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Fabricant v. DOJ, No. 15-00294, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128878 (D. Ariz. Aug. 11, 2017) (Soto, J.)


Fabricant v. DOJ, No. 15-00294, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128878 (D. Ariz. Aug. 11, 2017) (Soto, J.)

Re:  Plaintiff's twenty-one FOIA requests concerning third parties, certain costs and expenditures, certain investigations, plaintiff, and certain rules and regulations

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 6:  The court relates that "ATF asserts that it determined that identifying information of third parties, including AUSAs, non-law enforcement third parties, co-defendants, and confidential informants should be withheld because the release of such personal information could reasonably be expected to subject the third parties to unwarranted embarrassment, harassment and harm, and would do little, if anything at all, to aid the public's understanding of the ATF."  The court finds that, "due to the specific nature of the eight requests for which no search was performed, it is reasonable that the ATF found that those records fell within Exemption 6 without performing any searches."
  • Litigation Considerations Adequacy of Search:  The court finds that "Defendant has submitted a Declaration detailing that searches were performed in compliance with the FOIA requests and that because the records are not organized according to case number, no documents were found."  "The fact that documents exist that Plaintiff thinks could have been disclosed in response to his request does not undermine the determination that Defendant conducted adequate searches for the requested records."  Similarly, regarding a request for records concerning plaintiff, the court finds that "Defendant has presented evidence that it conducted sufficient searches and Plaintiff has not rebutted that evidence."  The court finds similarly regarding several other requests.
  • Exemptions 4, 6, 7(C) & 7(E):  The court finds that, "[a]side from making . . . general arguments as to what information was withheld and the objections already addressed by the Court, Plaintiff does not show that the exemptions claimed by Defendant in redacting [certain] information . . . were improper."  "Accordingly, on the record before the Court, Defendant is entitled to summary judgment[.]"
  • Litigation Considerations, Relief:  The court relates that "Plaintiff also seeks relief in the form of ordering the Office of Information Policy to process his appeals."  The court holds that "Plaintiff cites no authority demonstrating that he is entitled to such relief in this action."


Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 4
Exemption 6
Exemption 7(C)
Exemption 7(E)
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Litigation Considerations, Relief
Updated December 13, 2021