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Parker v. EOUSA, No. 10-2068, 2013 WL 5428856 (D.D.C. Sept. 30, 2013) (Jackson, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning a former AUSA and her unauthorized practice of law Disposition: Denying DOJ's motion for summary judgment and remanding for further action
  • Adequacy of Search:  The court finds that DOJ has now met its burden with respect to its search for personnel and law license records concerning the former AUSA.  DOJ met its burden of "demonstrating it conducted a search that was reasonably calculated to uncover all responsive documents because it has explained that [the AUSA's] OPF [official personnel folder] was likely to contain the relevant documents, and it searched for and actually located the folder." With regard to its search for disciplinary records and remedial measures, the court orders DOJ to conduct an adequate search or submit a supplemental declaration explaining why its search was adequate.
  • Exemption 6/Segregability: The court holds that certain forms reflecting salary adjustments and the AUSA's resignation and change in employment status may not be withheld in full pursuant to Exemption 6.  "These documents relate to plaintiff's articulated public interest because they demonstrate how DOJ handled [the AUSA's] salary adjustments immediately before she resigned."  "Although [the AUSA] has some privacy interest in the change in her employment status, the fact that she resigned is public knowledge, and plaintiff's interest in these documents is focused on how DOJ processed her resignation."  Balancing the privacy interest against the public interest, the court finds that "[t]he public interest in DOJ's processes outweighs the AUSA's minimal privacy interest in the already disclosed fact that she resigned."  "And since the attached resignation letter contains no arguably private information beyond the mere fact of the resignation, the balance favors disclosure of that as well."  In response to DOJ's comments that the documents contain certain biographical information, the court orders DOJ "to produce the contested documents after redacting all personal exempt information, such as signatures, date of birth, social security number, addresses, health and life insurance information, and third-party information."
Court Decision Topic(s)
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
District Court opinions
Exemption 6
Updated August 6, 2014