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Spataro v. DOJ, No. 14-198, 2019 WL 356901 (D.D.C. Jan. 29, 2019) (Moss, J.)


Spataro v. DOJ, No. 14-198, 2019 WL 356901 (D.D.C. Jan. 29, 2019) (Moss, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning plaintiff's criminal conviction

Disposition:  Granting defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment

  • Litigation Considerations:  The court relates that, "[p]reviously, the Court denied summary judgment because the Department had not processed the records damaged by Hurricane Sandy."  "Now that that the Department has completed its remediation and processing of the thirteen damaged documents, the Court concludes that it is entitled to summary judgment on the adequacy of its search."
  • Litigation Considerations, "Reasonably Segregable" Requirements:  The court relates that "[defendant] attests, 'the FBI conducted a line by line review of all the information in the responsive material and released as much as possible without disclosing information protected by the cited Exemptions.'"  The court finds that "[t]hat representation, along with [defendant's] detailed explanation of the FBI's bases for asserting each applicable exemption, was 'sufficient to fulfill the agency's obligation to show with "reasonable specificity" why the responsive documents could not be further segregated.'"
  • Exemption 3:  The court relates that "[t]he Department now attests, through [defendant's] third declaration, that '[t]he FBI . . . [has] reviewed its previous Exemption 3 processing . . . and found no instances where the FBI withheld information related to a Pre-Title III check that could be disclosed because exemptions other than Exemption 3 applied to th[at] information.'"  "Having considered the Department's representation – and Plaintiff's non-opposition – the Court is satisfied that the Department has now justified its withholdings pursuant to Exemption 3."
  • Exemption 7(D):  The court holds that, "[i]In light of the [defendants'] declarations, the Court concludes the Department has sufficiently justified its withholdings pursuant to FOIA Exemption 7(D) by identifying 'notations on the face of . . . withheld document[s], the personal knowledge of . . . official[s] familiar with the source[s], . . . [and] practices or policies for dealing with the source or similarly situated sources.'"
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 3
Exemption 7(D)
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Litigation Considerations, “Reasonably Segregable” Requirements
Updated December 10, 2021