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Putnam v. U.S. Army Rev. Bd. Agency, No. 22-305, 2023 WL 6380005 (W.D. Okla. Sept. 29, 2023) (Goodwin, J.)


Putnam v. U.S. Army Rev. Bd. Agency, No. 22-305, 2023 WL 6380005 (W.D. Okla. Sept. 29, 2023) (Goodwin, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning plaintiff

Disposition:  Granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Time Limits:  The court relates that “Plaintiff first challenges the promptness of Defendant’s response to Plaintiff’s FOIA request, arguing Defendant violated FOIA by failing to timely conduct a search and release documents after Plaintiff submitted his request.”  “Plaintiff fails to offer any evidence (as opposed to his own speculation) to refute [defendant’s declarant’s] sworn statement that, although Plaintiff's 2020 requests were logged as received in the . . . FOIA Office mailroom, [defendant’s declarant] was not made aware of them.”  “More significantly, Plaintiff does not explain how a now-resolved delay in the release of records is, standing alone, an actionable FOIA violation.”  “Accordingly, Defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on this claim.”
  • Litigation Considerations Adequacy of Search:  “[T]he Court concludes that there is no genuine factual dispute as to the reasonableness in scope and intensity of Defendant’s FOIA search.”  “[Defendant’s] sworn declarations indisputably show ‘a good faith effort to conduct a search for the requested records, using methods [that] can be reasonably expected to produce the information requested.’”  “Although Plaintiff argues that the search was inadequate because records provided from the [searched] database contained references to other documents, he cites no specific evidence to support this proposition.”  “‘There is no requirement that an agency search every record system,’ and [defendant’s declarant] specifically asserted that record searches were conducted in every ‘logical’ location available.”  “According to Plaintiff, Defendant’s failure to conduct a search reasonably calculated to produce all responsive records is primarily demonstrated by the lack of Plaintiff’s receipt of documents that Plaintiff believes are ‘missing’ and omitted from the Vaughn index of withheld documents.”  “While a plaintiff can ‘cast doubt on the agency’s claim of adequacy’ by ‘produc[ing] evidence that relevant records have not been released,’ Plaintiff fails to produce such evidence here.”  “Defendant is entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claim.”
  • Litigation Considerations:  The court relates that “Plaintiff has requested a hearing pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1).”  “The Court declines, as Defendant’s Motion was considered and disposed of pursuant to Rule 56, with the Court thereby finding that it had an adequate factual basis upon which to make its decision.”  “In addition, Plaintiff seeks a hearing simply to present a ‘sample’ of the records that were produced to Plaintiff by Defendant.”  “Plaintiff fails to provide an adequate explanation of why any relevant records were not submitted in briefing or how such records would conceivably show a material fact issue for trial.”
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Procedural Requirements, Time Limits
Updated November 3, 2023