Hertz Schram PC v. FBI, No. 12-14234, 2014 WL 5705050 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 5, 2014) (Goldsmith, J.)

Date: 
Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hertz Schram PC v. FBI, No. 12-14234, 2014 WL 5705050 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 5, 2014) (Goldsmith, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning identification of "'Juggalos'" as "'gang'" in the National Gang Intelligence Center's 2011 report

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "[T]he Court concludes that the FBI has sufficiently described the [National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC)]'s search for records responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA request."  "The Court previously found that, while [defendant's] Declaration sufficiently described the FBI's search for responsive material within the FBI's Central Record System . . . , it did not adequately describe the NGIC's search for responsive records."  The court finds that, now, defendant's "[d]eclaration provides reasonable detail as to the scope and procedure for the NGIC's search for responsive material."  "Not only does the Declaration describe how the NGIC located potentially responsive material, but it also gives sufficient information as to how the material was stored and processed, as well as to how the NGIC ensured that its search adequately responded to the request."
     
  • Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records:  The court holds that "the failure to search for and produce documents regarding any investigation into the Juggalos does not render the FBI's search deficient under FOIA."  The court explains that it "previously found 'that the FBI misinterpreted Plaintiff's FOIA request.'"  However, the court finds that defendant "provides additional detail . . . that allows the Court to now conclude that the FBI's search was reasonably tailored to Plaintiff's request."  "The Court agrees with the FBI that Plaintiff's FOIA request is anchored in the 2011 NGIC report."  The court explains that "[defendant's] Declaration provides that there was no such investigation into the Juggalos for the purpose of the 2011 report."  "And, it is reasonable to conclude that any FBI investigation of the Juggalos that is separate and distinct from the NGIC 2011 report, and on which the NGIC did not rely in preparing the report, does not fall within the scope of the request."
     
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Procedural
Search
Updated February 4, 2015