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North v. United States Department of Justice

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

August 19, 2014

JEFFREY NORTH, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants

Page 7

JEFFREY NORTH, Plaintiff, Pro se, COLEMAN, FL.

For UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION, Defendants: Diane M. Sullivan, Rhonda Lisa Campbell, Yule L. Kim, LEAD ATTORNEYS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

For EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Defendant: Diane M. Sullivan, Yule L. Kim, LEAD ATTORNEYS, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 8

MEMORANDUM OPINION

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff Jeffrey North, proceeding pro se, filed suit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (" DEA" ) and several other federal agencies alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), 5 U.S.C. § 552. The only remaining claim at issue is Count 1 of the Amended Complaint, which challenges the DEA's Glomar response to the Plaintiff's 2007 FOIA request seeking information regarding a purported DEA informant--Gianpaolo Starita--who testified against the Plaintiff during his criminal trial. On September 9, 2013, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of the DEA on this count. Plaintiff subsequently filed a Motion for Reconsideration which the Court denied on December 6, 2013. Presently before the Court is the Plaintiff's [188] Second Motion for Reconsideration. For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

To prevail on a Motion for Reconsideration, the movant bears the burden of identifying an " intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice." Firestone v. Firestone, 76 F.3d 1205, 1208, 316 U.S. App. D.C. 152 (D.C. Cir. 1996)). However, " [m]otions for reconsideration are disfavored[.]" Wright v. F.B.I., 598 F.Supp.2d 76, 77 (D.D.C. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). " The granting of such a motion is . . . an unusual measure, occurring in extraordinary circumstances." Kittner v. Gates, 783 F.Supp.2d 170, 172 (D.D.C. 2011). Accordingly, Motions for Reconsideration may not be used to " relitigate old matters, or to raise arguments or present evidence that could have been raised prior to the entry of judgment." Jung v. Assoc. of Am. Med. Colleges, 226 F.R.D. 7, 8 (D.D.C. 2005) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

II. DISCUSSION

In his Second Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiff argues that the Court erred in concluding that the DEA conducted a reasonable search in response to Plaintiff's 2007 FOIA request and found no responsive documents because, in coming to that conclusion, the Court improperly relied on searches the DEA conducted in 2008 and 2012 in response to a separate 2008 FOIA request made by Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that " [t]he fact that the DEA's 2008 and 2012 searches conducted pursuant to the 2008 request . . . did not locate any responsive records is totally irrelevant to the fact that the DEA's 2007 search conducted pursuant to [Plaintiff's] . . . 2007 request (which is the subject of Count One) did locate responsive records which the DEA is improperly withholding." Pl.'s Mot. at 3.

Page 9

First, Plaintiff is not correct that the DEA averred that it located documents responsive to Plaintiff's 2007 FOIA request during its 2007 search. The second and third declarations submitted by DEA official William C. Little, Jr. state that during the 2007 search, the DEA identified " three (3) criminal investigative case file number(s) in which information regarding the plaintiff was located." Second Little Decl. ¶ 23; Third Little Decl. ¶ 8. Plaintiff's 2007 FOIA request had asked for any and all documents " which contain any debriefing/proffer statements made/given by Gianpaolo Starita in regard to [Plaintiff]." First Little Decl., ECF No. [19-1], Ex. M (7/13/2007 FOIA Request), at 1. The fact that the DEA averred that it found three criminal investigative files containing information about Plaintiff does ...


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