Act Exemption (j)(2), See 28 C.F.R. § 16.81 (1996), the USMS and EOUSA acted properly in withholding this information from the plaintiff.
b. FOIA Exemption 7(C) Invoked by USMS and EOUSA
FOIA Exemption 7(C) protects "records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes" to the extent that disclosure "could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." 5 U.S.C. Section 552 (b)(7)(C). Exemption 7(C) may be used to preserve the secrecy of information that could conceivably subject public officials to annoyance or harassment. Lesar v. United States Dep't of Justice, 204 U.S. App. D.C. 200, 636 F.2d 472, 487 (D.C. Cir. 1980)
Here, Exemption 7(C) was asserted by the USMS to withhold the names of federal and state law enforcement officers and other government personnel as well as the names and register numbers of prisoners other than the plaintiff. As the USMS properly points out, these individuals have privacy rights which must be respected, so as not to subject them to annoyance or harassment. Lessar, 636 F.2d at 487 (D.C. Cir. 1980). Therefore, exemption 7(C) was properly invoked by the USMS.
The EOUSA invoked exception 7(C) to protect the identities of personnel who participated in the investigation. Plaintiff does not challenge EOUSA's representation that the personnel in question had participated in the investigation. This Court holds, therefore, that the EOUSA properly invoked exemption 7(C). Lessar, 636 F.2d at 487 (D.C. Cir. 1980).
c. FOIA Exemption 7(F) Invoked by BOP
FOIA Exemption 7(F) protects "records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes" to the extent that disclosure "could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual." 5 U.S.C. Section 552 (b)(7)(F). In this case, the BOP redacted information relating to the plaintiff's Central Inmate Monitoring status, including the identity and location of an individual who required separation from the Plaintiff. This Court finds that the disclosure of such information could reasonably be expected to endanger the safety of that individual, and therefore finds that the BOP properly invoked Exception 7(F).
2. The Copy of the Court Order
In his complaint, Plaintiff claims that the defendants are in possession of a court order that authorized his transfer from the BOP from April 28, 1992 until August 13, 1992. The USMS, BOP and EOUSA respond that their searches have found no such document.
An agency "must show that it made a good faith effort to conduct a search for the requested records, using methods which can be reasonably expected to produce the information requested." Oglesby v. Department of the Army, 287 U.S. App. D.C. 126, 920 F.2d 57, 68 (D.C. Cir. 1990). The fundamental question is not "'whether there might exist any other documents possibly responsive to the request, but rather whether the search for those documents was adequate.'" Steinberg v. United States Dep't of Justice, 306 U.S. App. D.C. 240, 23 F.3d 548, 551 (D.C. Cir. 1994)(quoting Weisberg v. United States Dep't of Justice, 240 U.S. App. D.C. 339, 745 F.2d 1476, 1485 (D.C. Cir. 1984)). Further, a requester's "'mere speculation that as yet uncovered documents may exist does not undermine the finding that the agency conducted a reasonable search for them.'" Steinberg v. United States Dep't of Justice, 306 U.S. App. D.C. 240, 23 F.3d 548, 552 (D.C. Cir. 1994)(quoting SafeCard Servs., Inc. v. SEC, 288 U.S. App. D.C. 324, 926 F.2d 1197, 1201 (D.C. Cir. 1991)). The USMS, EOUSA, and BOP contend that their searches were reasonable and undertaken in good faith. Plaintiff, is his reply brief alleges no specific evidence that the USMS, BOP, or EOUSA are in possession of the court order. This court finds that the USMS, BOP, and EOUSA conducted a reasonable search, and thus have satisfied their responsibilities under FOIA.
The Defendants have responded appropriately to Plaintiff's FOIA request. They have produced all responsive information not subject to exemption. Plaintiff has failed to make a factual showing to create a genuine issue of material fact. Defendants' motion for summary judgment will, therefore, be granted, and Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment will be denied. An appropriate order is attached hereto.
United States District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment. For the reasons stated in the attached Memorandum Opinion, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendants' motion for summary judgment be GRANTED ; Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment be DENIED ; and that this case be DISMISSED.
United States District Judge