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Pinson v. U.S. Department of Justice

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

February 23, 2015

JEREMY PINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants

JEREMY PINSON, Plaintiff, Pro se, FLORENCE, CO.

MICHAEL STINE, Plaintiff, Pro se, FLORENCE, CO.

CHRIS DENNISON, Plaintiff, Pro se, FLORENCE, CO.

GREG MURRAY, Plaintiff, Pro se, FLORENCE, CO.

For U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Defendant: John H. Spittell, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

For FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, CHARLES E. SAMUELS, JR., BLAKE DAVIS, JOHN DIGNAM, Defendants: John H. Spittell, Theresa Ekeoma Dike, LEAD ATTORNEYS, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC.

Page 212

Re Document No.: 55

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, United States District Judge.

Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

I. INTRODUCTION

Jeremy Pinson currently is an inmate at MCFP Springfield, a federal prison located in Missouri. While in prison, Mr. Pinson has filed multiple Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), 5 U.S.C. § 552, requests with different components of the U.S. Department of Justice (" DOJ" ). In certain cases, the DOJ has asked him to clarify his records requests, told him that it could not find records that are responsive to his request, or informed him that the records he sought were exempt from disclosure by law. Mr. Pinson took issue with some of these determinations, so he filed a complaint claiming that the DOJ improperly withheld numerous records from him in violation of FOIA. In response, the DOJ has filed several pre-answer motions, each asking the Court to dismiss or grant summary judgment in its favor on different portions of Mr. Pinson's complaint.

Now before the Court is the DOJ's motion for partial summary judgment as to Mr. Pinson's FOIA claims regarding the DOJ's Civil Division. Specifically, Mr. Pinson alleges that the Civil Division refused to produce records in response to FOIA requests that he submitted in 2010 (Request No. 145-FOI-10314) and 2011

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(Request No. 145-FOI-10573). The DOJ argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on these FOIA causes of action because the Civil Division properly withheld documents related to Request No. 145-FOI-10314 and correctly refused to conduct an unreasonably burdensome search in response to Request No. 145-FOI-10573.

For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant in full the DOJ's motion for summary judgment as to Request No. 145-FOI-10314. The Court, however, will deny the DOJ's motion for summary judgment as to Request No. 145-FOI-10573 because the agency has failed to meet its burden of providing a ...


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