Friday, March 16, 2018
Davis v. VA, No. 17-1325, 2018 WL 1357361 (10th Cir. Mar. 16, 2018) (Moritz, J.)
Re: Requests for requester's claims file
Disposition: Affirming magistrate judge's grant of government's motion for summary judgment
- Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records: The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit holds that "VA clearly demonstrated that it conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover all responsive documents." The court explained that "[VA] stated that [it] searched the VA's three database systems likely to contain [the requester's] records and obtained all records available in each system." "[It] then cross-referenced the results by searching each system using [the requester's] name, social security number, and other identifying information." "And [it] provided [the requester] with printouts and screenshots of the searches [it] conducted and repeatedly spoke with [the requester] to ascertain whether there might be additional documents [it] could help him find." "[VA] stated that all of these systems were searched and the results were provided to [the requester]." Responding to the requester's argument, the court finds that "'"purely speculative claims about the existence and discoverability of other documents"' are insufficient to contradict an agency's declarations for purposes of surviving summary judgment."
- Litigation Considerations, Discovery: The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit holds that "[the requester] has shown no factual dispute regarding the VA's good-faith efforts to comply with FOIA, nor has he offered any evidence to question the veracity of [VA's] declarations or the reasonableness of the search he performed." "Thus, there was no need for further discovery."
Court of Appeals
Updated June 29, 2018