Ivey v. EOUSA, No. 13-917, 2015 WL 507219 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2015) (D'Agostino, J.)

Date: 
Friday, February 6, 2015

Ivey v. EOUSA, No. 13-917, 2015 WL 507219 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2015) (D'Agostino, J.)

Re: Request for "'disclosure of all criminal bonds, bonding, or otherwise'"

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Considerations, Time Limits:  In response to plaintiff's contention that "'defendant failed to comply with the statutory provisional requirements of tim[liness] set forth in 5 U.S .C. § 552(a)(6)(A),'" the court holds that "[d]ue to Plaintiff's receipt of EOUSA's final determination regarding his FOIA request, 'the only issue for the Court to consider at this point is whether [EOUSA's] response complies with its obligations under FOIA.'"  The court explains that "[s]ince Plaintiff responded to Defendant's motion, it can be inferred that Plaintiff now has notice of the final determination regarding his FOIA request."  "Therefore, whether Plaintiff received the notice of final determination [in a timely manner] is not material to the outcome of this proceeding."
     
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  The court holds that "[d]efendant's affidavits prove that the search performed in response to Plaintiff's FOIA request was adequate."  The court relates that defendant's "affidavit sets out that searches of Plaintiff's name in both the LIONS system and the National Electronic Case Filing System . . . were performed."  "The affidavit also includes the search terms [defendant] entered."

Additionally, the court finds that "it does not appear that any reading of Plaintiff's response in opposition can be construed to allege Defendant[] acted in bad faith."  The court relates that "[p]laintiff argues that Defendant did not conduct an adequate search, because [defendant's] affidavit includes [defendant's] belief that 'plaintiff is convinced that the United States government sells federal inmates as commodities on the stock market.'"  "[D]espite [its] doubts about the existence of Plaintiff's requested records, [defendant] conducted an adequate search and did not act in bad faith."

  • Procedural Considerations, OPEN Government Act:  The court finds that "[s]ince Defendant did in fact assign Plaintiff an individualized tracking number, Defendant did not violate 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(A)."  The court explains that "[p]laintiff was assigned an individualized tracking number once EOUSA received his FOIA request, which he does not dispute."
     
  • Attorney Fees, Eligibility:  "The Court finds that Plaintiff has not substantially prevailed within the meaning [of 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(E)], because all of his claims have been dismissed."  "Therefore, Plaintiff is not entitled to reimbursement for litigation expenses or court fees."
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
Attorney Fees
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Open Government Act Amendment
Procedural
Timeliness
Updated April 21, 2015