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Richardson v. United States

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

August 4, 2015

HENRY PAUL RICHARDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

HENRY PAUL RICHARDSON, Plaintiff, Pro se, Pine Knot, KY.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant: Rafique Omar Anderson, Robert N. Englund, LEAD ATTORNEYS, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

Page 42

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ELLEN SEGAL HUVELLE, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Henry Paul Richardson, proceeding pro se, filed this action against the United States of America under the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), 5 U.S.C. § 552, to challenge the Executive Office of United States Attorneys' (" EOUSA" ) response to his FOIA request. On February 19, 2015, the Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment except as to two issues. See Richardson v. United States, 80 F.Supp.3d 128, 2015 WL 709118, at *6 (D.D.C. 2015) (" Richardson I " ) [ECF Nos. 30]. Before the Court is defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment on the remaining issues. (Def.'s Renewed Mot. for Summary Judgment, March 6, 2015 [ECF No. 32] (" Renewed SJ Mot." ).) For the reasons stated herein, defendant's motion will be granted.

BACKGROUND

The factual and procedural history of this case prior to February 19, 2015, is set forth in the Court's prior opinion, see Richardson I, 80 F.Supp.3d 128, at *1, and will not be repeated here. Based on the record at that time, the Court concluded that defendant was entitled to summary judgment on all but two issues: (1) whether the EOUSA had conducted an adequate search for still photos associated with a February 14, 2006 surveillance videotape; and (2) whether there was any reasonably segregable non-exempt information in two of the documents (documents 11 and 12) that EOUSA had withheld in their entirety. See 80 F.Supp.3d 128, id. at *6. The Court directed defendant to file a renewed motion for summary judgment addressing these issues. ( See Order, Feb. 19, 2015 [ECF Nos. 31].)

After receiving the Court's Order, the EOUSA discovered that it had in its possession an additional " 80 pages of records containing photographs," which it released to plaintiff in their entirety on February 27, 2015.[1] (2d Luczynski Decl. ¶ 2.)

On March 6, 2015, defendant filed its renewed motion for summary judgment, supported by a new declaration from David Luczynski and an updated Vaughn index. ( See Renewed SJ Mot. Ex. 4 (2nd Decl. of David Luczynski, Feb. 27, 2015 [ECF No. 32-6]) (" 2d Luczynski Decl." ); id. Ex. 3 (Vaughn Index (Updated) [ECF No. 32-5]).) Plaintiff filed a response, opposing summary judgment on the issue of the adequacy of the EOUSA's search on the ground that he had still not received a complete set of still photo images from the February 14, 2006 surveillance videotape nor a copy of the video itself. (Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Renewed SJ Mot. at 2, June 5, 2015 [ECF No. 41].)

After receiving plaintiff's response, the EOUSA asked the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia to " search Plaintiff's file again, focusing on anything related to a surveillance video." ( See Reply Ex. 1, ¶ 2

Page 43

(Supplemental Declaration Addressing Plaintiff's Memorandum Concerning Surveil[l]ance Video, Jun 29, 2015 [ECF No. 43-1] (" Luczynski Video Decl." )).) As a result of that search, three DVDs and one Mini DVD were located.[2] (Luczynski Video Decl. ¶ 2.) However, the EOUSA concluded that these DVDs were not responsive because they did not include surveillance footage from February 14, 2006. (Luczynski Video Decl. ¶ ¶ 3-4.)

When defendant filed its reply, it included another declaration from Luczynski, describing the EOUSA's supplemental search for surveillance video and stating that none of the still photos that the EOUSA had previously released to plaintiff came from the February 14, 2006 surveillance video, but rather that they were " surveillance photos taken by various law enforcement personnel, ...


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