North v. DOJ, No. 08-1439, 2013 WL 4779834 (D.D.C. Sept. 9, 2013) (Kollar-Kotelly, J.)

Date: 
Monday, September 9, 2013
Re: Defendant's search for records concerning witness who testified at plaintiff's criminal trial, following court's grant of plaintiff's motion to reconsider previously granted defendant's motion for summary judgment Disposition: Granting defendant's second renewed motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's second renewed cross–motion for summary judgment and motion for Vaughn Index
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of the Search:  The court finds that defendant's search was adequate.  The court relates that, "[p]laintiff sought any debriefing or proffer statements made by [the witness] concerning the Plaintiff."  The court states that defendant, "explained these statements, if they existed, would appear in relevant investigative files and [the witness'] confidential source file."  The court explains that, "[a]ll investigative files are maintained in IRFS and indexed by NADDIS."  Defendant, "searched NADDIS for the Plaintiff's name and [the witness'] name," but "[n]one of the investigative files located during these searches indicated the Plaintiff and [the witness] were criminal associates."  The court notes that, "[t]he affiant personally reviewed [the witness'] confidential source file, and did not locate any responsive documents."  The court concludes by finding that defendant's, "search was reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents, thus satisfying the agency's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act."
  • Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index:  The court "notes there are no grounds on which to require the DEA to produce a Vaughn index."  The court explains that defendant, "did not locate any documents responsive to the Plaintiff's 2007 request, thus [defendant] has not withheld any documents pursuant to any FOIA exemptions and there are no documents to index."
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Vaughn Index
Updated August 6, 2014