Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. V. DOJ, No. 17-599, 2018 WL 910718 (D.D.C. Feb. 15, 2018) (Kelly, J.)

Date: 
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Wash. V. DOJ, No. 17-599, 2018 WL 910718 (D.D.C. Feb. 15, 2018) (Kelly, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning Attorney General's decision to recuse himself from certain matters related to 2016 presidential campaign

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  The court holds that "[t]aken at face value, DOJ's evidence demonstrates '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 notes that "[plaintiff] has presented no argument finding fault with the search methodology described by DOJ."  Instead, the court states that "'[plaintiff's] arguments boil down to this:  DOJ's assertion of a reasonable search is not to be believed because it failed to produce the number and type of documents that [plaintiff] expected to receive."  "Unfortunately for [plaintiff], courts have rejected such arguments time and time again."  "'[T]he adequacy of a FOIA search is generally determined not by the fruits of the search, but by the appropriateness of the methods used to carry out the search.'"  "[Plaintiff] apparently wants DOJ to keep tilling the same ground until it hits pay dirt."  "But there is no good reason to compel DOJ to undertake that Sisyphean task."  "Thus, DOJ's labors in this case are at an end."
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Updated June 28, 2018