Skip to main content

Schultz v. FBI, No. 05-0180, 2014 WL 5486346 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 2014) (Ishii, S. J.)


Schultz v. FBI, No. 05-0180, 2014 WL 5486346 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 2014) (Ishii, S. J.)

Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff and two informants

Disposition: Denying defendant's motion for summary judgment without prejudice; granting plaintiff's motion to order production of Vaughn Index

  • Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index:  "[T]he court finds that any possible exception to document-by-document review requirement does not apply under the facts of this case" and, therefore, "the court is obliged to require that Defendants produce a Vaughn index or its equivalent of documents responsive to Plaintiff's FOIA requests and provide in sufficient detail facts supporting the withholding of specific documents under specific FOIA exemptions."  The court explains that "the issue now before the court is not whether the documents Plaintiff has requested should be withheld by Defendants pursuant to the asserted exemptions; the issue is who is tasked to examine the documents requested to see if the claimed exemptions apply and by what method that examination is to be conducted."  The court finds that "a Glomar response is not available in the context of an informant whose identity has been officially confirmed."  Additionally, "a categorical approach to Plaintiff's FOIA requests in this case" cannot be used because "[p]laintiff's FOIA requests do not request information from a discrete category of information" and "[p]laintiff's request is at least arguably aimed at the practice of each Defendant agency with regard to making adequate Brady disclosures with regard to the use of informants in criminal prosecutions."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declarations
Updated January 26, 2022