United States District Court, D. Columbia
JEREMY BIGWOOD, Plaintiff: Zachary J. Wolfe, LEAD ATTORNEY,
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, Washington, DC; Anjana Samant,
PRO HAC VICE, Pamela Carol Spees, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL
RIGHTS, New York, NY; Barbara C. Moses, SETON HALL UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF LAW, Newark, NJ.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE
AGENCY, Defendants: Kathryn Celia Davis, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Federal Programs
Branch, Washington, DC; Nathan Michael Swinton, U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Thomas
David Zimpleman, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
OPINION ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE
BROWN JACKSON, United States District Judge.
action arises out of requests that plaintiff Jeremy Bigwood
(" Plaintiff" ) submitted to the Department of
Defense's Southern Command (" Southcom" ) and
the Central Intelligence Agency (" CIA" )
(collectively, " Defendants" ), pursuant to the
Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), 5 U.S.C.
§ 552, in which Plaintiff sought information about the
June 28, 2009, coup d'é tat in Honduras. On
January 28, 2014, Defendants moved for summary judgment on
Plaintiff's complaint, asserting that they conducted an
adequate search and turned over all responsive records,
except those that they properly withheld under the applicable
FOIA exemptions. (Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 25,
at 6.) In his opposition brief, Plaintiff
conceded the CIA's motion for summary judgment (Pl.'s
Mem. of Law in Opp'n to Mot. for Summ. J. by DOD, ECF No.
28, at 7), leaving at issue in this matter only the adequacy
of Southcom's search for documents responsive to
Plaintiff's FOIA requests and its invocation of FOIA
exemptions. After this motion became ripe upon the filing of
Defendants' reply on April 1, 2014 (ECF No. 33),
Plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to file a sur-reply
(ECF No. 34). On February 24, 2015, this Court referred this
matter to a Magistrate Judge for full case management.
this Court at present is the Report and Recommendation (ECF
No. 42) that the assigned Magistrate Judge, G. Michael
Harvey, has filed regarding Defendants' motion for
summary judgment and Plaintiffs' motion for leave to file
a surreply. The Report and Recommendation reflects Magistrate
Judge Harvey's opinions that this Court should grant
Defendants' motion for summary judgment and deny
Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a surreply. (
Id. at 1-2.) Specifically, Magistrate Judge Harvey
finds that Southcom's search for responsive records was
adequate ( id. at 15-25); that it appropriately
invoked FOIA Exemptions 1 and 7(E) to withhold responsive
material ( id. at 25-30); and that it produced all
reasonably segregable non-exempt information ( id.
at 30-33). He also recommends that this Court deny
Plaintiff's request that the undersigned conduct an
in camera review of the material that Southcom
withheld under Exemptions 1 and 7(E), finding that doing so
would be an unnecessary expenditure of judicial resources
under these circumstances. ( Id. at 37-38.) Finally,
Magistrate Judge Harvey recommends that this Court deny
Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a sur-reply because
the proposed sur-reply does not address matters that Southcom
raised for the first time in its reply brief. ( Id.
Report and Recommendation also advises the parties that
either party may file written objections to the Report and
Recommendation, which must include the portions of the
findings and recommendations to which each objection is made
and the basis for each such objection. ( Id. at 39.)
The Report and Recommendation further advises the parties
that failure to file timely objections may result in waiver
of further review of the matters addressed in the Report and
Recommendation. ( Id. at 40.) Under this Court's
local rules, any party who objects to a Report and
Recommendation must file a written objection with the Clerk
of the Court within 14 days of the party's receipt of the
Report and Recommendation. LCvR 72.3(b). As of this
date--over a month after the Report and Recommendation was
issued--no objections have been filed.
Court has reviewed Magistrate Judge Harvey's report and
agrees with its careful and thorough analysis and
conclusions. Thus, the Court will ADOPT the Report and
Recommendation in its entirety. Accordingly, Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgement will be GRANTED; and
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Sur-reply will be
separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
ADOPTING REPORT & RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
reasons stated in the accompanying Memorandum Opinion, it is
that Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey's  Report and
Recommendation is ADOPTED in its entirety. It is
ORDERED that Defendants'  Motion for Summary Judgment
is GRANTED and that Plaintiff's  Motion for Leave to
File a Sur-reply is DENIED.