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King v. DOJ, No. 15-1445, 2021 WL 3363406 (D.D.C. Aug. 3, 2021) (Moss, J.)


King v. DOJ, No. 15-1445, 2021 WL 3363406 (D.D.C. Aug. 3, 2021) (Moss, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning investigation and prosecution of plaintiff in Arizona and New York

Disposition:  Granting defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "Based on the evidence presented in these three declarations, the Court is now satisfied that EOUSA conducted an adequate search – one that was 'reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents.'"  "Unlike in [the court's earlier opinion], the Department is no longer simply relying on the fact that certain records were filed under seal in the underlying proceedings to justify withholding them in this case."  "To the contrary, [Assistant United States Attorneys] in Arizona sought leave to review those sealed materials and then released non-exempt records to [plaintiff], with permission of the court that had entered the sealing order."  "And, unlike in [another of the court's earlier opinions], the declarations submitted in support of the currently pending motion for summary judgment are far from boilerplate, but instead explain in detail exactly where EOUSA looked for responsive records."  "By carefully examining all documents in [plaintiff's] case files, whether boxes in Arizona or the Redweld in New York, as well as the sealed docket in the Arizona case, EOUSA made 'a good faith effort to conduct a search for the requested records, using methods which can be reasonably expected to produce the information requested.'"
  • Attorney Fees, Entitlement:  "[E]ven assuming that [plaintiff] substantially prevailed and is thus eligible for costs, the Court is unpersuaded that [plaintiff] has shown that he is so entitled."  "[Plaintiff] has made no factual showing at all, much less the factual showings necessary to demonstrate that these factors tip in his favor."  "Indeed, the record as it currently stands suggests that [plaintiff] sought records about his own criminal prosecution purely for his own benefit, and there is no indication that the public had any interest in learning additional details about [plaintiff's] court cases."  "Finally, although the litigation has 'dragged on for [more than] 5 years,' . . . [plaintiff] is responsible for much of that delay, and, in any event, the delay has not increased his costs, which consist principally (if not entirely) of his initial filing fee."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Attorney Fees
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Updated August 31, 2021