff] must file a complaint – not proposed discovery – stating a plausible claim to relief."