Sklarski v. Niagara Falls Bridge Comm'n, No. 09-633, 2016 WL 6893590 (W.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2016) (Telesca, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning resignation of General Manager of Commission
Disposition: Converting defendant's motion into motion for summary judgment; granting defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment
- Procedural Requirements, Entities Subject to the FOIA: The court holds that "[i]t is this clear both from the case law and from the expressed Congressional intent that the Commission is not an 'agency' of the federal government within the meaning of FOIA." The court finds that "[p]laintiffs have submitted no evidence that the Commission is in any way subject to the substantial federal control or supervision required by relevant precedent." The court relates that "[p]laintiffs do not dispute defendants' contentions that the Commission's employees are not federal employees, the Commission receives no federal funds, and the federal government does not recommend or appoint Commissioners." The court also notes that "not only is federal control and/or supervision absent, but Congress actually amended the joint resolution [which established the Commission] . . . to 'deem' the Commission 'a public agency or public authority of the State of New York' for purposes of federal law." Finally, responding to plaintiff's argument that "the terms of the joint resolution itself create an obligation on the part of the Commission to comply with FOIA," the court finds that "[b]asic canons of statutory construction dictate that this language was not intended to expand the Commission's duties of disclosure to the scope contemplated by FOIA, which was enacted some thirty years later."