redactions in the referral documents. Having emphatically
rejected plaintiff's argument on this issue once before, see
Billington, 11 F. Supp.2d at 66-67, however, the Court will not
revisit the issue again, especially when plaintiff has pointed to
no new evidence, except for her unsupported assertion that the
FBI's investigation of the NCLC was only regarding "crimes which
(allegedly) might one day happen." Defendant is entitled to
summary judgment on these withholdings.
Plaintiff also takes issue with the application of Exemption
7(D) to documents that had previously been withheld under 7(C).
She claims that this change in exemptions suggests "an entirely
unrigorous and arbitrary approach to 7(D)." Essentially, then
plaintiff complains because the FBI has determined that 7(D) is a
more appropriate exemption than 7(C) with respect to this
particular document. (Vaughn Doc. # 331). Yet plaintiff again
fails to point to any specific basis why either of the
exemptions are improper. Accordingly, because the Court cannot
read plaintiff's mind to determine what, if any, objection she
wishes to make, defendant is entitled to summary judgment as to
E. Exemption 7(E)
Exemption 7(E) protects law enforcement information that "would
disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement
investigations or prosecutions or would disclose guidelines for
law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure
could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law."
5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(E) (1994 & Suppl. II 1996). Analysis of an
exemption 7(E) claim is a two-step process. First, proper
withholding under this exemption requires that the document be a
record or information "compiled for law enforcement purposes."
Second, release of the information "could reasonably be expected
to risk circumvention of the law." FBI v. Abramson,
456 U.S. 615, 622, 102 S.Ct. 2054, 72 L.Ed.2d 376 (1982). The threshold
requirement of an Exemption 7 claim is that the defendant show a
nexus between the agency's activities and a legitimate law
enforcement purpose. The second part of the analysis requires a
defendant to show that disclosure would frustrate enforcement of
the law. Id. Exemption 7(E), however, may not be used to shield
well-known or commonplace techniques or procedures. Jaffe v.
CIA, 573 F. Supp. 377, 387 (D.D.C. 1983); Malloy v. Department
of Justice, 457 F. Supp. 543, 545 (D.D.C. 1978). Thus, commonly
known law enforcement practices, such as wiretaps or use of post
office boxes, are generally not shielded under this exemption.
Here, plaintiff contests the defendant's redactions under 7(E)
and imagines that the law enforcement technique at issue is a
so-called "photo album," a commonplace FBI technique where
identifications are made through photographs. But plaintiff
directs the Court to no specific evidence whatsoever supporting
her claim that this technique is implicated. Indeed, the
accompanying Vaughn index indicates just the opposite — that
the undisclosed technique and the circumstances of its use are
not widely known, and adds that disclosure would compromise the
utility of the technique. (Olivarri Decl., March 11, 1998, ¶ 83).
Because plaintiff can offer no more than an unsubstantiated guess
that a "photo album" or common technique is being withheld, and
in light of the defendant's sufficiently detailed affidavit that
states otherwise, the defendant is entitled to summary judgment
as to its withholdings under Exemption 7(E).
F. Plaintiff's "General Challenges"
As a final matter, the Court must address plaintiff's
persistent efforts to raise "General Challenges" to the
defendant's nondisclosures. Despite this Court's October 10, 1996
order instructing the parties that any documents not specifically
challenged would no longer be at issue in this case, plaintiff
continues to contest certain of defendant's withholdings on a
broad, categorical basis, instead of providing detailed,
as directed by this Court. Thus, to clarify yet again what the
Court thought it had made abundantly clear in its prior order,
plaintiff's general challenges, which do not specifically detail
the particular document at issue or plaintiff's basis for
objection, are not properly before this Court, and therefore are
A separate order shall issue this date.
Upon consideration of Defendant's December 15, 1997 Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment, responses thereto, the entire record in
this case, and for the reasons set forth in the memorandum
opinion filed September 29, 1999, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendant's Motion is GRANTED.
Upon consideration of Defendant's April 15, 1998 Second Motion
for Partial Summary Judgment, responses thereto, the entire
record in this case, and for the reasons set forth in the
memorandum opinion filed on September 29, 1999, it is hereby
ORDERED that Defendant's motion is GRANTED.
Upon consideration of Plaintiff's December 4, 1998 Renewed
Motion for Summary Judgment, responses thereto, the entire record
in this case, and for the reasons set forth in the memorandum
opinion filed on September 29, 1999, it is hereby
ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.
It is further ordered that judgment in this case is ENTERED in
favor of DEFENDANT and the case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.