Monday, February 23, 2015
Pinson v. DOJ, No. 12-1872, 2015 WL 739805 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2015) (Contreras, J.)
Re: Requests for records concerning plaintiff
Disposition: Granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion for partial summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations: "[The] Court finds that [plaintiff] has conceded that the Civil Division conducted an adequate search relating to [one request] and properly withheld a number of responsive documents under the applicable FOIA exemptions." "Accordingly, [the] Court grants the DOJ's motion for partial summary judgment as to [this] FOIA Request."
- Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records: Regarding another request, the court holds that "[b]ecause the DOJ has not met its burden to 'provide a sufficient explanation as to why [[plaintiff's]] search would be unreasonably burdensome,' a grant of summary judgment would be inappropriate." The court explains that "[h]ere, the DOJ has provided a declaration, which states that all Civil Division files would need to be searched in order to locate documents responsive to [plaintiff's] request and that '[s]uch a search would constitute an unreasonable and burdensome effort ... not required under [the FOIA].'" "The DOJ, however, offers no estimate of the time required to conduct [plaintiff's] requested search, the cost of such a search, or the number of files that would have to be manually searched." "Moreover, the DOJ fails to explain why a more limited search would be unfruitful or whether other parts of the Civil Division might have easier access to, at least, some of the requested information." The court also rejects defendant's argument "that [plaintiff's] request lacked specificity and did not align with the manner in which the Civil Division's record system is indexed, making the requested search unreasonably burdensome."
Updated April 21, 2015