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Bartko v. United States DOJ

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 9, 2015

GREGORY BARTKO, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants

Page 168

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 169

GREGORY BARTKO, Plaintiff, Pro se, Yazoo City, MS.

For UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, UNITED STATES POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Defendants: Claire M. Whitaker, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

Page 170

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES E. BOASBERG, United States District Judge.

Pro se Plaintiff Gregory Bartko, who is currently serving a lengthy prison term for white-collar offenses, has sent a spate of Freedom of Information Act requests to various federal agencies, hoping to obtain records demonstrating prosecutorial misconduct in his case. The Court has already issued several other Opinions addressing the merits of certain requests, see, e.g., Bartko v. DOJ, 62 F.Supp.3d 134, 2014 WL 3834343 (D.D.C. Aug. 5, 2014), and it now examines the Internal Revenue Service's withholding of 136 pages under certain FOIA exemptions. Believing that the IRS has appropriately declined to release these records, the Court will grant its Partial Motion for Summary Judgment and deny Plaintiff's.

I. Background

As a prior Opinion set forth in some detail the factual background of this suit, see id., the Court will now describe only those events that directly relate to the Motion considered here. The facts relating to the particular FOIA request at issue, moreover, are essentially undisputed.

On January 7, 2013, Bartko submitted a request to the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) seeking " all records and/or data contained in the files of your agency and specifically under my name and/or identifier assigned to my name as set forth above." Def. Mot., Att. 1 (Declaration of Kimberly Williams), Exh. A (Letter) at 1. The letter then listed specific types of files that were included within his request. See id. After a detailed search uncovered over 1000 pages, USPIS referred some of the documents to other agencies for direct responses to Plaintiff. See Williams Decl., ¶ ¶ 4, 10. Of relevance to this Motion, 136 pages were referred to the IRS because those documents had originated there. See Def. Mot., Att. 2 (Declaration of Michael Franklin), ¶ 3. (As they derived from a joint criminal investigation undertaken by the FBI, the IRS, and USPIS, they had ultimately wound up with that last agency. See id., ¶ 8.)

According to the IRS, these documents consist solely of memoranda of interviews with witnesses in an IRS criminal investigation. See id. That investigation, notably, was of someone other than Bartko. See id. Each memorandum was authored by IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent William DeSantis, see id., and all were withheld under FOIA Exemptions 6 and 7(C).

Bartko filed suit here on July 26, 2013, naming a congeries of agency Defendants. On May 23, 2014, USPIS and the IRS jointly moved for partial summary judgment, see ECF No. 58, and Plaintiff cross-moved on June 6. See ECF No. 65. The Court then granted many extensions, in part because ...


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