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Kalu v. IRS, No. 14-998, 2016 WL 393179 (D.D.C. Feb. 1, 2016) (Boasberg. J.)


Kalu v. IRS, No. 14-998, 2016 WL 393179 (D.D.C. Feb. 1, 2016) (Boasberg. J.)

Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff, specifically records confirming whether she was on a "watch list"

Disposition: Denying plaintiff's renewed motion for summary judgment; entering judgment for defendant                                                                                                           

  • Exemption 7(E):  "[T]he Court finds that the agency’s supplemental declaration provides reasonable and sufficiently specific reasons to justify its Glomar response in this case—namely, that anything other than a 'neither confirm nor deny' response would tend to disclose at the very least 'guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions' and that such disclosure 'could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.'"  "Indeed, among other adverse consequences of full or even partial disclosure is that '[r]equiring the government to reveal whether a particular person is on the watch lists would enable criminal organizations to circumvent the purpose of the watch lists by determining in advance which of their members may be questioned.'"  In response to plaintiff's argument, the court finds that "[c]ertainly, [plaintiff] is correct that the Bureau does not deny the existence of a watch-list program."  "But to argue that such acknowledgement compels disclosure here is to mistake a forest for a tree."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 7(E)
Updated March 4, 2016