Skip to main content

Star Pub. Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., No. 13-080, 2014 WL 1632928 (D. Ariz. Apr. 23, 2014) (Jorgenson, J.)


Star Pub. Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., No. 13-080, 2014 WL 1632928 (D. Ariz. Apr. 23, 2014) (Jorgenson, J.)

Re: Request for records concerning capture and death of jaguar in southern Arizona

Disposition: Adopting Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation; granting in part and denying in part defendant's motion for summary judgment; granting in part and denying in part plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment

  • Exemptions 6 and 7(C):  The court "agrees with the magistrate judge [certain] document[s] [are] exempted from disclosure as the disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) and could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)[(C)]."  Regarding the redaction of the names of certain public officials and certain private individuals, the court finds that "simply because some information is already in the public realm, does not obviate the need for balancing the privacy concerns against the public interest."  "Moreover, simply because some individuals have provided public information does not mean that any formal waivers of privacy concerns have been submitted to the Court."  Additionally, "it does not appear that any Service employees have been accused of official misconduct based on the Interior Department Inspector General's report exonerating all federal employees regarding the Macho B incident."  Regarding a memo at issue, the court finds that its "in camera review of the Memo reveals that the redaction of names and identifying information would insufficiently protect the privacy interests of the person identifiable in or by the Memo" and that "the disclosure of the Memo would not significantly advance the public interest."  Concerning a transcript at issue, the court holds that "[t]he public interest in the disclosure of the names and identifying information does not greatly advance the public interest and the disclosure of names and identifying information will not appreciably further the public's right to monitor Defendants' actions."  For similar reasons, the court upholds the withholding of certain interviews and affidavits. 
  • Litigation Considerations, In Camera Inspection:  The court finds that "[b]ecause Defendants' interpretation of 'identifying information' may not ensure FOIA compliance and in the interests of judicial economy, the Court will direct Defendants to provide the less-redacted transcripts to the magistrate judge for further review."
Court Decision Topic(s)
District Court opinions
Exemption 6
Exemption 7(C)
Litigation Considerations, In Camera Inspection
Updated February 3, 2022