United States District Court, District of Columbia
DAVID M. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants.
S. CHUTKAN United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment, ECF No. 30. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court grants the motion.
FOIA Requests to EEOC
about April 1, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a request under the
Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), see
5 U.S.C. § 552, to the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”). Compl. ¶ 19.
Specifically, Plaintiff sought “MD-715 Reports for
[the] Internal Revenue Service seeking all data pertaining to
Management Directive 715 from October 31, 2003 through
December 31, 2013.” Id. According to
Plaintiff, these reports reflect “policy guidance which
[EEOC] provides to Federal agencies . . . for their use in
establishing and maintaining effective programs of equal
employment opportunity . . . under Section 717 of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 501 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973.” Id. ¶ 1.
assigned the matter a reference number (FOIA No.
820-2014-198608), and on April 28, 2014, it sent Plaintiff a
Your request for copies of records containing all data
required to be filed by the Internal Revenue Service with the
[EEOC] in accordance with Management Directive 715;
specifically information submitted to EEOC annually from
October 31, 2003 through December 31, 2013, has been granted
in part. The IRS has not submitted its annual report for
fiscal year 2013. As discussed, we will provide you by email
the responsive documents.
Defs.' Mem. of Law in Support of Mot. for Summ. J.
(“Defs.' Mem.”), Decl. of Stephanie D. Garner
(“Garner Decl.”), Ex. 1 at 3; see Compl.
¶ 20. The response included instructions for
“fil[ing] a proper appeal from the determination under
EEOC regulations, including the address to which the appeal
should be directed, information on how to identify the
correspondence as an appeal, the deadline by which the appeal
must be submitted, and a link to further information on
EEOC's website.” Garner Decl. ¶ 5. “[A]
search of EEOC's electronic FOIA records and paper
files” did not locate any “record of a properly
filed appeal from the April 28, 2014 determination[.]”
Id. ¶ 6.
to Plaintiff, he submitted a second FOIA request to EEOC on
or about October 26, 2015 “seeking the . . . IRS MD-715
Report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2014.”
Compl. ¶ 23. A search of EEOC's “electronic
and paper records, including the archives of the agency's
FOIA email account (FOIA@eeoc.gov), . . . found no record of
a second FOIA request, or any other correspondence, received
from Plaintiff.” Garner Decl. ¶ 7. Upon EEOC's
receipt of a copy of the motion for summary judgment
Plaintiff filed in this civil action [ECF No. 11], EEOC staff
“again searched the email archive for FOIA@eeoc.gov but
found no record of the October 26, 2015 email.”
Id. ¶ 8. At this point, “because the copy
of the request attached to [Plaintiff's summary judgment
motion] provided EEOC with notice of the content of
Plaintiff's attempted request, EEOC [staff] logged the
request as received on April 4, 2016.” Id.
¶ 9. EEOC granted the request, and on April 12, 2016, it
released the requested records in full. Id.; see
id., Ex. 2. EEOC staff considered Plaintiff's second
FOIA request “somewhat ambiguous, ” and they
“released the reports submitted by the IRS in 2014 and
2015, since both reports contained information covering a
portion of calendar year 2014.” Id. ¶ 9.
FOIA Request to the OPM
named the former Acting Director of the Office of Personnel
Management (“OPM”) as a defendant in this case.
OPM staff was “asked to verify whether [OPM's] EEO
office had answered a FOIA request from [Plaintiff].”
Defs.' Mem., Decl. of Yasmin A. Rosa (“Rosa
Decl.”) ¶ 5. A search of records maintained by the
OPM's EEO office, including “all EEO complaints,
inquiries and non-jurisdiction records for 2015 and 2016,
” and “the EEO inbox” where email requests
would have been located, “did not produce any record(s)
of a David Johnson contacting EEO.” Rosa Decl. ¶
6. Based on this search result, OPM “concluded that
[Plaintiff] has not reached out to the EEO Office requesting
FOIA information or assistance.” Id.
Dismissal of Parties and Claims
Court construes the Complaint as one raising claims under
FOIA against EEOC and OPM. A claim under FOIA is against an
agency. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B); Cooper
v. Stewart, No. 11-5061, 2011 WL 6758484, at *1 (D.C.
Cir. Dec. 15, 2011) (per curiam). Therefore, the Court
dismisses Beth F. Cobert, Victoria A. Lipnic, and John Doe as
defendants in this case, see Compl. ¶¶
12-14, “because no cause of action exists that would