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Stewart v. VA, No. 1:13 CV 494, 2013 WL 4758034 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 4, 2013) (Boyko, J.)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Re: Request for plaintiff's records Disposition: Dismissing plaintiff's claim without prejudice
  • Litigation Considerations/Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies:  The court concludes, "[t]here is no indication in the Complaint that Plaintiff either actually or constructively exhausted his administrative remedies against the VA."  "While he immediately wrote a letter to the [Veterans Affairs Medical Center] to complain about their care and storage of records, he does not allege he filed an appeal of the determination with the appropriate authority within the agency."
  • Litigation Consideration/Jurisdiction:  The court explains, "even if Plaintiff had demonstrated exhaustion of his administrative remedies, his conclusory allegations of records denial fails to set forth a prima facie case for violating the FOIA."  "Plaintiff does not provide copies of his FOIA requests and does not allege in his Complaint what specific information he requested from the VA."  "Absent specific information concerning the types of records sought, which define the criteria for the search, and absent specific information concerning the types of documents provided to him in response to his request, Plaintiff fails to allege sufficient facts to suggest that the Defendant wrongfully withheld documents."
District Court
Litigation Considerations
Updated August 6, 2014