Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Kaye v. DHS, No. 16-9384, 2018 WL 456303 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 17, 2018) (Caproni, J.)
Re: Request for immigration records concerning plaintiff's client
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations: The court holds that "Plaintiff has waived any objections to the adequacy of the search and to DHS's decision to withhold the other documents[.]" Therefore, "DHS's motion is granted as to those documents."
- Exemption 7(C): "The Court finds that Plaintiff's arguments are unavailing, and that DHS has sufficiently justified withholding [one witness statement]." "The Court agrees with DHS that, as to exemption (7)(C), even if Plaintiff has correctly guessed the identity of the witness, because the witness has not waived his or her privacy interest, the witness's right to privacy must still be respected." Additionally, "[t]he Court rejects the purported public interest in knowing how DHS makes its immigration determinations, as this does not outweigh the witness's privacy interest, the interest in maintaining confidentiality, and the interest in ensuring witness protection."
- Exemption 7(D): "As to (7)(D), the Court agrees with DHS that production of the witness statement would reveal the identity of a confidential source, as it is reasonable that the witness would have expected his or her identity to remain confidential, and a policy of confidentiality promotes cooperation with law enforcement and protects witnesses."
- Exemption 7(F): "And as to (7)(F), the Court agrees with DHS that revealing the identity of a witness who testified against an individual regarding immigration fraud should remain private to afford protection to the witness; the Court defers to the agency's assessment of the risk and recognizes the possibility of retaliation, regardless of [plaintiff's client's] purported relationship with his former wife, who may or not actually be the witness."
Updated July 6, 2018