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Goldstein v. Treasury Inspector Gen. for Tax Admin., No. 14-02189, 2017 WL 4358677 (D.D.C. Sept. 29, 2017) (Mehta, J.)


Goldstein v. Treasury Inspector Gen. for Tax Admin., No. 14-02189, 2017 WL 4358677 (D.D.C. Sept. 29, 2017) (Mehta, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning plaintiff's conduct as a whistleblower

Disposition:  Denying plaintiff's motion for relief from judgment; granting in part and denying in part defendant's second motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations:  "The court . . . agrees with Defendant that relief under Rule 60(b)(2) is not warranted because neither [of the two documents at issue] would have changed the court's prior rulings regarding the adequacy of Defendant's search or the applicability of Exemption 6."
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "The court finds Defendant's search was reasonably calculated to identify all responsive records."  The court relates that "[defendant's] declarations explain that she searched for responsive documents in the database where such documents would most likely be located . . . and why other [locations] would likely not contain such records."  "The declarations also identify the type of search the agency performed and the search terms used to locate the responsive materials."
  • Exemption 7, Threshold:  "[T]he court rejects Defendant’s reliance on Exemption 7(C) to justify the withholding of any responsive records."  The court finds that "[d]efendant's new evidence does not satisfy [the] definition of records 'compiled for law enforcement purposes.'"  "Neither declarant describes the specific conduct under investigation, nor identifies the possible law violation that, if proven, could have resulted in civil or criminal sanctions."
  • Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable" Requirements:  "The court is now satisfied that Defendant has met its burden and grants summary judgment in its favor."  The court finds that "[defendant] makes clear that [it] carefully considered the contents of each page of the investigative files and provided a 'detailed justification' for withholding those files in their entirety."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 7
Exemption 7, Threshold
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Litigation Considerations, “Reasonably Segregable” Requirements
Updated December 15, 2021