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Davis v. Department of Justice

United States District Court, District of Columbia

January 30, 2017

Eugene Davis, Plaintiff,
v.
Department of Justice et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION.

          COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY United States District Judge.

         In this action brought under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, plaintiff, a federal prisoner, has sued the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the following DOJ components: United States Marshals Service (“USMS”), Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Executive Office for United States Attorneys (“EOUSA”), Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. # 25] and Defendants' Combined Motion in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Counter Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. # 22]. For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny plaintiff's motion, grant defendant's motion, and enter judgment accordingly.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In February 2015, plaintiff requested the same information from each DOJ component, namely “all records and/or data . . . under my name and/or identifier assigned to my name.” See Ex. A to Decl. of David Hardy [Dkt. # 22-2, pp. 2-10] (“FOIA Request”).[1] Plaintiff further wrote:

The records sought but not limited to, is [sic] the compiled file containing (1) arrest records, (2) investigation and/or investigatory reports, (3) reports or evidentiary and/or scientific information findings, (4) wants, warrants, and/or detainers, (5) final and closing investigation reports, and (6) any and/or all information, data, or reports not otherwise exempt by statute . . . or law[.]”

Id. Plaintiff also requested “a copy of specific [FOIA] regulations of your Department . . . so that compliance is adhered to . . . .” FOIA Request at 2.

         The Court will recount each component's response to plaintiff's request in the order set out in Defendants' Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Dispute [Dkt. # 22-1], which is more comprehensive than plaintiff's purported “Statement of Facts” set out in the Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Pl.'s Mem.”).

         1. FBI

         Plaintiff's request submitted to DOJ was forwarded to the FBI as the component most likely to have responsive records. Hardy Decl. ¶ 6. In a letter dated March 13, 2015, the FBI informed plaintiff that a search of its Central Records System had located no “main file records” responsive to his request. It further informed plaintiff that it would conduct an additional search if he provided additional information. Id., Ex. C. Plaintiff instead filed an appeal to the Office of Information Policy (“OIP”), which, by letter dated June 16, 2015, affirmed the FBI's action and informed plaintiff about his right to file a lawsuit. Id., Ex. F.

         2. USMS

         In a letter dated March 27, 2015, the USMS acknowledged plaintiff's request and informed him that it had commenced a search for responsive records. USMS enclosed, as plaintiff had requested, “a copy of the Department of Justice FOIA regulations[.]” Decl. of William E. Bordley [Dkt. # 22-2, pp. 30-37], Ex. B.

         In a letter dated August 14, 2015, USMS informed plaintiff that it had searched its files in the Middle District of Florida (where plaintiff was arrested and detained), had located 32 responsive pages, and was releasing 21 pages. It further informed plaintiff that third-party information was withheld under FOIA exemption 7(C). Bordley Decl. ¶¶ 6-7 and Ex. C. In a separate letter dated August 14, 2015, the USMS informed plaintiff that in response to a referral of two pages from DEA, it was releasing those pages with the name of a USMS employee redacted under FOIA exemption 7(C). Id., Ex. J.

         In two separate letters also dated August 14, 2015, the USMS referred three pages that had originated with DEA to that component, id., Ex. D, and eight pages that had originated with EOUSA to that component, each “for action and direct response to the requester, ” id., Ex. F.

         3. ...


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