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Case TitleARCHIBALD v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE et al
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2011cv02028
Date Filed2011-11-16
Date Closed2013-07-03
JudgeJudge Reggie B. Walton
PlaintiffGEORGE H. ARCHIBALD
DefendantU.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
DefendantFEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
DefendantROBERT F. BAUER
AppealD.C. Circuit 13-5190
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Opinion/Order [22]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Reggie Walton has ruled that the FBI properly withheld its background investigation of Barack Obama under Exemption 7(C) (invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records). Although there has already been a great deal of litigation over Obama's passport and other records that might shed light on his citizenship, reporter George Archibald requested the FBI's 2008 investigation of Obama when he was running for President, hoping it would support his theory that Obama was actually born in Kenya. The FBI responded to Archibald's request by denying access without a waiver from Obama. Archibald argued Obama waived his privacy by running for President. Walton first found the records were compiled for law enforcement purposes. "A background check on a presidential candidate is an obvious national security function, and there is no indication the FBI was acting outside the scope of its law enforcement duties when it performed the background check on now-President Obama." Walton then found Obama had a privacy interest in the records. He noted that "although he [Obama] is the subject of this lawsuit, he is not a party to it. Moreover, the information requested by the plaintiff concerns the President's prior status as a private citizen. Except insofar as it relates to his citizenship, the President's early childhood background is unrelated to the performance of his public duties, and whatever sacrifices to his privacy he has made by taking public office do not, under these circumstances, extend to information that the FBI might have compiled about his early childhood." Archibald argued there was a public debate about whether Obama was a natural-born citizen. But Walton pointed out that "while this might be of public interest in some sense, it is not the type of public interest required to overcome a privacy interest under the FOIA, because the plaintiff has not presented 'a claim of public interest. . .based on the known facts.' Although the plaintiff maintains that there have been 'widely publicized claims. . .that [President Obama] was actually born in Kenya,' the plaintiff concedes that the FBI and the Department of Justice have released copies of President Obama's birth certificate, which indicates that he was born in the United States. Because the plaintiff's FOIA request claims a public interest that is not 'based on the known facts,' this is precisely the sort of circumstance in which 'the privacy interest is at its apex while the FOIA-based public interest. . .is at its nadir.'"
Issues: Exemption 7(C) - Invasion of privacy concerning law enforcement records
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2011-11-161COMPLAINT against ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ( Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 4616043781) filed by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. (Attachments: # 1 ATTACHMENTS 1-6, # 2 Civil Cover Sheet)(rdj) (Entered: 11/18/2011)
2011-11-16SUMMONS Not Issued as to ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (rdj) (Entered: 11/18/2011)
2012-05-232ORDER. For the reasons explained in the attached Order, it is hereby ORDERED that the plaintiff shall serve the defendants within ten days of the entry of this Order. Failure to serve the defendants in accordance with Rule 4 will result in the Court dismissing this case. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on 5/23/2012. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 05/23/2012)
2012-05-30SUMMONS (5) Issued as to ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (dr) (Entered: 05/30/2012)
2012-05-313RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed. ROBERT F. BAUER served on 5/30/2012; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION served on 5/30/2012; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE served on 5/30/2012, RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/30/12. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit; (2) Exhibit (Disc filed in Clerk's Office))(td, ) (Entered: 06/01/2012)
2012-05-314RETURN OF SERVICE/AFFIDAVIT of Summons and Complaint Executed on United States Attorney General. Date of Service Upon United States Attorney General 5/30/12. (See docket entry no. 3 to view document) (td, ) (Entered: 06/01/2012)
2012-06-285MOTION to Dismiss Defendant White House Counsel by ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Soskin, Eric) (Entered: 06/28/2012)
2012-06-286ANSWER to Complaint by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.(Soskin, Eric) (Entered: 06/28/2012)
