UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
September 23, 2008
VERNON BONNER, PLAINTIFF,
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMIN. ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge
Plaintiff Vernon Bonner sued under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 ("FOIA"), alleging that five defendant agencies, had failed to release requested records in violation of the law. On September 4, 2008, this Court granted summary judgment to the Social Security Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Executive Office of the United States Attorney in the Department of Justice, and withheld judgment as to the Department of State ("DOS"), in order to allow plaintiff sufficient time after receiving notice of his obligations to respond to the most recent filing by the DOS.
The plaintiff has now responded, stating that the DOS conducted a "professional search" and none of the records sought were located. "And based on this, the Bonners agree that the DOS motion should be granted." (Civil Stmt. from Pl. at 1.)
The DOS' second declaration, submitted with its supplement to its motion for summary judgment described in detail the DOS search based on the information Bonner provided. It also stated that under the standard record retention policy in effect at the embassies where the search was conducted, the documents Bonner sought would have been destroyed prior to the submission of his FOIA request. On the basis of this declaration, and in light of the plaintiff's response, the Court finds that the DOS search was adequate and reasonable. Because there is no genuine dispute that the Department of State conducted a reasonable search based on the information provided by the plaintiff, and that no responsive records were located, the Department of State's motion for summary judgment will be granted.
A separate order accompanies this memorandum opinion.
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