Thursday, August 15, 2013
Re: Request for certain records concerning a letter sent to defendant on behalf of Schmidt for Congress Committee Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies: The court, "dismiss[es] without prejudice [plaintiff's] FOIA claim to the extent he argues that [defendant] wrongfully applied exemptions to redact and withhold documents so that [plaintiff] first may administratively exhaust that claim." The court reasons that, "the FOIA statute does not appear to directly address this situation where a plaintiff exhausted his original claim that the agency failed to timely respond to a FOIA request, but then seeks to amend the claim to allege that the agency improperly applied FOIA statutory exemptions when responding to that request after the lawsuit was filed." The court finds that "[f]ederal courts require a person who submitted a FOIA request to exhaust administrative remedies when the agency responded to the request in an untimely manner, but before a lawsuit was initiated." The court holds that, "[plaintiff] first should appeal administratively to [defendant] its decision to redact and withhold certain responsive documents pursuant to statutory exemptions."
- Attorney's Fees: The court does not decide plaintiff's request for attorney's fees because, "[t]he court ordinarily does not determine whether a plaintiff is entitled to attorney fees and costs as the prevailing party as part of the adjudication of the defendant's motion for summary judgment." "Rather, the court resolves attorney fees issues upon motion after the adjudication of the case on the merits." "Plaintiff [ ] has not filed a motion for attorney fees and costs in this case."
Updated August 6, 2014