Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Re: Request for certain documents concerning Clean Air Act Disposition: Granting defendant's motion to dismiss
- Procedural Requirements, Proper FOIA Requests: The court "finds that plaintiffs' FOIA request does not reasonably describe the records requested such that a professional employee of the EPA who is familiar with the subject area of the request is able to locate the records with a reasonable amount of effort." The court explains that "a professional employee making a reasonable effort would have no idea how to locate the records plaintiffs seek as plaintiffs' definition of 'Other Organizations' would require the EPA to search for and determine the organizational mission of any non-governmental organization that may have communicated with the EPA regarding topics under the CAA." Additionally, the court explains that "plaintiffs seek 'any and all documents' that 'discuss or in any way relates to' the three categories in part (a) of the request," and that, "[b]ased upon this broad, vague language, the Court finds that plaintiffs have not reasonably described the records sought." Lastly, the court explains that "[t]he term 'certain actions' is not defined or limited in any manner, and a professional EPA employee would be left to guess which of the hundreds of actions that the Administrator has a non-discretionary duty to perform plaintiffs are actually interested in and, thus, which documents are being sought through the FOIA request are not reasonably described."
Updated August 6, 2014