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Case TitleRojas v. Federal Aviation Administration et al
DistrictDistrict of Arizona
CityPhoenix Division
Case Number2:2016cv03067
Date Filed2016-09-09
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge G Murray Snow
PlaintiffJorge Alejandro Rojas
DefendantFederal Aviation Administration
DefendantUnited States Department of Transportation named as Department of Transportation
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Opinion/Order [26]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in Arizona has ruled that the FAA failed to show that personally-identifying information in records pertaining to complaints submitted as result of a change in its policy to no longer give preference to students participating in specified college programs under the Qualified Applicant Register was protected by either Exemption 6 (invasion of privacy) or Exemption 7(A) interference with ongoing investigation or proceeding). Jorge Rojas, who was in such a program studying to become an air traffic controller, filed a number of requests to the agency. The court agreed that the agency had properly issued a Glomar response neither confirming nor denying the existence of records for Rojas' requests concerning complaints filed against named individuals. But the court rejected the agency's use of Exemption 6 more broadly to protect generic personal information. Addressing a spreadsheet listing EEO complaints, the court noted that "the disclosure of subject lines, case numbers, and attachment titles will not likely allow Mr. Rojas or any other observer to identify individual claimants." The court added that "any potential privacy interest in the redacted portions are trivial at best, and as such, the Court does not address the public interest in obtaining this information." As to an allegation that identifying information contained in a complaint alleging cheating in hiring practices, the court found the public interest outweighed any privacy interest. Here, the court pointed out that "the public has an interest in knowing information about hiring officials who unfairly support specific job applicants, especially for positions that maintain public safety."
Issues: Exemption 6 - Invasion of privacy, Exemption 7(A) - Interference with ongoing investigation
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2016-09-091COMPLAINT. Filing fee received: $ 400.00, receipt number 0970-13378328 filed by Jorge Alejandro Rojas. (submitted by Michael Pearson) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibits 1-4, # 2 Exhibit 5, # 3 Exhibits 6-41, # 4 Civil Cover Sheet)(REW) (Entered: 09/12/2016)
2016-09-092SUMMONS Submitted by Jorge Alejandro Rojas. (submitted by Michael Pearson) (Attachments: # 1 Summons)(REW) (Entered: 09/12/2016)
2016-09-093Filing fee paid, receipt number 0970-13378328. This case has been assigned to the Honorable Bridget S Bade. All future pleadings or documents should bear the correct case number: CV 16-3067-PHX-BSB. Magistrate Election form attached. (Attachments: # 1 Instructions)(REW) (Entered: 09/12/2016)
2016-09-124Summons Issued as to Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation. (Attachments: # 1 Summons)(REW). *** IMPORTANT: When printing the summons, select "Document and stamps" or "Document and comments" for the seal to appear on the document. (Entered: 09/12/2016)
2016-09-155*Party Elects Assignment of Case to District Judge Jurisdiction. This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no PDF document associated with this entry. (MAP) *Modified on 9/16/2016 to Correct text from Agreement to Magistrate Judge to Election to District Judge; NEF regenerated (MAP)/(SCH). (Entered: 09/15/2016)
2016-09-166MINUTE ORDER: Pursuant to Local Rule 3.7(b), a request has been received for a random reassignment of this case to a District Judge. FURTHER ORDERED Case reassigned by random draw to Judge G. Murray Snow. All further pleadings/papers should now list the following COMPLETE case number: CV-16-3067-PHX-GMS. This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no PDF document associated with this entry. (MAP) (Entered: 09/16/2016)
2016-09-167ORDER directing the Clerk of Court to terminate any or all Defendants in this matter, without further notice, that have not been served within the time required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m) on 12/9/2016. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 9/16/2016. (KFZ) (Entered: 09/16/2016)
2016-09-168SCHEDULING ORDER (FOIA): See attached Order for deadlines and details. FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall serve Defendant(s) with a copy of this Order. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 9/16/2016. (KFZ) (Entered: 09/16/2016)
2016-10-109SERVICE EXECUTED filed by Jorge Alejandro Rojas: Proof of Service re: Complaint, Summons & Magistrate Elec Form upon Federal Aviation Administration on 10/05/2016. (Pearson, Michael) (Entered: 10/10/2016)
