The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ellen Segal Huvelle United States District Judge
This matter is before the Court on the motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of the United States Department of Justice, Executive Office for United States Attorneys ("EOUSA"), pertaining to plaintiff's claim under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552.*fn1 Having considered the EOUSA's motion, plaintiff's opposition, and the record of this case, the Court will grant the motion.
In July 2005, plaintiff submitted a FOIA request to the United States Department of Justice, FOIA/PA Section, seeking the "release of all records and/or data contained in the files of [the Justice Department] under [his] name and/or identifier to [his] name" containing "Bond Information and/or Commercial Crimes Bonding Information and/or Case bonding Information and/or Commercial Crimes Bonding Certification." (Nov. 17, 2006 Declaration of David Luczynski ("Luczynski Decl."), Ex. A (July 11, 2005 FOIA request) at 1.) Although plaintiff included his criminal case number in the letter, he did not identify the district in which he was prosecuted. (See id.) The EOUSA directed plaintiff to submit a new, corrected request identifying the specific U.S. Attorney's office or offices where the requested documents would likely be located. (Id., Ex. B (Nov. 8, 2005 letter from M.A. O'Rourke, Assistant Director, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Unit, EOUSA) at 1.) In addition, the letter asked plaintiff to indicate whether he wanted "all records or just bonds." (Id. at 2.)
In November 2005, plaintiff submitted a corrected request for the following:
1.) Criminal Case Bonding Information
2.) Commercial Bond Certification
3.) Noted Criminal Case Bonding and-or the Bonds which secured the financing and-or the pledge for the financing of [Criminal Case No. CR 90-03-01-PHX-EHC].
4.) The Bonds sough[t] [are] the Bid Bond, Performance Bonds, Payment Bonds
(Luczynski Decl., Ex. C (Nov. 20, 2005 FOIA request).) Plaintiff also indicated that "[t]he District of prosecution is, Phoenix[,] Arizona, year of prosecution is 1991, Judge is Earl H. Carroll, U.S. Attorney is, W. Allen Stooks." (Id.) The EOUSA acknowledged receipt of the request in February 2006. (Id., Ex. D (Feb. 7, 2006 letter from W.G. Stewart II, Acting Assistant Director, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Unit, EOUSA).) A search of records located at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona yielded no responsive records. (Id., Ex. E (June 13, 2006 letter from W.G. Stewart II).) Plaintiff then filed an administrative appeal of the EOUSA's response (id., Ex. F (June 22, 2006 letter to the Office of Information and Privacy, U.S. Department of Justice)), which was dismissed when the Department of Justice learned of the filing of this civil action. (Id., Ex. G (Sept. 27, 2006 letter from D.J. Metcalfe, Director, Office of Information and Privacy).)
In his complaint, plaintiff asserts that the U.S. Attorney's Office "illegally stole . . . [his] identity to make bonds which ha[ve] been sold in order to generate funds for the use within the Justice Dept., thereby illegally traffic[k]ing in commerce." (Compl. at 6.) He states that he "attempted to have these bonds . . . return[ed] to him, via [F]reedom of [I]nformation request to the Justice Department." (Id. at 5.) Dissatisfied with the agency's response, plaintiff brings this action seeking the release of "any and all bonds which bear [plaintiff's] identity" or, in the alternative, an award of $24 million per bond "for a total payment of Seventy Two Million Dollars . . . for the three (3) bonds in question, BID BOND, PAYMENT BOND, AND PERFORMANCE BOND." (Id. at 9.)
A. Summary Judgment Standard
The Court grants a motion for summary judgment if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The moving party bears the burden of demonstrating an absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). Factual assertions in the moving party's affidavits may be accepted as true unless ...