Russell v. Dept. of State, No. 14-56046, 2016 WL 3212257 (9th Cir. June 8, 2016) (per curiam)
Re: Request for records concerning requester's son's death in China
Disposition: Affirming district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment as to adequacy of search
- Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declaration: The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirms the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant regarding the adequacy of defendant's search. Regarding the requester's "argu[ment] that the district court erred in admitting the declarations of the successive heads of the Department FOIA office, because the declarations contained hearsay and were not entirely based on personal knowledge[,]" the court finds that "'"an affidavit from an agency employee responsible for supervising a FOIA search is all that is needed to satisfy" the personal knowledge requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.'"
- Litigation Considerations, Discovery: Regarding "[the requester's] conten[tion] that the district court abused its discretion by denying her request for discovery to determine if one of the declarants 'had sufficient personal knowledge of the matters set forth in her declaration regarding her agency's search[,]'" the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that "[t]his argument necessarily falls."