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Stephens v. Internal Revenue Service

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


January 29, 2008

MICHAEL JACK STEPHENS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ellen Segal Huvelle United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

In this action brought under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552, plaintiff requested records on December 11, 2006, about Internal Revenue Service employees. By letter dated December 31, 2007, defendant released 57 pages but withheld information under FOIA Exemptions 3 and 6. See 5 U.S.C.§ 552(b). Defendant moves for summary judgment. In response, plaintiff concedes that "the IRS and its employees complied with the [FOIA] and Privacy Act as passed by Congress." (Pl.'s Opp. [Dkt. No. 11] at 3.) He moves nonetheless for judgment in his favor based on defendant's delayed compliance.

In light of plaintiff's concession on the propriety of defendant's response to his request, the remaining issue is whether plaintiff is entitled to judgment based on defendant's delay in providing the requested records. As the District of Columbia Circuit has stated, "however fitful or delayed the release of information under the FOIA may be, once all requested records are surrendered, federal courts have no further statutory function to perform." Perry v. Block, 684 F.2d 121, 125 (D.C. Cir. 1982); accord Boyd v. Criminal Div. of U.S. Dep't of Justice, 475 F.3d 381, 388 (D.C. Cir. 2007). Accordingly, plaintiff may not prevail on his motion for judgment.*fn1

Based on defendant's unopposed factual assertions and supporting documentation, the Court concludes that defendant satisfied its disclosure obligations under the FOIA and is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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