Thursday, March 26, 2015
Lea v. EOUSA, No. 14-423, 2015 WL 1381723 (D.D.C. Mar. 26, 2015) (Walton, J.)
Re: Request for authorization documents
Disposition: Granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Exemption 5, Deliberative Process and Attorney Work-Product Privileges: The court finds that "EOUSA has properly justified withholding responsive records in their entirety under FOIA exemption 5 as attorney work product and deliberative process material." "The plaintiff has not come forward with any contrary evidence." "Therefore, the Court will grant summary judgment to the EOUSA on its processing of responsive records."
- Procedural Requirements, Consultations and Referrals: The court finds that it "has no information to assess the propriety of the EOUSA's referral and, thus, must deny summary judgment on this aspect of the FOIA claim." The court explains that "EOUSA's declarant has not addressed the outcome of the referral, and 'a referral of records could constitute an improper withholding if the "net effect [of the referral procedure] is significantly to impair the requester's ability to obtain the records or significantly to increase the amount of time he must wait to obtain them."'"
- Litigation Considerations, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies: "The Court will grant summary judgment to the USDA." The court finds that "[t]he plaintiff has not come forward with any evidence to rebut the USDA's evidence that he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies."
Updated June 18, 2015