Schotz v. DOJ, No. 14-1212, 2016 WL 1588491 (D.D.C. Apr. 20, 2016) (Howell, J.)

Date: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Schotz v. DOJ, No. 14-1212, 2016 WL 1588491 (D.D.C. Apr. 20, 2016) (Howell, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning doctor, records concerning restitution, records concerning transfer, records concerning telephone conference, records concerning plaintiff, and certain medical records

Disposition: Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 7(C):  "[T]he Court finds that BOP has properly justified [the] minimal redactions [of "'the [direct] office telephone number, and cellular telephone number, for [a] BOP attorney'"] under FOIA exemption 7(C)."
     
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search:  "The Court finds that BOP conducted searches reasonably calculated to locate all responsive records."  "With regard to each request forming the basis of this action, BOP's declarant has satisfactorily described the files that were searched, the search methods employed and explained why those files were the only ones likely to contain responsive records."  "In addition, BOP's declarant has satisfactorily explained why the various locations the plaintiff identified as potential sources of the requested escorted trip authorization forms . . . were unlikely to yield responsive records and, thus, were not searched."  Similarly, the court finds that "EOUSA's declarants state that '[a]ny systems of records within the USAO/ILN likely to contain [responsive] records' were searched, that 'the search was conducted utilizing [all] methods which should identify any responsive records,' . . . and that '[t]here are no other records systems or locations within EOUSA or DOJ in which other files pertaining to plaintiff's criminal case are maintained[.]'"  Responding to plaintiff's argument, the court also finds that "'it is long settled that the failure of an agency to turn up one specific document in its search does not alone render a search inadequate.'"
     
  • Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declaration:  The court finds that "plaintiff argues correctly that the statements of DOJ's counsel in the Reply are not evidence."  "But counsel's signature on the brief 'represents that "the factual contentions have . . . evidentiary support,"' and the 'brief reflects a "proffer" of [BOP's] diligent efforts.'"
Topic: 
Adequacy of Search
Declarations
District Court
Exemption 7C
Litigation Considerations
Vaughn Index
Updated June 3, 2016