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Rutigliano v. DOJ, No. 17-6360, 2020 WL 1933638 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2020) (Spatt, J.)


Rutigliano v. DOJ, No. 17-6360, 2020 WL 1933638 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2020) (Spatt, J.)

Re:  Requests for records concerning prosecution declination memorandum

Disposition:  Overruling plaintiff's objections; adopting magistrate judge's report and recommendation ("R&R"); granting defendant's motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations, Standard of Review:  First, the court finds that "Plaintiff raises no specific objections to the conclusions made by [the magistrate judge] in the R&R" and "[a]s a result, the Court reviews the R&R in its entirety for clear error."  "Nonetheless, in the interests of justice, the Court has afforded the Plaintiff a de novo review."  Second, "[e]ven under this standard, the Court determines that the Plaintiff's objections are without merit."  "The Court's failures to review . . . [testimony submitted by plaintiff related to plaintiff's underlying conviction] or to weigh the Plaintiff's interest in overturning his conviction were in no way relevant to whether the materials in the [prosecution declination memorandum] fell under the protections of Exemption 5."  Third, "[t]he decision not to impose in camera review to a document in a FOIA action is within the discretion of the district court, and the Court here sees no reason to depart from [the magistrate judge's] assessment of the [prosecution declination memorandum]."  "Here, [the magistrate judge] properly relied on the Francis Declaration to rule that the [prosecution declination memorandum] fell within the protections of Exemption 5, making in camera review unnecessary."  Finally, the court notes that "[n]either party has objected to any other part of the R&R."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Standard of Review
Updated May 20, 2020