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Robert v. CIA, No. 02-6788, 2018 WL 1598611 (D.D.C. Mar. 31, 2018) (Seybert, J.)


Robert v. CIA, No. 02-6788, 2018 WL 1598611 (D.D.C. Mar. 31, 2018) (Seybert, J.)

Re: Request for certain CIA records

Disposition: Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment

  • Procedural Requirements, Proper FOIA Requests:  "The Court concludes that Plaintiff's CIA Request for the 'documents withheld by the CIA pursuant to FOIA Exemption 3 as defined by the [NARA] FOIA Officer McReynolds April 4, 1996 page two attachment,' as well as the other iterations of this request, . . . did not comply with FOIA or the CIA's regulations."  "[T]he Court agrees that the request did not 'reasonably describe the records of interest,' as required by CIA regulations, because it required additional research and was impermissibly broad and vague."
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  The court holds that, "to the extent [that plaintiff] is [challenging the adequacy of CIA's search], the CIA has shown that it has met its obligations under FOIA because it conducted a reasonable search, even though the document was apparently not in its possession or control."  The court relates that defendant "'directed that a thorough search be conducted of those records systems which could reasonably be expected to contain documents responsive to [the] request.'"
  • Litigation Considerations, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies:  The court holds that "Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies" because "Plaintiff has not supplied the Court with evidence of his purported FOIA request to the DOJ, but has offered only conclusory statements that the request was valid."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
Litigation Considerations, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
Procedural Requirements, Proper FOIA Requests
Updated December 7, 2021