Immigrant Def. Project v. ICE, No. 14-6117, 2017 WL 2126839 (S.D.N.Y. May 16, 2017) (Oetken, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning ICE's enforcement and arrest operations at homes and residences
Disposition: Granting plaintiff's motion for reconsideration
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: "The Court . . . finds that this situation is one where reconsideration based on the 'availability of new evidence' is warranted in order to prevent 'manifest injustice,' . . .; after all, it appears it was, at least in part, Defendants' earlier unwillingness to carry out required searches that prevented Plaintiffs – and the Court – from considering this evidence earlier." The court relates that "Plaintiffs point to 'tangible evidence' of outstanding materials at the field offices in question, indicating that Defendants' earlier search of these offices was not complete." Specifically, "[c]ontrary to Defendants' earlier representations to [the] Court . . . these new [documents produced] suggest that the field offices in question . . . in fact, collect and maintain at least some [of the requested] information[.]" "Defendants failed to produce these records from the field offices in question." "Moreover, at the partial summary judgment stage, they claimed that they had discharged their duties under the FOIA and turned up all responsive data and documents, constructively denying the existence of such records – representations that the Court took seriously and relied upon in its earlier ruling." The court relates that "[d]efendants contend that the existence of records at OPA does not, taken alone, indicate that the records searches carried out at the field offices were incomplete." "While this may be true as a general matter, Plaintiffs' argument amounts to more than (what Defendants refer to as) mere 'speculat[ion].'' "Indeed, for the reasons discussed above, Plaintiffs point to a positive indication that Defendants collect, but failed to diligently search for, data sought by Plaintiffs in their FOIA request." Therefore, the court directs that "[t]he parties shall confer and agree upon additional custodians and search terms for a further records search[.]"