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Ctr. for Investigative Reporting v. ICE, No. 18-01964, 2019 WL 6498817 (D.D.C. Dec. 3, 2019) (Nichols, J.)


Ctr. for Investigative Reporting v. ICE, No. 18-01964, 2019 WL 6498817 (D.D.C. Dec. 3, 2019) (Nichols, J.)

Re:  Requests for records concerning arrest records of ICE detainees

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

  • Exemptions 6 & 7(C):  The court finds that defendant appropriately applied Exemption 7(C).  The court first notes that "[t]here is no need to wade through how both exemptions apply."  "Because Exemption 7(C) requires a lower burden of proof, and because both exemptions employ the same balancing approach, it is unnecessary to determine whether Exemption 6 applies."  Second, the court finds that "[plaintiff] concedes that the records were compiled for law enforcement purposes."  Third, the court finds that "even if some detainees' names can be discovered online, there is a 'vast difference between the public records that might be found after a diligent search' and a few spreadsheets containing the personal information of each and every ICE detainee."  "And while a search of ICE's online locator system yields a name associated with a detention center and country of origin, it does not include the additional information that CIR has already obtained and that would be associated with detainees' names if they were produced: immigration history, education history, domestic and foreign criminal history, location of arrest, case category, charges brought in the case, case disposition, and other details."  "When associated with an individual detainee's name, that information creates a 'significant invasion[ ] of personal privacy.'"  Finally, the court finds that "neither in its Complaint nor its briefing does [plaintiff] ever assert any public interest in the disclosure of the detainees' names."  The court finds that "[plaintiff's] failure to assert any public interest in disclosure requires summary judgment for ICE."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 6
Exemption 7(C)
Updated January 10, 2020