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Nguyen v. Federal Bureau of Investigation

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


October 19, 2006

THANG NGUYEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard W. Roberts United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

In response to the Order of August 28, 2006, defendant has filed the Third Declaration of David M. Hardy ("Third Hardy Decl.") to explain its withholding of a credit profile and a sealed court order identified as documents responsive to plaintiff's request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552. The issue concerning the credit profile is moot because defendant has released an unredacted copy of the document to plaintiff. Third Hardy Decl. ¶ 6.

Defendant "contacted and confirmed" with the United District Court for the Western District of New York that the order concerning "the receipt of information about a third party informant and a third party company" remains sealed. Id. ¶ 7. The order "only allows the FBI to retain a copy, the FBI has no discretion to release the records." Id. Defendant's "lawful obedience of an injunction issued by a federal district court with jurisdiction to enter such a decree" deprives the FOIA court of jurisdiction because no improper withholding has occurred. GTE Sylvania, Inc. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., 445 U.S. 375, 387 (1980); see accord Morgan v. U.S. Dep't. of Justice, 923 F.2d 195, 198 (D.C. Cir. 1991) ("If the [agency] obtains a clarifying order stating that the seal prohibits disclosure, the [agency] is obviously entitled to summary judgment."). A separate Order entering judgment for defendant on all claims accompanies this Memorandum.

20061019

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