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Hoeller v. SSA, No. 14-1430, 2015 WL 2151862 (E.D. Wis. May 7, 2015) (Adelman, J.)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hoeller v. SSA, No. 14-1430, 2015 WL 2151862 (E.D. Wis. May 7, 2015) (Adelman, J.)

Re: Request for certain social security records concerning plaintiff

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records:  The court "conclude[s] that the SSA has conducted a reasonable search based on plaintiff's request."  The court relates that defendant searched "the SSA's electronic record keeping systems, and two paper files retrieved from off-site storage."  The court finds that "[p]laintiff does not dispute that these search efforts were reasonable and does not suggest any further search efforts the SSA should have made in response to his request."  In response to plaintiff's argument, the court finds that "[t]he fact that the SSA was unable to locate . . . one document does not undermine the conclusion that its search was reasonable."  Additionally, the court finds that "some of the relief plaintiff seeks is not authorized under FOIA."  The court explains that "'FOIA neither requires an agency to answer questions disguised as a FOIA request ... or to create documents or opinions in response to an individual's request for information.'"  "Thus, FOIA does not require the SSA to create written explanations or affidavits regarding their actions if they do not already exist."
District Court
Updated June 26, 2015