Davis v. DHS, No. 11-203, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114424 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 14, 2014) (Ross, J.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Davis v. DHS, No. 11-203, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114424 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 14, 2014) (Ross, J.)

Re: Request for certain Transportation Security Administration records as well as for records concerning requester

Disposition: Granting TSA's renewed motion for summary judgment; granting in part and denying in part BOP's renewed motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  Regarding TSA, the court holds that, "[h]aving reviewed TSA's undisputed facts detailing the search conducted in response to these requests, as well as the affidavit on which the fact statement is based, the court concludes that TSA has met its burden of demonstrating adequate searches for both types of documents [at issue]."  The court explains that "[TSA's] Declaration sufficiently demonstrates that TSA's additional search for the . . . records conducted following the court's prior order was reasonably designed to locate responsive records."  Additionally, the court finds that "[t]he declaration details the role of each of the three offices, the types of records they keep, the records systems that were searched, and the methods by which the systems were searched--both before and after the court's prior order--including the search terms used."  Also, the court holds that "TSA has sufficiently identified which offices in its agency were likely to have records and why, as well as provided detail on how those records were searched."

Regarding BOP, while the court finds that some portions of BOP's response were "reasonable and adequate response[s]," the court also finds that several issues still exist concerning BOP's response, including the fact that "BOP does not explain why 'Inmate Request to Staff' forms submitted by Davis and available in his Central File would be the only documents responsive to this request," the fact that "it has not described any other search conducted for responsive documents," and the fact that BOP has not provided "any description of [certain] search[es] undertaken."

  • Exemption 7(C):  Regarding plaintiff's request for "a complete list of all 100- and 200- level incident reports for assault issued at MDC and the Metropolitan Correctional Center . . . in New York between 2000 and 2010," the court holds that "BOP has adequately shown that there are grounds for the privacy exception to FOIA to apply, and there is nothing in the record suggesting that its application is inappropriate here."  However, the court also finds that BOP has "provided absolutely no explanation whatsoever as to why a staff member's job title would be subject to privacy protections."
  • Fees and Fee Waivers, Fees:  The court finds that "BOP's response to [plaintiff's] request was consistent with the DOJ regulations at 28 C.F.R. § 16.11."  The court explains that "BOP assessed the fees required for plaintiff's search, notified him of those fees, and offered him an opportunity to reformulate his request at a lower cost."  The court also finds that "[i]t was appropriate for BOP to require advance payment and to cease processing plaintiff's request when no payment was received."
  • Exemptions 2, 6, 7(C), 7(E), and 7(F):  Concerning certain redactions, the court holds that "BOP has sufficiently shown [that this information is] subject to FOIA exemptions because [it] relate[s] to internal agency rules and practices, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(2), contain[s] personnel files the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, id. § 552(b)(6), and [was] compiled for law enforcement purposes and would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy, disclose law enforcement investigative techniques or procedures, and could be expected to endanger an individual's life or safety, id. § 552(b)(7)(C), (E), (F)."
Adequacy of Search
Exemption 2
Exemption 6
Exemption 7C
Exemption 7E
Exemption 7F
Fees and Fee Waiver
Litigation Considerations
Updated January 29, 2015