U.S. Dep't of Justice

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United States Court of Appeals FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUITApr 21, 2011
No. 10-5273 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 21, 2011)

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  • finding that the district court "correctly held that the government properly withheld the grand jury transcript under Exemption 3"

    Summary of this case from Liounis v. U.S. Dep't of Justice

No. 10-5273 1:09-cv-00912-RMC


Cornell Sanders, Appellant v. United States Department of Justice, Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, Appellee

BEFORE: Henderson, Tatel, and Kavanaugh, Circuit Judges ORDER

Upon consideration of the motion for summary affirmance, the opposition thereto, and the reply; and the court's order to show cause filed January 5, 2011, and the response thereto, it is

ORDERED that the order to show cause be discharged. It is

FURTHER ORDERED that the motion for summary affirmance be granted. The merits of the parties' positions are so clear as to warrant summary action. See Taxpayers Watchdog, Inc. v. Stanley, 819 F.2d 294, 297 (D.C. Cir. 1987) (per curiam). The district court properly dismissed claims against the individual defendants because such claims are not cognizable under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"). See Martinez v. Bureau of Prisons, 444 F.3d 620, 624 (D.C. Cir. 2006). The district court also properly held that the government, through its detailed declarations, had met its burden of demonstrating that its search for responsive records was adequate. See Iturralde v. Comptroller of Currency, 315 F.3d 311, 313-16 (D.C. Cir. 2003). In addition, the district court correctly held that the government properly withheld the grand jury transcript under FOIA Exemption 3 because the transcript would reveal "such matters as the identities ... of witnesses ... , the substance of testimony, [and] the ... questions of jurors." Stolt-Nielsen Transp. Group Ltd. v. United States, 534 F.3d 728, 732 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Finally, because FOIA requesters are not entitled to relief beyond the disclosure of the records that they seek, the district court properly concluded that appellant's various requests for relief in addition to the disclosure of documents are not available to him in this FOIA suit. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B) (limiting the district court's jurisdiction "to enjoin[ing] the agency from withholding agency records and to order[ing] the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the complainant"); Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, 88 F.3d 1191, 1202-03 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (noting that FOIA's remedial provisions limit relief to ordering the disclosure of documents).

Pursuant to D.C. Circuit Rule 36, this disposition will not be published. The Clerk is directed to withhold issuance of the mandate herein until seven days after resolution of any timely petition for rehearing or petition for rehearing en banc. See Fed. R. App. P. 41(b); D.C. Cir. Rule 41.

Per Curiam