Widi v. McNeil, No. 12-00188, 2017 WL 1906601 (D. Me. May 8, 2017) (Woodcock, Jr., J.)
Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff
Disposition: Denying motion for reconsideration but ordering defendants to address certain issues
- Litigation Considerations, Vaughn Index/Declaration & In Camera Inspection: "[T]he Court was and remains satisfied that the Defendants provided sufficient information to allow for a proper judicial review." Therefore, the court rejects plaintiff's request for in camera inspection.
- Exemptions 6 & 7(F): "[T]he Court is not persuaded that [it] erred in concluding that the ATF justifiably redacted documents under Exemptions 7(C) and 7(F)." The court finds that "[g]iven [the] history [of "[plaintiff] threaten[ing] a witness during his trial"], the Court is not persuaded that the Court erred in concluding that the ATF justifiably redacted documents under Exemptions 7(C) and 7(F)."
- Exemption 7(E): The court holds that "[t]he distinction between a mere recitation of the statute and the ATF's explanation in [plaintiff's] case is apparent" and, therefore, "[t]he Court rejects [plaintiff's] request for reconsideration of its ruling based on Exemption 7(E)."
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: "[T]he Court again concludes that the ATF conducted a 'reasonably thorough search,' and [plaintiff] has failed to demonstrate that the ATF's search was 'not made in good faith.'"
- Exemption 3: "The Court remains unconvinced" concerning plaintiff's arguments regarding defendant's use of Exemption 3. The court explains that "[i]t seems apparent that a memorandum from an assistant United States attorney to his or her superiors concerning potential charges against a person that discusses an upcoming presentation to a grand jury together with the supervisor's handwritten notes would reveal prosecution strategy and the direction of the investigation as well as the evidence that the prosecutor intended to present to the grand jury."
- Exemption 5, Deliberative Process Privilege: The court finds that certain documents were properly withheld because "they represent 'the agency's group thinking in the process of working out' its decisions."
- Exemption 5, Attorney Work-Product Privilege: "[A]s the First Circuit has clearly ruled that the agency must perform a segregability analysis on attorney work product documents, to comply with the First Circuit directive, the Court will order it done for [two] documents."