MacLeod v. United States Department of Homeland Security

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ______________________________________ : WILLIAM DALE MACLEOD, : : Plaintiff, : : v. : No. 15-cv-1792 (KBJ) : UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF : HOMELAND SECURITY, et al., : : Defendants. : ______________________________________ : MEMORANDUM OPINION Pro se plaintiff William MacLeod is a Canadian national who twice applied to the United States Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) agency for a “NEXUS card”—a credential that expedites customs processing when one crosses the border between the United States and Canada. CBP denied both of MacLeod’s NEXUS applications, and in the instant lawsuit, MacLeod appears to challenge the propriety of those denials. (See Compl., ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 1, 8–10.) MacLeod’s complaint also references the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (“FOIA”) (id. ¶¶ 4–7), and contends that MacLeod submitted records requests to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”), the National Security Administration (“NSA”), and the General Services Administration (“GSA”), and that those agencies have thus far failed to furnish the requested documents (id.). Before this Court at present is a motion that the defendant federal agencies—the CBP, DHS, CIA, NSA, and GSA (collectively “Defendants”)—have filed, seeking outright dismissal of one of the claims in MacLeod’s complaint and summary judgment with respect to the others. (See Defs.’ Mem. in Support of Mot. to Dismiss & Mot. for Summ. J. (“Defs.’ Mem.”), ECF No. 8, at 42–49) (arguing that MacLeod’s claim regarding the denial of his NEXUS applications must be dismissed); see also id. at 17– 19 (maintaining that summary judgment is warranted in favor of GSA and NSA because neither has any record of receiving a FOIA request from MacLeod); id. at 19–42 (contending that DHS does not maintain the records that MacLeod requested, and that MacLeod failed to exhaust his administrative remedies with respect to the CIA’s processing-related determination).) 1 For the reasons explained below, this Court finds that MacLeod has conceded to the dismissal of his NEXUS-related claim against CBP, and that each of the other agency defendants has established (for various reasons) that there is no genuine issue of material fact with respect to any of MacLeod’s FOIA claims. Consequently, Defendants’ omnibus Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED. A separate Order consistent with this Memorandum Opinion will follow. I. BACKGROUND A. The Facts 2 1. MacLeod’s Applications To The NEXUS Program MacLeod is a Canadian national who twice applied to participate in a customs program that “is administered jointly by the [United States] and Canada and provides 1 Page numbers herein refer to those that the Court’s electronic case-filing system automatically assigns. 2 The facts recited herein are drawn primarily from the defendant agencies’ statement of material facts, and the affidavits and materials that are appended to the parties’ briefs. Although review of such materials is ordinarily impermissible when evaluating a motion that seeks dismissal of a plaintiff’s 2 for expedited travel between the countries for certain pre-approved, low risk travelers.” (Defs.’ ...

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