United States District Court, District of Columbia
BERMAN JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 14, 2015, plaintiff Dajuan Lamarr Wren, a federal
prisoner, filed a request under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C.
§ 552a,  and the Freedom of Information Act, 5
U.S.C. § 552 ("FOIA"), seeking information
from the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA")
about a particular Special Agent's training, employment
history, and experience testifying in criminal trials. Compl.
[Dkt. # 1] at 1-3; Ex. A to Compl. ("FOIA
Request"). After the DEA denied plaintiffs request, he
filed this lawsuit, pro se, against the DEA and the
United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”).
Compl. at 1-2. In response to the lawsuit, defendants filed a
motion for summary judgment, which is now pending before the
Court. Defs.' Mot. for Summ. J. [Dkt. # 12]
this lawsuit was pending, defendants provided plaintiff with
much of the information that he sought in his FOIA request.
For the limited information that remains at issue, the Court
will grant defendants' motion. The government is not
required to disclose information under FOIA where no such
record exists. And because plaintiff is not eligible or
entitled to fees, the Court will deny that request as well.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
October 14, 2015, plaintiff submitted a request under FOIA
and the Privacy Act to the DBA, seeking information about
Special Agent Bryan Sartori, who had testified in plaintiffs
criminal trial. Compl. at 4; FOIA Request. Plaintiff
requested the following information:
(a) The date Special Agent Sartori was hired by the DBA;
(b) His law enforcement experience, including his dates of
employment prior to joining the DBA;
(c) The dates he was trained at Quantico, Virginia;
(d) His history of field postings following training; and
(e) A list of criminal cases in which he has testified,
including the case names, case numbers, and the court(s) name
See FOIA Request. In a letter dated November 5,
2015, the DBA responded that it would not conduct any
searches for the requested records without "consent,
proof of death, overriding public interest" because
"any non-public records responsive to [plaintiffs]
request would be categorically exempt from disclosure"
under FOIA Exemption 7(C). Ex. B. to Compl. [Dkt. # 1].
filed an administrative appeal by letter dated November 19,
2015, asserting that the requested information was
"neither non-public in nature nor an invasion of . . .
personal privacy, " and he pointed out in that letter
that Special Agent Sartori had already testified to much of
this information during plaintiffs January 2011 criminal
trial in "the Eastern Judicial District of Michigan,
Criminal Case number 10-20137." Ex. C to Compl. [Dkt. #
1]. The DOJ's Office of Information Policy rejected
plaintiffs appeal, citing FOIA Exemptions 6 and 7(C). Ex. D
to Compl. [Dkt. # 1] ("Because any non-public records
responsive to your request would be categorically exempt from
disclosure, the FBI properly asserted [FOIA] Exemptions 6 and
7(C) and was not required to conduct a search for the
requested records."); see also Decl. of
Katherine L. Myrick [Dkt. # 12-1] ("Myrick Decl.")
then filed this lawsuit and defendants moved for summary
judgment. Plaintiff opposed the motion, and in his
opposition, he attached pages of the transcript from the
criminal trial in which Special Agent Sartori testified as to
many of the facts covered by his request. Pl.'s Opp. to
Defs.' Mot. ("Pl.'s Opp."); Ex. 1 to
Pl.'s Opp. [Dkt. # 14]. In their reply brief, defendants
represented that plaintiff had, "for the first time,
provided portions of the transcript from his criminal trial,
" in which Special Agent Sartori "testified about
the biographical information that [p]laintiff sought in his
FOIA request." Reply in Supp. of Defs.' Mot. [Dkt. #
20] ("Defs.' Reply") at 1-2. While defendants
maintained their position that the information would likely
still be protected by Exemptions 6 and 7(C), in the interest
of avoiding "needlessly extend[ed] litigation, "
they provided the information sought by the first four parts
of plaintiff s FOIA request. Id. at 2-3; see
also Decl. of Diane E. Filler [Dkt. # 20-1]
("Filler Decl."). The Court appreciates the
defendants' decision to review their initial position and
to make material available to plaintiff.
only information that remains at issue is a list "of
criminal cases in which [Special Agent Sartori] has
testified, including case name and case number, and the
court(s) name and location(s)." See FOIA
Request. Defendants claim that the DEA does not maintain a
system of records that contains that information, and that
even if such information existed, it would be exempt from
disclosure under Exemptions 6 and 7(C). See Myrick
Decl. ¶ 12. Plaintiff was granted leave to file a
surreply; he did not respond to defendants' position on
the remaining category of documents, but he did argue that ...