United States District Court, District of Columbia
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS United States District Judge.
appearing pro se, challenges the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's response to his request under the Freedom
of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552,
for records contained in the Combined DNA Index System
(“CODIS”) pertaining to him. Defendant has moved
for summary judgment, asserting first that plaintiff failed
to provide sufficient information to enable a search and
second that any responsive records would be exempt from
disclosure under FOIA Exemption 3. Def.'s Mot. for Summ.
J., ECF No. 14. Plaintiff has moved for partial summary
judgment on claims related to his criminal prosecution, which
are beyond this Court's jurisdiction. Pl.'s Mot. for
Partial Summ. J., ECF No. 13. For the reasons explained
below, the Court will grant defendant's motion, deny
plaintiff's motion, and enter judgment accordingly.
is a Florida state prisoner serving thirteen consecutive life
sentences. Compl. at 1. In a letter dated August 6, 2013, and
addressed to the Department of Justice's
(“DOJ”) Criminal Division, plaintiff requested:
access to files, records, data, and DNA profiles entered in
[CODIS] of evidence submitted to your agency from the
following agencies and case numbers:
1. DNA profiles from specimens collected in the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement Laboratory Number: 85-0230722
2. St. Petersburg, Florida Police Department Agency Number:
3. State v. Rodney Lockett, Case Number: CRC
85-02110CFANO, Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, Pinellas County,
Florida, City of Clearwater, Florida.
Ex. A to Decl. of David M. Hardy, ECF No. 14-1. The Criminal
Division informed plaintiff on August 30, 2013, that his
“misdirected request has been routed to the FBI for
processing and a direct response to you.” Ex. B.
letter dated September 24, 2013, the FBI denied
plaintiff's request under FOIA Exemption 3 upon
determining from “the information . . . provided [in
the] request” that none of the four statutory
circumstances under which CODIS information could be released
was present. Ex. F to Hardy Decl. (citing 42 U.S.C. §
14132). DOJ's Office of Information Policy affirmed the
FBI's decision by letter dated December 2, 2013, noting
that “the FBI did not conduct a search for the
requested records because if any such records exist, they
would be exempt from disclosure.” Ex. I at 1.
instant Complaint filed in July 2016, plaintiff “seeks
disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA), ” Compl. at 1, and “an order
directing the Defendant to disclose whether state's
Exhibit 2b [in the criminal case], a vaginal slide taken from
one of the victims . . ., was ever submitted to the FBI for
purposes of CODIS identification;” and “[t]he
identification obtained from State's Exhibit 2b under
CODIS, ” Compl. at 3.
FOIA confers jurisdiction in the district court to enjoin an
agency from improperly withholding records maintained or
controlled by the agency. See 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(4)(B); McGehee v. CIA, 697 F.2d 1095, 1105
(D.C. Cir. 1983) (quoting Kissinger v. Reporters Comm.
for Freedom of the Press, 445 U.S. 136, 150 (1980)). An
agency's disclosure obligation is triggered by its
receipt of a request that “reasonably describes”
the records sought and “is made in accordance with [the
agency's] published rules stating the time, place, fees
(if any), and procedures to follow.” 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(3)(A); see Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics
in Washington v. FEC, 711 ...