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Kohake v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 15-3068, 2015 WL 7273270 (6th Cir. Nov. 17, 2015) (Anderson, J.)


Kohake v. Dep't of Treasury, No. 15-3068, 2015 WL 7273270 (6th Cir. Nov. 17, 2015) (Anderson, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning estate of third party

Disposition: Affirming district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records:  The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit holds that "the district court correctly found that the IRS was entitled to summary judgment."  The court finds that "the evidence provides reasonable detail of the scope of the search and demonstrates that the IRS made a good faith effort to locate the requested documents and employed methods reasonably expected to produce the requested information."  Additionally, in response to plaintiff's argument that "information is purportedly located at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Texas[,]" the court finds that "[t]he FOIA does not obligate the IRS to search for documents not in its possession."  Similarly, concerning properly destroyed old records, the court holds that "the fact that the IRS may have destroyed certain records pursuant to its policy does not render the search at issue unreasonable."  The court explains that "FOIA 'does not obligate agencies to create or retain documents; it only obligates them to provide access to those which it in fact has created and retained.'"  Similarly, the court finds that "[t]he mere fact that documents relevant to earlier years were not located does not mean that the IRS’s search was not a reasonable one."  "Destroying records pursuant to a records retention policy, as discussed above, does not violate the FOIA."
Court Decision Topic(s)
Court of Appeals opinions
Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records
Updated January 10, 2022