Saturday, March 22, 2014
Yagman v. DOJ, No. 13-0354, 2014 WL 1245305 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 22, 2014) (Anderson, J.)
Re: Request for records concerning plaintiff
Disposition: Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment
- Procedural Requirements, Searching for Responsive Records: The court finds that "BOP met its burden to perform adequate searches for responsive records." The court explains that "[a]s demonstrated by [BOP's] Declarations, the searches conducted were reasonably calculated to uncover all responsive records."
- Procedural Requirements, "Reasonably Segregable" Obligation: The court "finds that the IRS has met its burden of establishing that all reasonably segregable portions of the documents have been segregated." The court relates that "[t]he documents were subjected to a line-by-line review for the possible release of segregable information, but the IRS determined that any additional non-exempt information is so inextricably intertwined with the exempt material that no meaningful, reasonably segregable material could be released without invading the subject's personal privacy." Similarly, the court finds that DOJ and BOP have "met [their] burden of establishing that all reasonably segregable portions of the documents have been segregated."
- Exemption 3: The court finds that the defendant properly invoked Exemption 3 to withhold certain information and explains that "[h]ere, Exemption 3 is asserted in conjunction with Section 6103(a) to withhold the return information of individuals and entities other than Plaintiff." The court further explains that "Section 6103(a) provides that returns and return information shall be confidential, and except as authorized by title 26, no officer or employee of the United States shall disclose any return or return information." Additionally, the court notes that an internal memo withheld under Exemption 5 "is also withheld in part pursuant to Exemption 3 and Section 6103, because it is a document that contains IRS-provided information of the type covered by this statute." The court holds that this memo "may not be disclosed in response to Plaintiff's FOIA request."
- Exemption 5: The court finds that an internal memo "meets the requirement of being an interagency or intra-agency memorandum" and that "DOJ has properly asserted Exemption 5 to protect information pursuant to the deliberative process and attorney work-product privileges."
- Exemption 6: The court relates that "BOP determined that the release of the information protected by Exemption 6 would constitute an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy." The court finds that it "has balanced the public's right to disclosure against the individual's right to privacy and finds that the personal privacy interest outweighs any public interest in disclosure here."
- Exemption 7(C): The court finds that "[d]isclosure of the information sought does not appear as if it would shed light on the agency's performance of its statutory duties nor has Plaintiff identified any relevant public interest." Additionally, the court finds that "[t]here is a minimal public interest served by disclosing such information, and therefore the individuals' interest in protecting that information is sufficient to protect the information from disclosure." The information withheld concerns tax liabilities of third parties. Additionally, concerning the withholding of "third-party individuals responding via email to the AUSA," "the Court finds the privacy interests of the information outweigh the limited public interest in the disclosure of the third-party individuals' information." Additionally, regarding another defendant, the court notes that "BOP has  withheld the direct dial telephone numbers and email addresses of the Wardens and Associate Wardens pursuant to Exemption 7(C)." Also, "BOP withheld personal identifying information, such as home addresses, home telephone numbers, date of birth, and social security numbers, of its medical personnel." BOP also withheld lists of inmates. The court finds that "[h]ere, disclosure of the redacted information would not shed light on the activities of BOP sufficient to overcome the substantial personal privacy interests."
- Exemption 7(F): The court finds that lists of inmates, in addition to exemption 7(C), "may also be withheld under Exemption 7(F), which protects law enforcement information that 'could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.'"
- Litigation Consideration, Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies: The court finds that "[p]laintiff has failed to remit the $33.00 duplication fee," and "[t]hus, . . . has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, and the FBI is entitled to summary judgment."
Updated August 22, 2014