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Cavezza v. U.S. Department of Justice

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

July 9, 2015

JASON CAVEZZA, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, et al., Defendants

Page 272

JASON CAVEZZA, Plaintiff, Pro se, PHILIPSBURG, PA.

For U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Defendants: Eric Joseph Young, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

Page 273

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES E. BOASBERG, United States District Judge.

In 2008, pro se Plaintiff Jason Cavezza was arrested and extradited from Mexico for conspiracy to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. While incarcerated in federal prison, Cavezza has submitted Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests to the Department of Justice and its components in an attempt to obtain documents showing he was wrongfully extradited. Dissatisfied with the responses to his requests, Cavezza filed this suit, and some DOJ components have now separately moved for summary judgment. This Opinion concerns only the Motion filed by Interpol, U.S. National Control Bureau (USNCB). As Cavezza essentially concedes that this entity has adequately conducted its search, correctly applied FOIA and PA exemptions to redacted materials, and appropriately segregated portions of documents, the Court will grant its Motion.

I. Background

The Court sets forth background facts that relate to Plaintiff's interaction only

Page 274

with USNCB. On June 12, 2014, that entity received a FOIA and PA request from Plaintiff seeking " all information regarding himself." To aid the request, he provided his full name, date and place of birth, and " also referenced limited information about an extradition case and conviction, in the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon . . . ." Mot., Att. 3 (Declaration of Daniel P. Dembkowski), ¶ 12. USNCB subsequently conducted a search of its systems, using Cavezza's name as a search criterion, and recovered several responsive documents. See id., ¶ ¶ 10-14. Defendant, however, then invoked FOIA Exemption 7(A) to withhold them, maintaining that their release would interfere with ongoing law-enforcement proceedings. See id., ¶ 15. Unhappy with this result, Cavezza appealed to the Office of Information Policy. See id., ¶ 16. OIP decided the question in his favor and instructed USNCB that it could not rely on Exemption 7(A) to withhold records. See id., ¶ ¶ 16-19. USNCB thereafter sent Plaintiff a final response on August 7, 2014. See id., ¶ ¶ 19-20. This transmission indicated that three responsive pages existed: two were released with partial redactions, pursuant to Exemptions 6, 7(C), and 7(D), and one was referred to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement for review. See id., ¶ ¶ 20-21. Plaintiff again appealed to OIP, which this time affirmed that decision. See id., ¶ ¶ 23-24.

Cavezza then sued a series of DOJ components, and USNCB here moves for partial summary judgment. Plaintiff has cross-moved for summary judgment, accompanied by a request for leave to amend his Complaint to add a new claim for monetary compensation.

II. Legal Standard

Summary judgment may be granted if " the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Holcomb v. Powell, 433 F.3d 889, 895, 369 U.S. App.D.C. 122 (D.C. Cir. 2006). " [A] material fact is 'genuine' . . . if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party" on an element of the claim. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 248.

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