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FOIA Cases

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May 7, 2015
FIA-15-0022 - In the Matter of Citizen Action New Mexico

On May 7, 2015, OHA issued a decision denying an appeal from a FOIA determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the Appeal, Citizen Action New Mexico (CANM) challenged NNSA’s determination not to expedite the processing of the Appellant’s FOIA request. The FOIA provides that expedited processing is to be offered only when the requester demonstrates a “compelling need,” or when otherwise determined by the agency. OHA concluded that the Appellant did not demonstrate a compelling need, and therefore denied the Appeal.

May 7, 2015
FIA-15-0019 - In the Matter of Shawn Hughes

On May 7, 2015, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied in part and remanded in part a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Appeal filed by Shawn Hughes (Appellant) of a determination issued to him by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of the NNSA’s search for two requested records. The OHA found that the NNSA had conducted a search reasonably calculated to locate one of the records but that an additional search for the other record was required.

May 4, 2015
FIA-15-0017 - In the Matter of Shawn Hughes

On May 4, 2015, OHA remanded to the National Nuclear Security Administration a FOIA Appeal filed by Shawn Hughes (Appellant). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged a determination by the NNSA that Sections 91 and 92 of the Atomic Energy Act, or 42 U.S.C.

May 1, 2015
FIA-15-0020 - In the Matter of Jeffrey B. Walburn

On May 1, 2015, OHA issued a decision denying a FOIA Appeal filed by Jeffery B. Walburn from a determination issued to him by the DOE Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of OIG’s search for documents responsive to his FOIA request.  OHA found, however, that OIG had conducted an adequate search that was reasonably calculated to uncover responsive documents.

April 9, 2015
FIA-15-0011 - In the Matter of Sabine Lauer

On April 9, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Sabine Lauer (Appellant) of a determination issued by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the NNSA’s search for responsive records. The OHA found that the NNSA conducted a search reasonably calculated to uncover responsive material and therefore denied the Appeal.

April 6, 2015
FIA-15-0013 - In the Matter of Don C. Pyle

On April 6, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Don C. Pyle on behalf of Rubin J. Pyles (deceased) from a determination issued to him by the Oak Ridge Office.  In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of Oak Ridge’s search for responsive documents.  OHA found, however, that Oak Ridge had conducted an adequate search that was reasonably calculated to uncover responsive documents.

March 31, 2015
FIA-15-0009 - In the Matter of Bill Streifer

On March 31, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Bill Streifer. In his Appeal, Mr. Streifer challenged the adequacy of the search that was performed by the DOE Office of Information Resources (OIR) in response to Mr. Streifer’s request for documents pertaining to payments made to patent holders for inventions used during the Manhattan Project. The OIR was unable to locate any responsive documents.

March 30, 2015
FIA-15-0012 - In the Matter of Beverly Jean Parks

On March 30, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by David H. Dunaway, Esq., on behalf of Ms. Beverly Jean Parks from a determination issued to her by the DOE Oak Ridge Operations Office. In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of Oak Ridge’s search for responsive documents.  However, OHA found that Oak Ridge had conducted an adequate search that was reasonably calculated to uncover responsive documents.

March 30, 2015
FIA-15-0008 - In the Matter of Real Estate Appraisal Litigation, LLC

On March 30, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by Mr. Jim L. Sanders of Real Estate Appraisal Litigation, LLC from a determination issued to him by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). In the Appeal, the Appellant challenged the adequacy of BPA’s search for responsive documents as well as BPA’s application of FOIA Exemption 6 to withhold personal identifying information that would invade the privacy of homeowners.  In denying the Appeal, OHA found that BPA conducted an adequate search and that it had properly withheld redacted information pursuant to Exemption 6.

March 25, 2015
FIA-15-0007 - In the Matter of FOIA Group, Inc.

On March 25, 2015, OHA denied a FOIA Appeal filed by FOIA Group, Inc. (FGI). In its Appeal, FGI challenged a determination issued to it by the Office of Information Resources (OIR). In that determination, OIR concluded that the information sought by FGI could not be readily reproduced in the “COMMA DELIMITED TEXT FILE” (CDTF) or “TAB DELIMITED TEXT FILE” (TDTF) formats requested by FGI, and that converting the information sought into Excel spreadsheets would cost over $8,000. OIR offered to provide the information in a searchable pdf.