Reilly v. DOJ, No. 16-2024, 2018 WL 1582547 (D. Conn. Mar. 30, 2018) (Bryant, J.)

Date: 
Friday, March 30, 2018

Reilly v. DOJ, No. 16-2024, 2018 WL 1582547 (D. Conn. Mar. 30, 2018) (Bryant, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning criminal investigation and trial of present and former mayor of Bridgeport, CT

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 3:  First, "the Court finds that all Title III wiretap communications responsive to Plaintiff's request – other than those already produced to Plaintiff – are protected from disclosure by Exemption [3]."  Responding to plaintiff's argument, the court finds that "[t]he mere fact that the public record reveals the existence of a recording does not transform the entire recording into public record."  Second, "the Court must grant summary judgment with respect to . . . three serials withheld under Exemption 3 for their role in grand jury proceedings."  The court notes that "Defendant has offered undisputed evidence that the withheld documents would reveal information that courts within the Second Circuit have found qualify as 'grand jury matters' protected from disclosure[.]""
     
  • Exemptions 6 & 7(C):  The court holds that, "[b]ecause [the subject] retains a privacy interest in the FBI's investigation into his criminal conduct, and because other third parties and law enforcement agents have privacy interests in prevent[ing] the disclosure of their identities in connection with a criminal investigation, Defendant's motion must be granted with respect to its claims under Exemption 7(C)."  The court finds that "Plaintiff has offered no evidence that the identities of law enforcement officials and third parties are relevant to the FBI's performance of its statutory duties" and "Plaintiff's FOIA request is aimed at [the subject's] conduct, rather than the FBI's performance of its duties."  Also, responding to plaintiff's argument that, "as the past and present mayor of Bridgeport, [the subject] is a public figure[,]" the court finds that "[w]hile a criminal defendant's status as a public figure may lessen his privacy interests, it does not eliminate them and can in fact increase the intrusion into the public figure's privacy."
Topic: 
District Court
Exemption 3
Exemption 6
Exemption 7C
Updated July 2, 2018