Skip to main content

Hutchins v. EOUSA, No. 18-3033, 2020 WL 2542037 (D.D.C. May 19, 2020) (Mehta, J.


Hutchins v. EOUSA, No. 18-3033, 2020 WL 2542037 (D.D.C. May 19, 2020) (Mehta, J.)

Re:  Request for "'the actual [d]ates that a Grand Jury was impaneled in session'"

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  Despite the parties' dispute over the reading of plaintiff's FOIA request and the potential withholding of certain information pursuant to Exemption 3, the court finds that "[b]ecause EOUSA has shown that it performed an adequate search and located no responsive records, the court grants summary judgment on this alternative ground."  The court finds that "EOUSA's 'reasonably detailed' declarations, . . . demonstrate a calculated search for decades-old records containing the requested grand jury information at the locations where they were most likely to be found."  "Such declarations are afforded 'a presumption of good faith, which cannot be rebutted by [Plaintiff's] purely speculative claims about the existence and discoverability of [agency] documents.'"  In response to plaintiff's argument concerning a suggested search location, the court finds that "[defendant] searched the locations where dated grand jury records relating to Plaintiff would most likely be found."  "Absent reason to suspect that such records would be found in the LIONS database – and this record contains no such reason – [defendant] was not required to search the database."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Updated June 11, 2020