Thursday, October 30, 2014
Schotz v. Samuels, No. 13-1811, 2014 WL 5472185 (D.D.C. Oct. 30, 2014) (Howell, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's motion for costs
- Litigation Considerations, Jurisdiction: The court notes that "[a]s an initial matter, the defendant argues that the complaint should be dismissed for want of subject matter jurisdiction because the plaintiff has named the BOP Director as the defendant instead of the agency." "The Court hereby substitutes the Department of Justice, of which BOP is a component, as the real party in interest and dismisses the complaint against [the] BOP Director . . . under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." "Consequently, the defendant's motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) is denied."
- Exemptions 7(C) and 7(F): "Because the plaintiff has completely failed to come forward with any evidence to rebut the defendant's properly supported justifications for withholding information, the Court will grant summary judgment to the defendant on this aspect of the complaint." The court notes that "the plaintiff has not questioned the bases of BOP's redactions, which the Court finds properly justified under FOIA exemptions 7(C) and 7(F)."
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: "[T]he Court will grant summary judgment to the defendant on this aspect of the complaint as well." The court finds that "defendant's declarant has reasonably explained that a search of the plaintiff's central file was likely 'to locate and provide all [responsive] documents' because it is the location where the requested documents are routinely maintained." "Furthermore, the plaintiff has not identified any documents he believes exist (and where) that were not produced." Therefore, the court finds that "plaintiff has proffered no evidence to call into question the adequacy of the defendant's search for responsive records."
- Attorney Fees: "Since the plaintiff has not contested the defendant's claimed exemptions and the Court has found them properly supported, any request for litigation costs is denied." The court explains that "[a]lthough additional records were released during the course of litigation, the plaintiff has pointed to nothing in the record to support a finding that the defendant has acted in bad faith or for oppressive reasons."
Adequacy of Search
Updated January 29, 2015