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Jean-Pierre v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

January 23, 2015

STEVEN JEAN-PIERRE, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, Defendant

STEVEN JEAN-PIERRE, Plaintiff, Pro se, WHITE DEER, PA.

For FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, Defendant: Carl Ezekiel Ross, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

Page 330

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

CHRISTOPHER R. COOPER, United States District Judge.

In this Freedom of Information Act action, federal inmate Steven Jean-Pierre, proceeding pro se, seeks various records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (" BOP" ) concerning his prison diet program. Before the Court is Defendant BOP's Motion for Summary Judgment. Upon review of the motion, an affidavit from the BOP official who handled Jean-Pierre's request, and the opposition, the Court will grant summary judgment to BOP.

I. Background

Jean-Pierre, a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, submitted a Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ) request in July 2012 for the following information:

(1) Records reflecting the first date that BOP entered in his Central File that he was on Certified Religious Diet/Commonfare.
(2) Records reflecting BOP's policy for retaining inmate grievance records.
(3) The Inmate Handbook from Loretto Federal Correctional Institution (" FCI" ) from 2007-2009.
(4) Records reflecting Chaplain Maryann Palko's methods for deciding to reinstate 17 inmates who were taken off Commonfare/Religious Diet at FCI Loretto, including dates of reinstatement.

BOP's Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 1, Decl. of Michelle Wirth (" Wirth Decl." ) July 7, 2014 ¶ 3. According to the BOP paralegal specialist who handled this request, the request " was improperly closed" due to " an administrative error" in September 2012. Id. ¶ 5. Jean-Pierre submitted a new FOIA request in April 2013 seeking " the same documents that [he] attempted to get in 2012[.]" Jean-Pierre's Opp'n to BOP's Mot. Summ. J. at 4. Jean-Pierre subsequently filed this lawsuit in October 2013, which alerted BOP to its mistake in closing his initial request and prompted the agency to reopen the matter. Wirth Decl. ¶ 3.

After searching for the requested records, BOP sent Jean-Pierre a determination letter in May 2014, enclosing unredacted ...


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