2016-10-1010SERVICE EXECUTED filed by Jorge Alejandro Rojas: Proof of Service re: Complaint, Summons & Magistrate Elec Form upon Department of Transportation on 9/19/2016. (Pearson, Michael) (Entered: 10/10/2016)
2016-10-1711ANSWER to 1 Complaint by Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation.(Bullis, Paul) (Entered: 10/17/2016)
2017-03-0912MOTION for Summary Judgment by Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation. (Bullis, Paul) (Entered: 03/09/2017)
2017-03-0913STATEMENT OF FACTS re: 12 Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendants Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit, # 2 Exhibit)(Bullis, Paul) *Modified linkage on 3/10/2017 (DXD). (Entered: 03/09/2017)
2017-03-1014NOTICE re: Filing Signed Declaration by Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation re: 13 Statement of Facts . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Bullis, Paul) (Entered: 03/10/2017)
2017-04-0415MOTION (Stipulated) to Enlarge Page Requirement for Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by Jorge Alejandro Rojas. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Pearson, Michael) (Entered: 04/04/2017)
2017-04-0416IT IS HEREBY ORDERED granting 15 the Stipulated Motion to Enlarge Page Requirement for Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment by 3 pages, up to 20 pages. Ordered by Judge G. Murray Snow.(GMS, ag)(This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (Entered: 04/04/2017)
2017-04-1017RESPONSE to Motion re: 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Jorge Alejandro Rojas. (Pearson, Michael) (Entered: 04/10/2017)
2017-04-1018STATEMENT OF FACTS re: 17 Response to Motion for Summary Judgment by Plaintiff Jorge Alejandro Rojas. (Pearson, Michael) (Entered: 04/10/2017)
2017-04-2119First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bullis, Paul) (Entered: 04/21/2017)
2017-04-2120ORDER granting Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Reply to Response to Motion for Summary Judgment 19 . The deadline for filing Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 12 is extended to and including 5/15/2017. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 4/21/2017.(LMR) (Entered: 04/21/2017)
2017-05-1221Second MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 17 Response to Motion for Summary Judgment by Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Bullis, Paul) (Entered: 05/12/2017)
2017-05-1622ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED granting the Motion 21 . The deadline for filing Defendants' reply in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 12 ) shall be May 26, 2017. Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 5/16/17.(SLQ) (Entered: 05/16/2017)
2017-05-2623REPLY to Response to Motion re: 12 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Transportation. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(Bullis, Paul) (Entered: 05/26/2017)
2017-06-2624* Joint MOTION for Leave to File SurReply to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment by Jorge Alejandro Rojas. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Pearson, Michael) * Modified to correct event; attorney noticed on 6/27/2017 (LAD). (Entered: 06/26/2017)
2017-06-2725IT IS HEREBY ORDERED denying 24 the Motion for Leave to File SurReply. The Court will disregard new matters raised for the first time by the government in its reply. Ordered by Judge G. Murray Snow. (GMS, ag) (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (Entered: 06/27/2017)
2017-12-0426ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 12 ) is granted in part and denied in part.... Status Hearing set for 1/5/2018 at 09:30 AM in Courtroom 602, 401 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 before Judge G Murray Snow. (See document for full details). Signed by Judge G Murray Snow on 12/4/17. (LAD) (Entered: 12/04/2017)
2018-01-0527MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge G Murray Snow: Status Conference held on 1/5/2018. The FAA shall provide all documents by 2/16/2018. If the FAA has the agreement of plaintiff, they may redact documents that do not pertain to the information in which plaintiff is interested, but those documents must be provided by 2/16/2018. Plaintiff has until 2/23/2018 to inform the Court whether or not this action can be dismissed, whether or not enforcement action needs to be taken against the FAA, or other relief. APPEARANCES: Michael Pearson for Plaintiff, who is also present. Paul Bullis for Defendants. (Court Reporter Charlotte Powers.) Hearing held 9:37 AM to 9:53 AM. This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no PDF document associated with this entry. (KFZ) (Entered: 01/05/2018)
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by FOIA Project Staff