“This FOIA case presents the Court with the need to balance the classic countervailing policies concerning how much privacy should be accorded to an individual whose information is in the possession of a government agency as well as any needs for that agency to preserve its own legitimate non-public information and practices. As will be demonstrated, first, Defendant has failed to provide Plaintiff and the Court with sufficient facts and information to evaluate Defendant’s positions concerning the applicability of certain exemptions; this lack of sufficient factual basis negates Defendant’s right to claim that all of the documents of Defendant should be withheld and also that no portions of withheld documents are subject to disclosure even with redaction, this because Defendant has failed to show that portions are non-segregable; and secondly, the Defendant has ignored the special circumstances presented by the facts of this case, and thereby seeks to stand on arguments that, based on the scant information provided about the withheld documents, are not on all fours with the facts and issues presented. Plaintiff submits that until Defendant provides sufficient facts about the contents of the documents, Defendant is precluded from claiming that it has met the applicable burden of proof that permits it to shield almost all of the identified documents from disclosure and, moreover, has failed to carry its burden on a motion for summary judgment.
[F]rom the few facts disclosed by Defendant, the conclusion should be that the public’s interest in knowing how a notorious child sex abuser could be given free entry into the United States outweighs the ability of this notorious child abuser to bottle up information that almost everyone (probably) already knows. Defendant should be ordered to provide in a revamped Vaughn Index the types of details described in Section V. above concerning the documents and why each withheld document allegedly has no segregable information, or alternatively Defendant should produce the documents with legitimate redactions of personal details rather than the wholesale withholding of practically all of the documents listed on Defendant’s Vaughn Index supported only by repetitious, non-specific and conclusory statements about the documents’ contents.
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment should be denied in its entirety.”
The plaintiff’s opposition brief in Muchnick v. Department of Homeland Security in federal court in San Francisco — plus supporting declarations by attorney Roy S. Gordet and Irvin Muchnick, and exhibits — can be viewed at http://muchnick.net/gibneyfoiaopposition.pdf.