Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Wilson v. U.S., No. 13-0428, 2015 WL 1517521 (D.D.C. Mar. 31, 2015) (Roberts, C.J.)
Re: Request for firearms trace report concerning plaintiff
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Litigation Considerations, Searching for Responsive Records: The court holds that "ATF's supporting declaration adequately describes its efforts to search for records responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request, and these efforts were reasonable under the circumstances." The court finds that ATF used "[q]ueries using the identifying information set forth in plaintiff's FOIA request," and that "ATF's declarant averred that '[a]ll indices and file systems . . . that would contain information pertaining to [plaintiff] were reasonably searched.'" The court also finds that "[p]laintiff's dissatisfaction with the search results neither rebuts the presumption of good faith accorded to the ATF's supporting declaration nor demonstrates a genuine issue of material fact in dispute as to the ATF's compliance with the FOIA."
- Exemption 3: The court holds that "[h]ad the ATF located the desired Firearm Trace Summary, under FOIA Exemption 3, it need not have disclosed the document to plaintiff." The court relates that ATF would have relied on "P.L. 112–55,'" which "provides that 'no [appropriated] funds ... may be used to disclose part or all of the contents of the Firearms Trace System database maintained by the National Trace Center of the [ATF],' with exceptions made for disclosures to Federal, State, local or tribal law enforcement officers, among others." The court finds that "[t]he appropriations legislation on which the ATF relies explicitly bars disclosure of information 'maintained by the National Trace Center ... and all such data shall be immune from legal process.'"
Updated June 18, 2015