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Shapiro v. DOJ, No. 12-313, 2020 WL 5970640 (D.D.C. Oct. 8, 2020) (Howell, J.)


Shapiro v. DOJ, No. 12-313, 2020 WL 5970640 (D.D.C. Oct. 8, 2020) (Howell, J.)

Re:  Eighty-three FOIA requests plaintiff submitted to both the FBI and ATF

Disposition:  Denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of court's grant in part and denial in part of defendant's motion for summary judgment and denial of plaintiff's request for discovery

  • Litigation Considerations:  The court holds that "Plaintiff's failure to name which of the several possible bases for Rule 54(b) reconsideration applies to his case has a simple explanation – none of them apply."  "Plaintiff does not point to any ''patent[ ] misunderst[anding]' on the part of the Court nor does he allege the Court committed an 'err[or] . . . in apprehension of the relevant issues.'"  "He does not identify any 'significant change in the law or facts since' the Court's decision."  "Moreover, there is no suggestion that the Court's opinion ventured 'outside the adversarial issues presented by the parties.'"  "Instead, as detailed below, plaintiff's motion is a belated summary judgment surreply disguised as a Rule 54(b) motion."

    Substantively, the court finds that "[a]s explained in the July 2, 2020 Memorandum Opinion, plaintiff's conclusory statement that the pages identified in his Addendum contained redactions of the names of individuals for whom he submitted a privacy waiver was not enough to show that Exemption 7(C) had been improperly applied."  "For one, plaintiff did 'not explain how he' purported to 'know[ ] that the challenged redactions related to individuals for whom he submitted privacy waivers.'"  "'Second,' he had not 'attached the privacy waivers in question to his cross-motion for summary judgment,' meaning 'whether the waiver' actually 'extended to the information redacted' could not be determined."  "Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration does not point to any changed legal or factual circumstances that would alter that conclusion."  "Instead, as described below, his motion attempts to bolster the argument he already made with respect to privacy waivers by submitting additional materials he had ample opportunity to provide on the first go-around."  "Specifically, he attempts to rectify one of the deficiencies identified by the Court by filing the privacy waivers of ten individuals he apparently had submitted alongside his FOIA requests."  "He did not, however, attempt to rectify the other deficiency:  again, he provided no argument as to why he believes that the names of those ten individuals were hidden behind the redactions on the page numbers he had identified."  "One thing is abundantly clear from plaintiff’s recent filings . . . :  there is nothing 'new' about his argument."

    Finally, the court notes that "in light of the fact that DOJ has chosen to release all of the records this Court found were improperly withheld rather than make a renewed motion for summary judgment, no dispute remains for judicial resolution."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Updated November 6, 2020