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Case TitleAlbers v. Federal Bureau of Investigation
DistrictWestern District of Washington
CityTacoma
Case Number3:2016cv05249
Date Filed2016-04-01
Date Closed2017-02-24
JudgeJudge Benjamin H. Settle
PlaintiffLewis Fay Albers
Case DescriptionLewis Albers submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for records about himself. The agency denied his request to the extent that he was asking for confirmation of whether or not he was on a watch list. Albers appealed the FBI's denial to the Office of Information Policy, which upheld the denial. Albers then filed suit.
Complaint issues: Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantFederal Bureau of Investigation
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Opinion/Order [17]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Washington has ruled that the FBI conducted an adequate search for records about Lewis Albers. Albers requested all records pertaining to him. The agency searched its Automated Case Support system and found no records under his name, but ultimately found two pages in which his name was cross-referenced. It disclosed a redacted copy of those pages. Albers, who had filed suit before the FBI finished processing his request, argued that the agency had not conducted an adequate search because it should have done a manual search of files between 1960, when Albers were born, and 1995, when its Automated Case Support system became effective. Rejecting the claim, the court pointed out that "Defendant FBI used the ACS case management system to conduct a main entries search of the Central Records System, which is where information about individuals, including Plaintiff Albers, is indexed. Any records about Plaintiff Albers, if any, could be found with an ACS search." Albers also argued that "pertaining to" required a broader search than just a name search. But the court observed that 'while one interpretation of 'pertaining to' could include Albers as a primary subject or an ancillary subject, it is not unreasonable to interpret 'pertaining to' in such a way as to search only for the primary subject of a particular matter."
Issues: Adequacy - Search
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-04-011COMPLAINT for Injunctive Relief (FOIA) against defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Investigation (Receipt # 0981-4397867), filed by Lewis Fay Albers.(Taylor, Christopher) (Entered: 04/01/2016)
2016-04-01Judge Benjamin H. Settle added. (CMG) (Entered: 04/01/2016)
2016-04-01NOTICE to Filer - CIVIL COVER SHEET REQUIRED: Please post the Civil Cover Sheet using the event "Civil Cover Sheet" found in "Other Documents" and related back to the Complaint. Thank you. (CMG) Modified on 4/1/2016 (CMG). (Entered: 04/01/2016)
2016-04-042CIVIL COVER SHEET re 1 Complaint ; filed by Plaintiff Lewis Fay Albers. (Taylor, Christopher) (Entered: 04/04/2016)
2016-04-063MINUTE ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY AND DEPOSITIONS by Judge Benjamin H. Settle. (TG) (Entered: 04/06/2016)
2016-04-064ORDER REGARDING INITIAL DISCLOSURES AND JOINT STATUS REPORT Joint Status Report due by 8/4/2016, FRCP 26f Conference Deadline is 7/14/2016, Initial Disclosure Deadline is 7/28/2016, by Judge Benjamin H. Settle. (TG) (Entered: 04/06/2016)
2016-04-065PRAECIPE TO ISSUE SUMMONS re 1 Complaint by Plaintiff Lewis Fay Albers (Taylor, Christopher) (Entered: 04/06/2016)
2016-04-076Summons issued electronically as to defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation. (CMG) (Entered: 04/07/2016)
2016-06-157ANSWER to 1 Complaint Attorney Peter Angus Winn added to party Federal Bureau of Investigation(pty:dft) by Federal Bureau of Investigation.(Winn, Peter) (Entered: 06/15/2016)
2016-07-08Set/Reset Deadlines pursuant to request by plaintiff: FRCP 26f Conference Deadline is 8/14/2016, Initial Disclosure Deadline is 8/28/2016, Joint Status Report due by 9/4/2016. (TG) (Entered: 07/08/2016)
2016-08-038NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Brian C Kipnis on behalf of Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 08/03/2016)
2016-08-039NOTICE OF WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL: Attorney Peter Angus Winn for Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 08/03/2016)
2016-09-0210STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER Stipulation re: Case Schedule; Order Thereon by parties re 4 Joint Status Report Order Form for District Judges (Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 09/02/2016)
2016-09-0611STIPULATION AND ORDER by Judge Benjamin H. Settle re 10 Stipulation filed by Federal Bureau of Investigation. Deadlines set forth in Dkt. 4 are hereby terminated. Defendant FBI will file motion for summary judgment by 12/1/2016, opposition by 1/9/2017, reply by 1/27/2017, and motion will be noted on 1/27/2017 calendar. (TG) (Entered: 09/06/2016)
2016-12-0112MOTION for Summary Judgment Notice of Motion and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof by Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation. Noting Date 1/27/2017, (Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 12/01/2016)
2016-12-0113DECLARATION of David M. Hardy filed by Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation re 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment Notice of Motion and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B - C, # 3 Exhibit D, # 4 Exhibit E - G)(Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 12/01/2016)
2017-01-0914RESPONSE, by Plaintiff Lewis Fay Albers, to 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment Notice of Motion and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof . (Taylor, Christopher) (Entered: 01/09/2017)
2017-01-2715REPLY, filed by Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation, TO RESPONSE to 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment Notice of Motion and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof (Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 01/27/2017)
2017-01-2716Supplemental DECLARATION of David M. Hardy filed by Defendant Federal Bureau of Investigation re 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment Notice of Motion and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof (Kipnis, Brian) (Entered: 01/27/2017)
2017-02-2417ORDER granting 12 Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Benjamin H. Settle. (MGC) (Entered: 02/24/2017)
2017-02-2418JUDGMENT BY COURT. (MGC) (Entered: 02/24/2017)
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by FOIA Project Staff