Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Re: Request for records of statements made by five individuals concerning plaintiff in his criminal case Disposition: Denying defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations: The court, "does not grant summary judgment." The court finds that, "[plaintiff] has presented a genuine dispute of material fact as to the FOIA request that he alleges he sent to [defendant]." "Specifically, he has produced record evidence to support his assertion that he included a zip code on the envelope in which he sent the request." "From this presumption, a fact-finder could conclude that [defendant] received [plaintiff's] FOIA request and failed entirely to respond."
- Fees: The court denies defendant's motion for summary judgment. The court states that, "drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of [plaintiff] the letter of November 25 on its face presents a disputed question of material fact." "This is so because the letter is ambiguous about whether it is assessing a fee." "Viewing the letter in the light most favorable to [plaintiff] the ordinary reader looking over the letter might be confused about whether the second bracketed paragraph demanded a fee." "Other paragraphs clearly applicable to [plaintiff's] request are checked, but not the fee paragraph." "A reasonable fact-finder could decide that the unchecked fee box means that the language in the un-checked paragraph is not applicable to the request." The court concludes by stating that, "[t]he earlier correspondence between [defendant] and [plaintiff] agreed to pay some fees at some point . . . does not erase the ambiguity of the language" in the letter from defendant.
Fees and Fee Waiver
Updated August 6, 2014