Davis v. U.S. Postal Inspection Serv., No. 13-01972, 2014 WL 7014877 (D.D.C. Dec. 15, 2014) (Cooper, J.)

Date: 
Monday, December 15, 2014

Davis v. U.S. Postal Inspection Serv., No. 13-01972, 2014 WL 7014877 (D.D.C. Dec. 15, 2014) (Cooper, J.)

Re: Request for names of videos for which plaintiff was convicted of trafficking

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "Based on USPIS' supporting declaration, the Court concludes that the agency's search was reasonably calculated to locate information responsive to [plaintiff's] FOIA request."  The court explains that "[plaintiff] does not fault the method by which USPIS located the CD–ROMs that were seized from his residence."  "He only asks for the names of the files, which USPIS states it has located but withheld under various FOIA exemptions."
     
  • Exemption 3:  The court holds that "USPIS properly withheld in full the names of the 16 movie files."  The court relates that "USPIS contends that it may withhold the file names under 18 U.S.C. § 3509(d)" which "prohibits disclosing the names or other personal information of child victims and is considered a withholding statute for purposes of Exemption 3."  Specifically, the court rejects plaintiff's "request[] that USPIS 'manually print the names of each file' and thereby avoid producing the specific pages that USPIS has withheld."  The court explains that "USPIS' justification for withholding these documents would extend to any document containing the same information."
     
  • Exemption 7(C):  The court holds that defendant correctly utilized Exemption 7(C).  The court relates that "USPIS relied on Exemption 7(C) in withholding the file names because they contained the 'names and/or descriptions of children, and the ages of the children.'"  Despite plaintiff's contention that he will "collaterally attack[] his criminal sentence," the court finds that "[plaintiff's] personal interest in the requested information does not amount to a public interest of such magnitude that it outweighs the individuals' substantial privacy interests."
     
  • Exemption 7(F):  "Because the Court finds that [the] information [at issue] is properly withheld under Exemptions 3 and 7(C), it need not determine whether Exemption 7(F) applies with respect to the same information."
     
  • Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable" Requirements:  The court finds that "after having 'made every effort to segregate material that may be disclose[d] or entirely with minimal redactions in accordance with the [claimed] exemptions,' the declarant averred that '[i]t was not possible to reveal any additional information without revealing the substance of the [exempt] information[.]'"  The court holds that "[t]hese affirmations are sufficient to establish that all reasonably segregable records have been released."
     
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Exemption 3
Exemption 7C
Exemption 7F
Litigation Considerations
Segregability
Updated February 5, 2015