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Tuffly v. DHS, No. 16-15342, 2017 WL 4018832 (9th Cir. Sept. 13, 2017) (Reinhardt, J.)


Tuffly v. DHS, No. 16-15342, 2017 WL 4018832 (9th Cir. Sept. 13, 2017) (Reinhardt, J.)

Re:  Request for records concerning release of 149 non-citizens who were released from detention by ICE pending a final determination in removal proceedings, due to purported fiscal uncertainty

Disposition:  Affirming district court's grant of government's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 7(C):  The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit "hold[s] that the released detainees have a substantial privacy interest that outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of their names[.]"  The court first notes that "[the requester] does not contest that the records at issue were 'compiled for law enforcement purposes,' the threshold requirement for Exemption 7(C)."  The court then finds that "disclosing the names of the released detainees would give rise to significant privacy concerns."  "The disclosure [the requester] seeks would identify the individuals in question as subject to immigration enforcement proceedings and as having been previously detained."  Next, the court finds that "[t]he names of the detainees would do nothing to further illuminate the government's decision that these individuals should be released pending completion of their removal proceedings."  The court then concludes that "[t]he privacy interests in this case are particularly strong, both because of the context of immigration enforcement and because of the private information already disclosed by the government that would be linked to the names of the released individuals."  "On the other side of the scale, the public interest in evaluating the effects of government actions would be advanced only minimally by the information [the requester] seeks."  "Accordingly, we find that the privacy interests here outweigh the public interest and that nondisclosure is appropriate."
Court Decision Topic(s)
Court of Appeals opinions
Exemption 7(C)
Updated December 8, 2021