Harper v. EEOC, No. 15-2629, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84981 (W.D. Tenn. June 30, 2016) (Anderson, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff’s complaint
Disposition: Adopting Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation; granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations, Summary Judgment: The court holds that, "[h]aving reviewed the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation de novo, Plaintiff's timely objections, and the entire record of the case, the Court hereby adopts the Report and Recommendation" and finds that "[d]efendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted." The court relates that defendant "grant[ed] in part and den[ied] in part Plaintiff's request." "EEOC located Plaintiff's charge file, which contained 354 pages and released the first 100 pages of responsive documents without charge pursuant to 29 C.F.R.§ 1510.15(a)(3)." "EEOC assessed a fee of $38.70 associated with copying the remaining 254 pages of responsive documents." "Plaintiff was informed that EEOC partially redacted two pages of the released documents pursuant to FOIA exemption (b)(5) and that he could avail himself of certain appeal rights related to the determination." "Plaintiff has not paid the fee, and EEOC has not released the remaining 254 pages of responsive documents to Plaintiff." The court finds that "[p]laintiff has cited little or no evidence to show that a genuine dispute exists on any material fact."
- Discovery: The court finds that "[t]he Magistrate Judge did not err in failing to grant Plaintiff an opportunity for discovery." "The Court holds that Plaintiff's blanket plea for discovery in his affidavit fails to meet [the applicable] standard." "Plaintiff did not show what material facts he hoped to uncover or why the facts would establish a genuine dispute for trial." "Indeed, the Magistrate Judge recognized that 'district courts typically dispose of FOIA cases on summary judgment before a plaintiff can conduct discovery' and framed the threshold issue presented in FOIA cases at summary judgment: '[i]f the Government fairly describes the content of the material withheld and adequately states its grounds for nondisclosure [by affidavit], and if those grounds are reasonable and consistent with the applicable law, the district court should uphold the government's position.'" "'Unless evidence contradicts the government's affidavits or establishes bad faith, the [district] court's primary role is to review the adequacy of the affidavits and other evidence.'"