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Lamb v. Millennium Challenge Corp., No. 16-765, 2019 WL 4141868 (D.D.C. Aug. 30, 2019) (Moss, J.)


Lamb v. Millennium Challenge Corp., No. 16-765, 2019 WL 4141868 (D.D.C. Aug. 30, 2019) (Moss, J.)

Re:  Request for plaintiff's background investigation and suitability determination to work as contractor for defendant

Disposition:  Denying defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 7(D):  The court finds that [defendant's new] declaration provides more detail than [its previous] declaration and better supports DOD's invocation of Exemption 7(D)."  "But it still falls short – although not by much."  The court notes that there is no express assurance of confidentiality, so it turns to analyzing any implied assurance of confidentiality.  The court finds that "the facts that the source was him- or herself 'a participant in a criminal enterprise,' was not 'an innocent bystander,' and that the activity at issue had 'significant consequences' for those involved, . . . all support DOD's determination that the source provided [the government] with the information at issue with the implicit understanding that 'the information . . . would only be used for a law enforcement purpose[ ] and that he or she would otherwise be afforded a degree of confidentiality . . . .'"  "Without some additional detail, however, the Court cannot assess the nature of the crime at issue, the source's role in any criminal activity, the nature of the consequences the source faced, and any other indicia of confidentiality."  "The Court will, accordingly, order the Defendants to provide the Court with an unredacted copy of the document in question for ex parte, in camera inspection."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 7(D)
Updated September 17, 2019