Shapirov.Dep't of Justice

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAJul 10, 2019
Civil Action No. 13-0729 (PLF) (D.D.C. Jul. 10, 2019)

Civil Action No. 13-0729 (PLF)

07-10-2019

RYAN NOAH SHAPIRO, Plaintiff, v. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Defendant.


MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on the government's renewed motion for summary judgment ("Gov. Mot.") [Dkt. No. 53] and Mr. Shapiro's renewed cross-motion for summary judgment ("Pl. Cross-Mot.") [Dkt. No. 55]. The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment dispute the withholdings made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. § 552, as to one remaining record, known as "Serial 91."

The parties continue to dispute the propriety of five redactions contained on one page of Serial 91. The government has claimed that three different withholdings are warranted under Exemption 7(E) to protect the identity of an FBI unit. See Gov. Mot. at 12. In addition, the government has claimed that two separate withholdings are warranted under both Exemptions 7(E) and 3 to protect the name of a database. See id. Mr. Shapiro makes a number of arguments challenging the propriety of the redactions under both Exemptions and requests that the Court view Serial 91 in camera, arguing that it is not possible to determine on the basis of the government's submitted declarations whether the content of the redactions qualifies for withholding under Exemption 7(E). See Pl. Cross-Mot. at 18.

The Court concludes that in camera inspection is appropriate in this case and would facilitate a prompt resolution of the pending motions. Serial 91 is a two-page document, so in camera review will not unduly burden the Court. See Quinon v. F.B.I., 86 F.3d 1222, 1228 (D.C. Cir. 1996). The parties have had an opportunity to explain their positions on the propriety of the claimed exemptions, and the government has submitted two separate declarations to explain the FBI's justifications for its withholdings. The parties dispute the propriety of the FOIA exemptions based on the content of the redactions, not their interpretation of the redacted information. See id. at 1228. Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED that the government shall submit an unredacted copy of "Serial 91" to the Court on or before 5:00 p.m. on July 15, 2019 for its in camera review.

SO ORDERED.

/s/_________


PAUL L. FRIEDMAN


United States District Judge DATE: July 10, 2019