requested all documents held by the Department of Justice which concerned him. The FBI released a number of documents to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff filed this action under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on December 15, 1994, seeking the release of additional material.
At this stage the case involves a dispute over a single document, namely an investigative report regarding the Plaintiff prepared by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPD). Defendant claims that the document need not be produced because it comes within exemption (7)(D) of § 552 of the FOIA. This provision protects from disclosure confidential sources named in law enforcement documents. The FBI obtained the MPD report as part of a background investigation of Plaintiff.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Mere allegations or denials of the moving party's pleadings are not enough to prevent issuance of summary judgment. The adverse party's response to the summary judgment motion must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).
The Supreme Court set forth the governing standards for issuance of summary judgment in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986), in which the Supreme Court recognized the need for summary judgment to the fair and efficient functioning of the justice system:
Summary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed "to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action." Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 1 . . . . Rule 56 must be construed with due regard not only for the rights of persons asserting claims and defenses that are adequately based in fact to have those claims and defenses tried to a jury, but also for the rights of persons opposing such claims and defenses to demonstrate in the manner provided by the Rule, prior to trial, that the claims and defenses have no factual basis. Id. at 327. (citation omitted).