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Cunningham v. FAA, No. 12-CV-3577, 2013 WL 4670559 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 29, 2013) (Thrash, J.)

Thursday, August 29, 2013
Re: Request for "'documents related to payments authorized by [defendant] in 2011, to present and former Air Traffic Control Specialists assigned to the Atlanta Tower and TRACON during the years 2002 to 2004'" Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
  • Procedural Requirements, Adequacy of the Search:  The court "finds the Defendant's searches adequate to satisfy its obligations under the FOIA."  The court finds that, "the searches relating to the Plaintiff's requests were conducted in databases and files reasonably expected to contain relevant records."  Moreover, "[t]he searches were also tailored to the content that the Plaintiff requested, as well as the relevant dates stipulated in his request."  Additionally, the court states that, "'[d]etermining whether an agency conducted an adequate search does not hinge on 'whether there might exist any other documents possibly responsive to the request, but whether the search for those documents was adequate.''"  Finally, the court finds that, "[d]efendant's delay in providing the Plaintiff with the requested records is, without more, insufficient to show that the search was conducted in bad faith."
  • Litigation Considerations, Suits:  The court finds that it, "lacks jurisdiction under the FOIA to provide an additional remedy for unauthorized destruction or delayed production of records."  The court explains that, "[a]s stated, the FOIA only provides a private right of action for the wrongful withholding of records, and it limits the remedy to injunctive relief and associated litigation costs."
  • Litigation Considerations, Discovery:  The court denies plaintiff's request for discovery.  The court finds that, "nothing in the Defendant's declarations suggests a need for discovery."  The court explains that, "[t]here is no factual inconsistency between the declarations or any other indication of bad faith that would call into question their credibility."
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Updated August 6, 2014