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Kuplen v. DOJ, No. 13-343, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28458 (W.D.N.C. Mar. 9, 2015) (Whitney, C.J.)


Kuplen v. DOJ, No. 13-343, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28458 (W.D.N.C. Mar. 9, 2015) (Whitney, C.J.)

Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff's criminal conviction

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "[T]he Court is satisfied that the FBI's search was adequate and reasonable."  The court finds that defendant "'conducted a search of the automated indices . . . to identify all potentially responsive files' and released to Plaintiff the relevant and appropriate documents found through the search."  Additionally, "[p]laintiff has not rebutted the presumption of good faith to which [defendant's] Declaration is entitled."
  • Exemptions 6 and 7(C):  The court holds that Exemptions 6 and 7C apply to certain records.  After finding that privacy interests exist in this situation, the court finds that "[d]efendant has not articulated a valid reason why a public interest would be served by the disclosure of the personnel files of the witnesses who testified at his trial."  "The public at large has no interest in the files and records of those witnesses."  "The fact that some FBI lab employees other than those who testified at Plaintiff's trial were investigated for misconduct does not create any public interest in the personnel files of the employees who were not investigated."  Additionally, the court disagrees with plaintiff's argument "that the FBI agents who testified against him waived their rights to disclosure of personnel records related to their credibility."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 6
Exemption 7(C)
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Updated December 10, 2021