Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BRINTON v. UNITED STATES DEPT. OF STATE

June 12, 1979

WILLIAM M. BRINTON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: OBERDORFER

MEMORANDUM

I. BACKGROUND

 This case arises under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). *fn1" By letter dated October 4, 1977, plaintiff requested from defendant:

 
1. All opinions written by the Counselor or (Legal Advisor) to the Department of State . . . concerning the legal status of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip since June, 1967.
 
2. Any legal opinion of the Counselor . . . tending to support the view that the West Bank, the Golan Heights or the Gaza Strip is "occupied territory" under principles of public international law; or is not "occupied territory" . . ..
 
3. The Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel in 1975 and any legal opinion of the Counselor dealing with its effect . . ..
 
4. Any legal opinion of the Counselor dealing with United Nations Resolution 242 . . ..

 The final paragraph of plaintiff's letter stated:

 
"To avoid any misunderstanding, my request relates to legal opinions prepared for the Secretaries of State . . .."

 In response to plaintiff's request, the Freedom of Information Act Staff of the Department of State caused the files of the Foreign Affairs Document and Reference Center and the files of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs to be searched for appropriate documents. Affidavit of Barbara Ennis, Director, Freedom of Information Staff, May 8, 1978 ("Ennis affidavit") at 2. As a result of the search, defendants determined that nine documents were responsive to plaintiff's FOIA request, broadly construed. One document (document 6) was released in its entirety to plaintiff on January 10, 1978. Ennis affidavit, exhibit H. The remaining eight documents were withheld in whole or in part pursuant to exemptions (b)(1) *fn2" and (5) *fn3" of FOIA.

 Document No. 1 is a Memorandum of Agreement between the Governments of Israel and the United States.

 Document No. 2 is a four-page memorandum, entitled "Political and Legal History of the West Bank and Jerusalem."

 Document No. 3 is a four-page memorandum, entitled "The Legal Status of the Israeli Presence in Jerusalem and the West Bank."

 Document No. 3a is a five-page memorandum entitled "Withdrawal of Israeli Forces from Occupied Territories," discussing the application of general principles of the law of war to Israel's occupation of territories during the 1967 War.

 Document No. 4 is a four-page memorandum, entitled "Boundaries," discussing legal considerations governing the status of Israel's territorial boundaries.

 Document No. 5 is a six-page memorandum, entitled "Jerusalem," discussing the competing Arab and Israeli claims to Jerusalem.

 Document No. 7 is a seven-page memorandum, entitled "Legal Status of Israel's Boundaries and of the West Bank," discussing the legal status of Israel's territorial boundaries and the legal merits of Jordan's claims to the West Bank.

 On January 23, 1978, plaintiff filed this lawsuit to enjoin defendants from withholding those portions of the eight documents identified as responsive to his FOIA request. By Memorandum and Order of November 30, 1978, the Court ruled that it had jurisdiction and denied defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Nevertheless, the Court directed defendants to submit the withheld documents to the Council on Classification Policy of the Department of State, the body with responsibility for deciding appeals for denials of FOIA requests, for review in light of Executive ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.