Watson v. DOJ, No. 12-2129, 2013 WL 4749916 (W.D. La. Sept. 3, 2013) (Trimble, J.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Re: Request for records from plaintiff's criminal case Disposition: Granting summary judgment for defendants

  • Adequacy of the Search:  "Defendants submit that it performed a search that was reasonably expected to product the information requested; plaintiff does not dispute this."
  • Exemption 3:  "Plaintiff has made no argument to dispute the authorities argued by defendant as to exemption 3."  "The court finds that the EOUSA properly exempted the grand jury transcripts from disclosure."
  • Exemption 5/Attorney Work Product & Deliberative Process Privileges:  The court concludes that defendant properly withheld "an AUSA-created prosecution memo regarding a child pornography case and correspondence to the government's expert witness describing legal analysis, theory of the case and task assigned to witnesses in anticipation of trial."
  • Exemption 7C:  The court concludes that defendant correctly "applied this exemption to all of the documents withheld from plaintiff because the identities and personal information about third party individuals were inextricably intertwined with references to [plaintiff] and could not be segregated and disclosed without risking the disclosure of a protected source."  The court notes, "this exemption was applied because all third party individuals have an interest in avoiding unwarranted invasions of their personal privacy."
  • Exemption 7D:  The court explains that the defendant applied this exemption to protect confidential sources, specifically "witnesses and evidence provided to the AUSA" by local law enforcement.
Adequacy of Search
District Court
Exemption 3
Exemption 5
Exemption 7C
Exemption 7D
Updated September 23, 2014