Thursday, March 27, 2014
Riccardi v. DOJ, No. 12-1887, 2014 WL 1254616 (D.D.C. Mar. 27, 2014) (Jackson, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment/motion to dismiss
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: The court "concludes that summary judgment must be entered in favor of Defendants." The court finds that defendant's "declarations attesting to the multiple searches Defendants carried out and the few responsive documents they turned up are sufficient to carry Defendants' burden of showing that they conducted a reasonable and adequate search for such documents." The court relates that "[i]n response to Defendants' declarations, [plaintiff] merely speculates that Defendants failed to produce responsive records because his defense attorney allegedly told him that, during a plea negotiation meeting, AUSA Berger had ' 'worked from notes and other documents she had in her possession' ' and had ' 'sketched out her thinking on how the sentencing guidelines would be applied under such a plea[.]' '" The court holds that "even if the statement regarding the AUSA's notes and musings during plea negotiations could be construed as evidence that a plea offer document existed at some point in time, [plaintiff] nonetheless fails to establish that there is a genuine issue of fact regarding the adequacy of the search conducted here because 'the adequacy of a FOIA search is generally determined not by the fruits of the search, but by the appropriateness of the methods used to carry out the search.'"
- Procedural Requirements, Expedited Processing: The court holds that "[d]efendants' motion to dismiss the claim for expedited processing must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction." The court finds that it "is divested of jurisdiction over a claim regarding 'an agency denial of expedited processing' once 'the agency has provided a complete response to the request.'" The court notes that "there is no dispute that the agency produced all of the records that it located."
Adequacy of Search
Updated August 22, 2014