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Woods v. DOJ, No. 12-1701, 2013 WL 4852297 (D.D.C. Sept. 12, 2013) (Sullivan, J.)

Re: Request for certain records concerning plaintiff's criminal case Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment
  • Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of the Search:  The court finds that it, "is satisfied from [defendant's] declaration that defendant's search was reasonably calculated to locate all responsive records."  The court rejects plaintiff's, "unsubstantiated 'belie[f] that there is more evidence or files within the Department of Justice's system of records that was 'withheld’ from [plaintiff's] trial attorney that could have exonerated the plaintiff during his jury trial.'"  The court finds that, "the FOIA request forming the basis of this action was addressed to [defendant], which is one of many [defendant] components, and 'the component that first receives a request for a record and has possession of that record is the component responsible for responding to the request.'"  Moreover, the court holds that, "an omitted record cannot alone support a finding of an inadequate search."
  • Exemption 7(C):  The court grants defendant's request for summary judgment on defendant's use of Exemption 7(C).  The court "is satisfied . . . that defendant released all reasonably segregable portions of information, and properly applied exemption 7(C) to the withheld third-party information."  Moreover, the court finds that, "[p]laintiff does not reasonably explain how releasing the withheld third-party information would shed any light on [defendant's] performance, and his personal stake in obtaining information in order to attack his conviction simply 'does not count in the calculation of the public interest.'"
Court Decision Topic(s)
Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search
District Court opinions
Exemption 7(C)
Litigation Considerations, Supplemental to Main Categories
Updated August 6, 2014