2012-07-067RESPONSE re 6 Answer to Complaint filed by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. (jf, ) (Entered: 07/09/2012)
2012-07-068MOTION to ser case for Trial by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD (jf, ) (Entered: 07/09/2012)
2012-07-169REPLY in support of re 5 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant White House Counsel filed by ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Soskin, Eric) Modified text on 7/17/2012 (td, ). (Entered: 07/16/2012)
2012-07-2010RESPONSE re 8 MOTION for Trial filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Soskin, Eric) (Entered: 07/20/2012)
2012-08-3111MOTION for Summary Judgment by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of David M. Hardy, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(Soskin, Eric) (Entered: 08/31/2012)
2012-09-1012MOTION to Deny Summary Judgment, MOTION for Scheduling Order, MOTION to Produce by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD (dr) (Entered: 09/12/2012)
2012-09-1313RESPONSE re 11 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. (dr) (Entered: 09/17/2012)
2012-09-2514REPLY to opposition to motion re 11 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Soskin, Eric) (Entered: 09/25/2012)
2012-12-0415MEMORANDUM on reasons for Vaughn Index in lieu of summary judgment by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(td, ) (Entered: 12/10/2012)
2012-12-0416MOTION to Order defendants to submit all material in dispute to the court for in camera inspection by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(td, ) (Entered: 12/10/2012)
2012-12-2117Memorandum in opposition to re 16 MOTION for Order filed by ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bowen, Brigham) (Entered: 12/21/2012)
2012-12-2118RESPONSE re 15 Memorandum filed by ROBERT F. BAUER, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bowen, Brigham) (Entered: 12/21/2012)
2013-01-1419REPLY to opposition to motion re 16 MOTION for Order filed by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. (Attachments: # 1 Errata)(td, ) (Entered: 01/16/2013)
2013-03-1320ORDER granting 5 Motion to Dismiss; denying without prejudice 8 Motion for Trial. For the reasons stated in the attached Order, it ORDERED that the defendants' Motion to Dismiss White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler as Defendant is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that the plaintiff's Motion to Set Case for Trial is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on 3/13/2013. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 03/13/2013)
2013-06-1721ORDER granting 11 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 12 Motion ; denying 12 Motion for Scheduling Order; denying 12 Motion to Produce; denying 16 Motion for Order. In accordance with the Memorandum Opinion entered this same date, it is hereby ORDERED that the defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that the plaintiff's motion to deny summary judgment, motion for a scheduling order, motion to produce Vaughn index, and motion to order defendants to submit all material dispute to the Court for in camera inspection, are DENIED AS MOOT. It is further ORDERD that this case is CLOSED. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on 6/17/2013. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 06/17/2013)
2013-06-1722MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on 6/17/2013. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 06/17/2013)
2013-06-2723MOTION for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD (td, ) (Entered: 06/27/2013)
2013-06-2724NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 22 Memorandum & Opinion, 21 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment, Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, Order on Motion for Scheduling Order, Order on Motion to Produce, Order on Motion for Order,,,,,,,,,, by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. Fee Status: No Fee Paid. Parties have been notified. (td, ) (Entered: 06/27/2013)
2013-06-2725Transmission of the Notice of Appeal, Order Appealed, and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals. Motion to proceed on appeal in forma pauperis has been filed. Another transmission will be forwarded when the motion has been decided re 24 Notice of Appeal,. (td, ) (Entered: 06/27/2013)
2013-07-01USCA Case Number 13-5190 for 24 Notice of Appeal, filed by GEORGE H. ARCHIBALD. (td, ) (Entered: 07/01/2013)
2013-07-0326ORDER granting 23 Motion for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis. In accordance with the attached order, it is hereby ORDERED that the plaintiff may proceed in forma pauperis in this case. Signed by Judge Reggie B. Walton on 7/3/2013. (lcrbw2) (Entered: 07/03/2013)
2013-07-0327Supplemental Record transmitted to US Court of Appeals re 26 Order on Motion for Leave to Appeal in forma pauperis ;USCA Case Number 13-5190. (td, ) (Entered: 07/03/2013)
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by FOIA Project Staff