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Pubien v. DOJ, No. 16-1809, 2017 WL 3730990 (D.D.C. Aug. 29, 2017) (Jackson, J.)


Pubien v. DOJ, No. 16-1809, 2017 WL 3730990 (D.D.C. Aug. 29, 2017) (Jackson, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning complaint filed against AUSA

Disposition:  Granting defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations:  In response to plaintiff's allegations of bad faith on the part of defendant, the court holds that "a 'bare allegation [of bad faith] is insufficient to rebut the presumption of good faith accorded to [OPR’s] affidavit.'"  Additionally, the court finds that "OPR's decision to withdraw its defense of the Glomar response and to process plaintiff's request during the course of this litigation cannot plausibly support a finding of bad faith; if anything, it evidences good faith."
  • Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records:  "[T]he Court finds that no genuine factual dispute exists with regard to the search, and that defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the search question."  The court explains that "upon reinterpreting the request as seeking only records in plaintiff's name, OPR had no duty under FOIA either to conduct a broader search in [the AUSA's] name or to explain why it did not do so, as it had initially with its Glomar response."
  • Exemption 6:  "[T]he Court will grant summary judgment to defendant on OPR's redactions made pursuant to Exemption 6."  The court relates that defendant withheld "the names of 'non-attorney OPR employees' and a third-party's name and personal e-mail address."  The court credits defendant's "conclu[sions] that the individuals 'have strong privacy interests in not being associated with allegations of misconduct'" and finds that "Plaintiff has asserted no public interest to weigh against the asserted privacy interests, and 'something, even a modest privacy interest, outweighs nothing every time.'"
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 6
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Procedural Requirements, Supplemental to Main Categories
Updated March 23, 2018