On November 16, 2011, an individual resident of Louisiana filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). The plaintiff, represented by various public interest ...
read more >
On November 16, 2011, an individual resident of Louisiana filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"). The plaintiff, represented by various public interest and private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that defendants violated the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") by failing to make records available.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the plaintiff co-founded Common Ground Relief ("CGR") to provide short-term relief to Gulf Coast storm victims, as well as long-term support for rebuilding communities in the greater New Orleans, Louisiana area. After discovering that one of CGR's employees was an FBI informant, the plaintiff submitted a FOIA request to the FBI seeking documents pertaining to the informant and either the plaintiff or CGR. The FBI denied the FOIA request, stating that it would not respond to a FOIA request concerning an individual absent a "privacy waiver" from that individual. The plaintiff appealed the denial, but the DOJ affirmed the FBI's refusal to produce the documents.
On May 31, 2013, the District Court (Judge Susie Morgan) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The Court found as a matter of law that the plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies regarding his request for records pertaining to himself and CGR. In addition, with respect to the plaintiff's request for records pertaining to the FBI informant, the Court found that the plaintiff failed to produce evidence that any alleged government impropriety occurred. Finally, the Court concluded that if any exclusion was in fact employed by the defendants as to the records requested, it was justified. On May 31, 2013, the Court dismissed the plaintiff's claims with prejudice.Michael Mirdamadi - 10/06/2013