Judicial Watch, Inc. v. DOJ, No. 17-00029, 2018 WL 3795817 (D.D.C. August 9, 2018) (Friedrich, J.)

Date: 
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Judicial Watch, Inc. v. DOJ, No. 17-00029, 2018 WL 3795817 (D.D.C. August 9, 2018) (Friedrich, J.)

Re:  Request for email correspondence involving former Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik

Disposition:  Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search, Declarations: In light of a question of "whether Kadzik properly discharged his duty to forward official business communications from his personal email account to his official email account," the court notes "the [defendant] did not restrict its search to Kadzik's official email account."  The court explains that the defendant "reached out to both the Office of Legislative Affairs and to Kadzik to determine whether Kadzik's official government email account was the only record system likely to contain [responsive records]."  Subsequently, "Kadzik conducted multiple comprehensive electronic term and manual searches of his personal email account to ensure that it contained no [responsive records]."  The court finds that the defendant's second declaration contains sufficient details about the search terms used and methods of the search such that "Kadzik's searches were reasonably calculated to discover the records [sought]."  The court rejects the plaintiff's argument for additional searches because the declaration contained the qualifying phrase "to the best of Kadzik's recollection."  The court explains, "to the extent that this qualifying phrase calls into doubt the completeness of Kadzik's electronic term searches, any deficiency is negated by the comprehensive manual searches Kadzik conducted."   
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
Declarations
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Updated January 31, 2019