Kennedy v. EEOC, No. 14-00374, 2014 WL 4908716 (S.D. Ind. Sept. 29, 2014) (Magnus-Stinson, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning charge of discrimination filed by plaintiff
Disposition: Denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment; granting defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment
- Exemption 5, Deliberative Process Privilege: "[T]he Court agrees that the redactions were proper pursuant to Exemption 5." "First, the undisputed evidence shows that the redacted information was 'predecisional,' . . . in that the Investigator provided the recommendation and assessments prior to the EEOC's final decision." "Second, the redactions prevent disclosure of information that is 'deliberative'" because "[t]he Investigator's initial assessment of [plaintiff's] Charge of Discrimination and the EEOC codes that convey that assessment to the Investigator's supervisor are undisputedly related to the process by which the EEOC reached a final decision on how [plaintiff's] Charge of Discrimination should be resolved."
- Procedural Considerations, Searching for Responsive Records: The court holds that "[t]he undisputed evidence submitted by the EEOC demonstrates that it provided [plaintiff] with all of the documents related to his Charge of Discrimination." The court finds that "sworn affidavits submitted by EEOC employees state that the entire contents of [plaintiff's] EEOC Charge File were provided to him, . . . and that other than the redacted portions of the documents provided to [plaintiff], 'no other information or documents were withheld in response to Plaintiff's FOIA request.'" In response to plaintiff's arguments, the court finds that "'[s]elf[-]serving assertions of government wrongdoing and coverup' are insufficient to undermine the 'veracity of the government's submissions.'" "In sum, [plaintiff] does not present any evidence of bad faith on the EEOC's part, or evidence from which a reasonable jury could conclude that there are documents in the EEOC's possession that it should have but did not turn over to [plaintiff]."