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Clervrain v. United States, No. 17-3194, 2018 WL 4491224 (D. Kan. Sept. 19, 2018) (Crow, J.)


Clervrain v. United States, No. 17-3194, 2018 WL 4491224 (D. Kan. Sept. 19, 2018) (Crow, J.)

Re:  Request for records associated with various Federal Prisons

Disposition:  Granting defendants' motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's pending motions as moot

  • Fees and Fee Waivers, Fee Waivers:  "When an agency 'reasonably believes that a requester . . . is attempting to divide a single request into a series of requests for the purpose of avoiding fees,' the agency can aggregate those requests and charge as if they were a single request."  "Plaintiff alleges that BOP's aggregation of his three requests for information under FOIA was unreasonable and pretextual."  "The [c]ourt disagrees."  "[DOJ regulations] provide . . . that BOP is entitled to presume that multiple requests of the same type made within a 30-day period were made in order to avoid fees."  "Plaintiff filed three separate requests on the same date."  "The three requests sought the same information."  "The only difference between the requests was to which institutions the information pertained."  "Plaintiff goes on to request a fee waiver."  "Plaintiff states that 'disclosure of the information sought is in the public interest, as it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operation or activities of the Bureau . . . and disclosure is not in my commercial interest.'"  The court holds that, "[a] requestor must do more than recite the regulatory factors; he must specify the public interest, identify the governmental activity or operation on which he intends to shed any light, and explain how disclosure of the requested information would contribute to the public's understanding of such activity or operation."  "Further, a requestor must state his ability and intention to effectively disseminate the information to the public."  "The [c]ourt finds [d]efendants were justified in denying [p]laintiff's fee waiver request."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Fees and Fee Waivers
Updated January 31, 2019