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Dubuque v. Dep't of Air Force, No. 16-1244, 2017 WL 5132666 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 6, 2017) (Sippel, J.)


Dubuque v. Dep't of Air Force, No. 16-1244, 2017 WL 5132666 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 6, 2017) (Sippel, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning polygraph of plaintiff

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 7(E):  The court holds that "Defendants have established the predicates for the application of Exemption 7(E) to the disputed materials."  The court relates that defendant "discusses various relevant aspects of the polygraph examination, including the types of questions asked, process, potential outcomes, data, and techniques."  "[Defendant] also specifically explains each redaction and withholding decision, including providing detailed explanation and logical reasoning regarding the application of Exemption 7(E)."  Responding to plaintiff's argument, the court "decline[s] to apply the public domain doctrine in this case."  The court explains that "[t]he manuals relied on by [plaintiff] are insufficient to bar application of Exemption 7(E)."  "It is not entirely clear from the web addresses and exhibits provided by [plaintiff] whether Defendants have publicly disclosed these manuals or similar documents, or how similar these documents are to the documents sought."  The court finds that "[a] link to an unofficial website does not constitute a permanent public record."
  • Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable" Requirements:  The court holds that "Defendants appear to have disclosed all reasonably segregable information and no further segregation is required."  The court relates that "Defendants provided specified designations for the redacted portions of the partially disclosed polygraph records[,]" and also provided explanations for why certain records were withheld in full.
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 7(E)
Litigation Considerations, “Reasonably Segregable” Requirements
Updated December 8, 2021