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Rachuy v. Dir. of FBI

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 6, 2015

GALE A. RACHUY, Plaintiff,
v.
DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, et al., Defendants

Decided February 5, 2015

GALE A. RACHUY, Plaintiff, Pro se, DULUTH, MN.

For DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, JOHN W. VAUDREUIL, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Defendants: Laura Emily Jennings, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION UNIT, Defendant, Pro se.

Page 148

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or Alternatively, for Summary Judgment. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this action under the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), see 5 U.S.C. § 552, against the United States Department of Justice (" DOJ" ).[1] Generally, plaintiff demands the release of records

Page 149

maintained by two DOJ components: the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (" EOUSA" ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (" FBI" ). See Complaint (" Compl." ) ¶ ¶ 1, 4.

A. Request to the EOUSA

Plaintiff initially submitted his FOIA request to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, who forwarded it to the FOIA/PA Unit of the EOUSA for processing. Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, or, Alternatively, for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 27-1 (" Def.'s Mem." ), Declaration of David Luczynski Concerning Fees and Supplemental Release, ECF No. 27-5 (" Supp. Luczynski Decl." ) ¶ 3. The EOUSA received the request on June 29, 2012, and assigned the matter a reference number, Request No. 12-2504. Supp. Luczynski Decl. ¶ 4; see id., Ex. B (Letter to plaintiff from Susan B. Gerson, Assistant Director, Freedom of Information & Privacy Staff, EOUSA, dated June 29, 2012). Plaintiff subsequently clarified his request to include not only " investigative materials under his name in EOUSA's files," id. ¶ 5, but also " [a]ny Grand Jury minutes, indictments, or any related documentation from January 1, 2010 to November 30, 2012 inclusive," id., Ex. C (Letter to United States Attorney -- Western District of Wisconsin from plaintiff dated November 30, 2012) at 1. On September 13, 2013, the EOUSA released 118 pages of records in full and withheld 2 pages in full, relying on FOIA Exemptions 3, 5 and 7(C). Id. ¶ 6; see generally id., Ex. D (Letter to plaintiff from Susan B. Gerson dated September 13, 2013). The EOUSA released 14 additional pages of records on or about April 1, 2014. Id. ¶ 7.

Due to an " apparent error" at the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin, id., Ex. E (Letter to David Luczynski from Richard D. Humphrey, Assistant United States Attorney, Western District of Wisconsin, dated April 17, 2014) at 1, " additional records responsive to plaintiff's request" subsequently were located, id. ¶ 7. The FOIA Contact at the Western District of Wisconsin forwarded to the EOUSA three boxes of documents in April 2014. Id. ¶ 9. After a cursory examination of the three boxes, each " nearly filled to capacity," the EOUSA estimated that it " received between 5500-6000 pages which may be responsive to plaintiff's request and/or duplicative of responsive records previously released." Id. ¶ 10. Based on the " EOUSA's cost for duplicating records [at] $0.10 per page [and] on the total page estimate," fees would exceed $25.00. Id. ¶ 11. The EOUSA notified plaintiff of the anticipated fees, informed him of " options designed to reduce the anticipated fees," and advised him that his request would " not be considered received and further work [would] not be completed until [he] agree[d] to pay the anticipated fees." Id.; see id., Ex. F ...


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