United States District Court, District of Columbia
G. SULLIVAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
appearing pro se, sued under the Freedom of
Information Act (“FOIA”) to compel the release of
records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and
the Executive Office for United States Attorneys
(“EOUSA”). The remaining question surrounds
EOUSA's withholding of five documents, consisting of
nineteen pages. See generally Nov. 16, 2017 Mem. Op.
and Order (“Corley II”) [Dkt. # 39].
Pending before the Court are Defendant's Second Renewed
Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. # 42] and Plaintiff's
Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Leave to Take
Discovery [Dkt. # 46]. Upon consideration of the supplemental
record, the Court finds that EOUSA has now fully satisfied
its obligations under the FOIA. Accordingly, for the reasons
that follow, defendant's motion will be granted, and
plaintiff's motion will be denied.
factual background and legal framework are set out in the
Court's initial decision and need not be repeated here.
See Mar. 30, 2016 Mem. Op. (“Corley
I”) at 2-4 [Dkt. # 29].
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
response to Corley II, EOUSA's declarant
reevaluated the five withheld documents and determined that
“the information regarding plaintiff, and other
portions of information that would not expose individuals to
an unwarranted invasion of their personal privacy, was
segregable and therefore disclosable in part to
plaintiff.” Second Supp. Decl. of Princina Stone ¶
6 [Dkt. # 40-1]. On December 27, 2017, EOUSA released fifteen
of the nineteen previously withheld pages; one page was
released in full and fourteen pages were released with
third-party information redacted. Id. ¶ 8.
EOUSA has continued to withhold four pages, Bates numbered
00204-00207, in full under FOIA exemptions 3, 6 and 7(C).
Id. ¶ 7; see Second Supp.
Vaughn Index [Dkt. # 40-2 at 4] (“New York
City Police Department Omniform System - Arrests”).
declarant explains that the four withheld pages
“contain information that exclusively pertain[s] to
the arrest of a minor individual, not plaintiff, ”
including “the minor's name” and other
private information. Second Supp. Stone Decl. ¶¶ 7,
16. The Court finds that EOUSA has properly justified
withholding those pages under FOIA exemption 3, in
conjunction with 18 U.S.C. § 3509(d), which establishes
criteria for disclosing information about children involved
in criminal proceedings. See Second Supp.
Vaughn Index at 4; cf. with Corley
I at 11-13, 21 (approving withholdings under FOIA
exemption 3, in conjunction with § 3509(d)). By way of
contrast, the declarant explains that EOUSA released a
similarly described document in part, Bates numbered pages
00022-00024, because it “relate[s] primarily to
plaintiff and his arrest[.]” Second Supp. Stone Decl.
¶ 7. In justifying the redaction of third-party
information from the released documents, the declarant has
asserted reasons that the Court previously found to be proper
under FOIA exemption 7(C). See Second Supp. Stone
Decl. ¶¶ 17-22 and accompanying Vaughn
Index (Bates numbered pages 00061-00062; 00191-00192;
00193-00196; 00197-00203); cf. with Corley
I at 14-18, 22 (exemption 7(C) discussion).
supplemental record demonstrates that EOUSA, like the FBI
before, has now fully complied with the FOIA by releasing all
reasonably segregable responsive records. As discussed next,
the Court finds that plaintiff has offered nothing to support
a grant of summary judgment in his favor or to defeat a grant
of summary judgment in the government's favor.
Plaintiff's Combined Opposition and Motion
Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
has moved for partial summary judgment but has not identified
“the part of each claim . . . on which summary judgment
is sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Plaintiff refers the
Court to his “Statement of Material Facts” from
August 24, 2015, see Mem. at 1 (citing “Plt.
Stmnt., ” Dkt. # 20), but it seems axiomatic that,
absent clairvoyance, those facts from three years ago are
event, plaintiff does not challenge EOUSA's supplemental
release. Rather, he argues that summary judgment is
inappropriate because of (1) the alleged untimeliness of
EOUSA's renewed dispositive motion and (2) the
agency's delay in processing his FOIA request at the
administrative level. See Pl.'s Mem. at 5-6.
Neither assertion has merit. The docket reflects
defendant's filing of the renewed motion by the
court-imposed extension deadline of June 12, 2018, and any
delay in the agency's processing of plaintiff's FOIA
request is inconsequential because “once all the
documents are released to the requesting party [or shown to
be properly withheld], there no longer is any case or
controversy” under the FOIA. Bayala v. United
States Dep't of Homeland Sec., Office of Gen.
Counsel, 827 F.3d 31, 34 (D.C. Cir. 2016), quoting
Perry v. Block, 684 F.2d 121, 125 (D.C. Cir. 1982)
(“[H]owever fitful or delayed the release of
information under the FOIA may be, once all requested records
are surrendered, federal courts have no further statutory
function to perform.”). Accordingly, plaintiff's
motion for partial summary judgment is denied.
Motion for Leave to Take Discovery
plaintiff has renewed his motion for leave to take discovery
based in part on arguments that the Court previously
rejected. See Corley II at 8. Plaintiff argues
additionally that he “is entitled to damages under the
Privacy Act against both the FBI and EOUSA, for their
intentional and willful violations of the Privacy Act”
and that “the Court must grant leave to take discovery
on these matters[.]” Pl.'s Mem. at 8. That argument
presents a new claim beyond the scope of this FOIA case,
see Blazy v. Tenet, 194 F.3d 90, 96 (D.C. Cir. 1999)
(differentiating FOIA's “main purpose” of
public disclosure of government records from the Privacy
Act's “main purpose” of disclosure to an
individual “on whom information is being compiled and
retrieved” so that the individual may “review the
information and request that the agency correct any
inaccuracies”), and it “is axiomatic . . . that a
party may not amend his complaint through an opposition
brief, ” Sai v. Transportation Sec. Admin.,
326 F.R.D. 31, 33 (D.D.C. 2018) (quoting Singh v.
District of Columbia, 55 F.Supp.3d 55, 70 (D.D.C. 2014)
(internal quotation marks omitted)).
the Privacy Act authorizes an award of damages only for
certain Privacy Act violations. See 5 U.S.C. §
552a(g)(1) (“Civil remedies”). The FOIA
“does not authorize the collection of damages.”
Eltayib v. U.S. Coast Guard, 53 Fed. App'x 127,
127 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (per curiam). And “[e]ven a
cursory examination of [the] factors” for assessing a
FOIA litigant's entitlement to litigation costs
“makes it clear that they have little or no relevance
in the ...