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Morley v. CIA, No. 12-5032, 2013 WL 2995930 (D.C. Cir. June 18, 2013) (per curiam)

Re: Request for records related to CIA officer concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy Disposition: Granting plaintiff's appeal, vacating judgment, and remanding case
  • Attorney's Fees:  The Court finds that the district court did not apply the correct standard when considering plaintiff's request for attorney's fees.  The Court relates the four factors to consider in this inquiry are, "(1) the public benefit derived from the case, (2) the commercial benefit to the requester, (3) the nature of the requester's interest in the information, and (4) the reasonableness of the agency's conduct."  The Court notes that it "recently elaborated on one of those four factors, the public-benefit factor, which looks to the public benefit derived from the plaintiff's FOIA suit," and specifically relates that it stated that records "'about individuals allegedly involved in President Kennedy's assassination[ ] serve[ ] a public benefit.'"  The Court notes that the "standard for entitlement to attorney's fees does not 'disqualify plaintiffs who obtain information that, while arguably not of immediate public interest, nevertheless enables further research ultimately of great value and interest, such as here the public understanding of a Presidential assassination.'"  The Court concludes that, "'a balancing of the factors can only support the conclusion that Davy is entitled to an award of attorney's fees.'"
Court Decision Topic(s)
Attorney Fees
Court of Appeals opinions
Updated August 6, 2014