Nat'l Veterans Legal Servs. Program v. Dep't of Def., No. 14-01915, 2016 WL 4435175 (D.D.C. Aug. 19, 2016) (Mehta, J.)
Re: Action challenging practices of Army Board for Corrections of Military Records (ABCMR)
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion to dismiss
- Proactive Disclosures: First, "the court finds that . . . plaintiffs have standing to assert their Third Claim for Relief." The court relates that "[p]laintiffs have alleged that two policy manuals – the 'Screening Team Analyst Resource' and an internal Handbook for ABCMR Board members – as well the ABCMR's policy instructing staff to return an application when it is missing documents, are subject to public disclosure under Sections 552(a)(1) and (2) of FOIA." "Thus, Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that, at least on their reading of FOIA, the ABCMR should have made publicly available the two policy manuals and the policy concerning incomplete applications."
The court then finds that, "[a]lthough Plaintiffs may be correct that Section 552(a)(2)(C) requires that the handbooks in question be made publicly available, Plaintiffs have brought their claim under the wrong statute – the APA – and should have instead brought their claim under FOIA." The court explains that "[p]laintiffs should have brought their claim to enforce publication under Section 552(a)(2) under FOIA, after making a specific demand to the ABCMR to make such publication, and not under the APA."