Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Re: Request for plaintiff's transcripts and records of account Disposition: Adopting Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation; denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment; granting defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: The court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's findings and holds that defendant "conducted a reasonable search that complies with the demands of FOIA." The court specifically finds that defendant's "affidavit documents how [it] directed numerous other employees located at various IRS offices across the United States to use specific strategies designed to obtain the correct records for Plaintiff." The court rules that the fact "[t]hat each of the employees involved in the search did not document the step-by-step process they went through in their individual searches does not undermine the fact that their combined efforts produced a reasonable search for purposes of FOIA."
- Litigation Considerations, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies: The court holds that plaintiff "did not exhaust" two claims. The court explains that "if Plaintiff wants to litigate the scope or existence of a FOIA exemption as it relates to these redacted portions of the manual, she needs to proceed through administrative channels and exhaust this claim before it is subject to judicial review." The court further explains that plaintiff, "must first litigate the disclosure and publication arguments with the agency and, if necessary, then seek judicial review."
- Litigation Considerations, Special Counsel Provision: The court finds that plaintiff's "request for referral to a Special Counsel was obviated by the Magistrate Judge's finding that the government had not improperly withheld any document."
Adequacy of Search
Updated August 6, 2014