Truthout v. DOJ, No. 14-16288, 2016 WL 3749058 (9th Cir. July 13, 2016) (per curiam)
Re: Request for records concerning FBI's practice of verifying FOIA privacy waivers
Disposition: Affirming district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declaration: The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit "agree[s] with the district court that [the agency's] redacted . . . Declaration 'submitted as much detail in the form of public affidavits and testimony as possible,' and that a further explanation would in effect force 'the agency to reveal the information contained in the withheld documents.'" The court finds that "[t]his is a rare occasion where disclosure of further facts 'would undermine the very purpose of [the government's] withholding.'" Additionally, the court finds that "[the agency's] Declaration provided the district court with an adequate factual basis on which to make a decision regarding summary judgment."
- Exemption 7(E): The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that, "on de novo review, [it] agree[s] with the district court's legal conclusion that there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether the withheld documents met the criteria outlined in FOIA Exemption 7E."
- Litigation Considerations, Summary Judgment: The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holds that, "while [it] agree[s] that the district court erred by ruling on the government's summary judgment motion without allowing [the requester] to file an opposition, . . . any error was harmless." "[The requester] was afforded an opportunity to move to strike [the agency's] Declaration, and has not on appeal pointed to any arguments or evidence that it could put forth in addition to what it has already argued."