Torres Consulting and Law Grp., LLC v. NASA, No. 14-17303, 2016 WL 6833402 (9th Cir. Nov. 21, 2016) (per curiam)
Re: Request for contractor's payroll records
Disposition: Reversing and remanding district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Exemption 4: The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit "reverse[s] as to Exemption 4 and remand[s] for further proceedings to resolve the dispute of material fact on the issue of competitive harm." The court finds that "the parties submitted competing declarations, with equivalent levels of detail and based on equivalent levels of knowledge, about whether the release of the requested information would cause competitive harm." Additionally, "[the requester] also requested a hearing at which to present more evidence." The court finds that "competing declarations offered by the parties raised a dispute of material fact as to competitive harm."
- Exemption 6: The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit "reverse[s] the district court's judgment as to Exemption 6, which was the only exemption NASA invoked to withhold tax deduction, tax withholding, and net earnings information." The court finds that "any privacy interest in payroll data after names, addresses, and social security numbers are redacted is trivia." The court instructs that, "[o]n remand, the district court should reconsider the issue of segregability after determining whether NASA properly invoked Exemption 4[.]"