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Case TitleNATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE et al v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
DistrictDistrict of Columbia
CityWashington, DC
Case Number1:2008cv01772
Date Filed2008-10-16
Date Closed2008-10-31
JudgeJudge Rosemary M. Collyer
PlaintiffNATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE
PlaintiffCHRISTOPHER LAW
DefendantUNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
Complaint attachment 7
Complaint attachment 8
Complaint attachment 9
Complaint attachment 10
Complaint attachment 11
Complaint attachment 12
Complaint attachment 13
Complaint attachment 14
Opinion/Order [12]
FOIA Project Annotation: Judge Rosemary Collyer has ruled that the Navy properly invoked Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy) to withhold all patient admission records for Portsmouth Naval Hospital on July 24-25, 1964. Although the National Security News Service, which made the request, did not mention any specific patients, the request was aimed at trying to confirm allegations that John McCain had been involved in an auto accident that may have required his admission to the hospital. Although the Navy probably could have treated the disclosure of McCain's records as being in the public interest, the plaintiffs may well have kept their request general specifically in an attempt to avoid privacy problems. Collyer first noted that the records met the threshold for Exemption 6 coverage. She indicated that "while the requested patient admission records appear to qualify as 'medical files,' the Court need not make that determination because the Court finds that the records clearly qualify as 'similar files' as defined by the Supreme Court." She then observed that "records, such as the ones Plaintiffs seek here, indicating that individuals sought medical treatment at a hospital, are particularly sensitive. Plaintiffs' attempt to recharacterize the records they seek by labeling them 'duty station assignment information' is belied by their own FOIA request expressly seeking 'patient admission records.'" Turning to the public interest, she pointed out that "disclosure of the requested patient admission records only would reveal who was admitted to the Naval Medical Center; it would reveal nothing about the Navy's own conduct. This is so irrespective of whether one of the persons then admitted to the hospital is now a public figure."
Issues: Exemption 6 - Invasion of privacy
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2008-10-161COMPLAINT against UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ( Filing fee $ 350, receipt number 4616015711) filed by NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE, CHRISTOPHER LAW. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1A, # 2 Exhibit 1B, # 3 Exhibit 1C, # 4 Exhibit 1D, # 5 Exhibit 1E, # 6 Exhibit 1F, # 7 Exhibit 1G, # 8 Exhibit 2, # 9 Exhibit 3, # 10 Exhibit 4, # 11 Exhibit 5, # 12 Exhibit 6, # 13 Exhibit 7, # 14 Civil Cover Sheet)(tg, ) (Entered: 10/20/2008)
2008-10-162LCvR 7.1 CERTIFICATE OF DISCLOSURE of Corporate Affiliations and Financial Interests by NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE, CHRISTOPHER LAW (tg, ) (Entered: 10/20/2008)
2008-10-163MOTION for Expedited Consideration and Permanent Injunction by NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE, CHRISTOPHER LAW (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Orders)(tg, ) (Entered: 10/20/2008)
2008-10-16Summons (3) Issued as to UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (tg, ) (Entered: 10/20/2008)
2008-10-204NOTICE by NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE, CHRISTOPHER LAW (Nagle, Mark) (Entered: 10/20/2008)
2008-10-21MINUTE ORDER. Pursuant to the agreement of the parties, Plaintiffs shall file their motion for summary judgment no later than October 21, 2008; Defendant shall file its opposition and submit the withheld records to the Court for in camera review no later than October 28, 2008; Plaintiffs waive their right to file a reply. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 10/21/08. (lcrmc2) (Entered: 10/21/2008)
2008-10-215NOTICE of Appearance by Heather D. Graham-Oliver on behalf of UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY (Graham-Oliver, Heather) (Entered: 10/21/2008)
2008-10-216MOTION for Summary Judgment by NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE, CHRISTOPHER LAW (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Declaration of Christopher Law, # 3 Exhibit 1 to Declaration, # 4 Exhibit 2 to Declaration, # 5 Exhibit 3 to Declaration, # 6 Exhibit 4 to Declaration, # 7 Exhibit 5 to Declaration, # 8 Exhibit 6 to Declaration, # 9 Exhibit 7 to Declaration, # 10 Exhibit 8 to Declaration, # 11 Exhibit 9 to Declaration, # 12 Exhibit 10 to Declaration, # 13 Exhibit 11 to Declaration, # 14 Exhibit 12 to Declaration, # 15 Exhibit 13 Part 1 to Declaration, # 16 Exhibit 13 Part 2 to Declaration, # 17 Text of Proposed Order)(Nagle, Mark) (Entered: 10/21/2008)
2008-10-21Set/Reset Deadlines: Plaintiff's Summary Judgment motion due by 10/21/2008. Response to Motion for Summary Judgment due by 10/28/2008. (cdw) (Entered: 10/22/2008)
2008-10-287NOTICE of Submission of Documents for In Camera Review by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY re Order, (Graham-Oliver, Heather) (Entered: 10/28/2008)
2008-10-288Memorandum in opposition to re 6 MOTION for Summary Judgment And Request to Dismiss Complaint filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration 1 - Law FOIA Letter, # 2 Exhibit 2 - E-mail, # 3 Exhibit 3 - Broady e-mail, # 4 Exhibit 4 - NMPC Letter, # 5 Exhibit 5 - Law Appeal, # 6 Exhibit 6 - OJAG Letter, # 7 Exhibit OJAG Letter II, # 8 Declaration Broady Declaration, # 9 Declaration Exhibit 9 - German Declaration, # 10 Declaration Exhibit 10 - Stanton Declaration I, # 11 Exhibit Exhibit 11, # 12 Declaration Exhibit 12 - Stanton Declaration II)(Graham-Oliver, Heather) (Entered: 10/28/2008)
2008-10-299NOTICE OF FILING PROPOSED ORDER by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY re 8 Memorandum in Opposition,, (Graham-Oliver, Heather) (Entered: 10/29/2008)
2008-10-3010MEMORANDUM by NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS SERVICE, CHRISTOPHER LAW. (Pierson, Stuart) (Entered: 10/30/2008)
2008-10-3011ERRATA by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY 8 Memorandum in Opposition,, filed by UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. (Graham-Oliver, Heather) (Entered: 10/30/2008)
2008-10-3112MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 10/31/08. (lcrmc2) (Entered: 10/31/2008)
2008-10-3113ORDER denying 3 Motion for Permanent Injunction; denying 6 Motion for Summary Judgment. This case is closed. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 10/31/08. (lcrmc2) (Entered: 10/31/2008)
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by FOIA Project Staff