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.

LABORERS' INTL. UNION OF NORTH AMERICA v. UNITED S

August 15, 1983

LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HOGAN

 THOMAS F. HOGAN, District Judge.

 Plaintiff, Laborers' International Union of North America, by its FOIA complaint seeks disclosure by the defendant of a 65-page document entitled, "Organized Crime and the Labor Unions" ("Report"). The Department of Justice ("Agency") filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on April 19, 1983 alleging that there is no material fact in issue and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law under Exemptions 7(C) and 7(D). 7(C) exempts from disclosure "investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes . . . to the extent production of such records would . . . constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy," while 7(D) exempts "investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes . . . to the extent production of such records would . . . disclose the identity of a confidential source . . . ." 5 U.S.C. ยง 552(b)(7)(C) & (D) (1976). The Agency submitted the declaration of Douglas Wood to support its motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff served an opposition to defendant's motion for summary judgment. The Agency then filed a supplemental memorandum in support of its motion for summary judgment, a public declaration of David Margolis, and a notice of in camera submission of the Report and an in camera declaration of Margolis. Defendant responded with a supplemental memorandum in opposition to the Agency's Motion for Summary Judgment.

 Plaintiff has filed a motion to compel answers to the 93 interrogatories. Plaintiff opposes imposition of summary judgment on the grounds that the Report, as a matter of law, is not within the exemptions, that the public affidavits in support of defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment do not satisfy the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) and that Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f) allows plaintiff to complete further discovery before imposition of summary judgment.

 Upon review of the entire record herein, the Court finds 1) that the public and in camera affidavits of Margolis satisfy the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) as reasonably detailed expressions of fact and opinion based on personal knowledge; 2) that discovery sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f) has occurred and that in camera inspection of the Report and the in camera Margolis declaration, rather than further public discovery, was necessary for proper resolution of the case; and 3) that no genuine issues of material fact exist and summary judgment is appropriate as a matter of law under Exemption 7(C).

 Defendant's affidavit is sufficient under 56(e) Fed.R.Civ.P.

 Affidavits supporting summary judgment motions "shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated therein." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Plaintiff, relying on Londrigan v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 216 U.S. App. D.C. 345, 670 F.2d 1164 (D.C.Cir. 1981), asserts that the personal knowledge requirement of 56(e) is not met because Margolis did not declare that he took part in creation of the Report nor did he declare that he spoke with those who interviewed confidential sources for the Report. Plaintiff also argues that Margolis' declaration is characterized by "general conclusions" unsupported by facts admissible in evidence.

 Londrigan is applicable to this case only to a limited extent, but to the extent it is applicable, its analysis supports the conclusion that the Margolis declaration is based upon personal knowledge. Londrigan does not require the affiant to take part in creation of the report or to be involved in the investigation which is the subject of the report. Rather it allows the affiant to:

 
testify to his own observations upon review of the documents . . .; the agency's procedures with respect to investigations during his own tenure therewith and earlier practices of which he possesses personal knowledge; and his personal experiences as an agent to the extent that they bore relevance to the case . . . .

 Londrigan, 670 F.2d at 1174; accord, Ramo v. Department of Navy, 487 F. Supp. 127, 130 (N.D.Cal.1977), aff'd mem., 692 F.2d 765 (9th Cir.1982).

 Londrigan was a Privacy Act case, and that statute, unlike FOIA, requires an express promise of confidentiality to a source in order to exempt information received from that source from disclosure. The affiant in Londrigan was held not competent to testify as to the facts surrounding promises of confidentiality of which he had not personal knowledge and which were not evidenced in the Report. The Londrigan court recognized its analysis was not applicable to exemptions under the FOIA. Londrigan, 670 F.2d at 1170, n. 34; see also Diamond v. F.B.I., 707 F.2d 75, 78 (2d Cir.1983).

 Margolis is competent to make observations concerning whether the Report is within Exemption 7(C) because his observations are based upon his review of the Report and upon his general familiarity with the nature of Department of Justice investigations similar to the one documented by the Report. See Margolis Declaration, paras. 2, 5 and 8.

 Plaintiff's argument that Margolis' declaration does not contain sufficient facts, which would be admissible in evidence, to support his legal conclusions is also invalid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for this Circuit requires affidavits to "describe the documents and justifications for nondisclosure with reasonably specific detail . . . ." Military Audit Project v. Casey, 211 U.S. App. D.C. 135, 656 F.2d 724 (D.C.Cir.1981). Margolis has provided reasonable detail in this case. He cannot provide greater detail because such detail would allow plaintiff to confirm whether the document it possesses is an authentic version of the agency Report. See Cooper v. Department of Justice, ...


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.