United States District Court, District of Columbia
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Peter Georgacarakos, Pine Knot, KY, pro se.
John Gregory Lennon, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, for Defendants.
JOHN D. BATES, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.
In November 1996, while incarcerated at the Lewisburg United States Penitentiary, plaintiff stabbed and killed another inmate, Randall Scott Anderson. See United States v. Georgacarakos, 138 Fed.Appx. 407, 408 (3d Cir.2005). A jury convicted plaintiff of second degree murder, and the court has imposed a 30-year prison sentence. Compl. at 1. According to plaintiff, " at worst [he is] guilty of manslaughter," id., and reports of the investigation collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (" FBI" ) allegedly " contain exculpatory evidence previously withheld" from him, id. at 2.
Plaintiff submitted a request to the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), see 5 U.S.C. § 552, for " copies of all 302's related to the investigation in the death of Randall Anderson, for which [plaintiff] was prosecuted." Defs.' Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of their Mot. for Summ. J. (" Defs.' Mem." ), Decl. of David M. Hardy (" Hardy Decl." ), Ex. A (Letter from plaintiff to FBI dated March 18, 2010). The FBI assigned the request a tracking number (FOIPA No. 1145866-000) and acknowledged its receipt in writing. Hardy Decl., Ex. B (Letter from David M. Hardy, Section Chief, Record/Information Dissemination Section, Records Management Division, FBI, to plaintiff dated April 6, 2010). The FBI's search yielded 256 pages of responsive records, of which 237 pages were released in full or in part, and 19 pages were withheld in full. Id., Ex. C (Letter from D.M. Hardy to plaintiff dated January 14, 2011). Plaintiff pursued an administrative appeal to the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy (" OIP" ), id., Ex. F (Letter from plaintiff to OIP dated February 9, 2011), and met with partial success in the form of a remand with respect to the 19 pages of records withheld in full, id., Ex. H (Letter from Janice Galli McLeod, Associate Director, OIP, to plaintiff dated July 29, 2011) at 1, resulting in the partial disclosure of these pages, id., Ex. I (Letter from D.M. Hardy to plaintiff dated November 14, 2011). The FBI's determination was affirmed in all other respects. See id., Ex. H at 1.
A. Summary Judgment in a FOIA Case
" FOIA cases typically and appropriately are decided on motions for summary judgment." Defenders of Wildlife v. U.S. Border Patrol,623 F.Supp.2d 83, 87 (D.D.C.2009). The Court grants summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In a FOIA action to compel production of records, the agency " is entitled to summary judgment if no material facts are in dispute and if it demonstrates ‘ that each document that falls within the class requested either has been produced ... or is wholly exempt from the [FOIA's] inspection requirements.’ " Students Against Genocide v. Dep't of State, 257 F.3d 828, 833 (D.C.Cir.2001) (quoting Goland v. Cent. Intelligence Agency, 607 F.2d 339, 352 (D.C.Cir.1978)). Summary judgment may be based solely on information provided in an agency's supporting affidavits or declarations if they are relatively detailed and when they describe " the documents and the justifications for nondisclosure with reasonably specific detail, demonstrate that the information withheld ...