Roseberry-Andrews v. Pavlik-Keenan

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CYNTHIA L. ROSEBERRY-ANDREWS, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. 16-63 (TJK) DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, Defendant. MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Plaintiff Cynthia L. Roseberry-Andrews, proceeding pro se, has filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, seeking certain records from the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or “Defendant”) regarding her employment with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Freedom of Information Act Office (the “ICE FOIA Office”). Defendant has moved for summary judgment, arguing that it has conducted a reasonable search of its records and produced all responsive, non-exempt information. Roseberry-Andrews has cross-moved for summary judgment, alleging that Defendant did not conduct a proper search, was dilatory in responding, did not properly apply FOIA exemptions, and failed to comply with FOIA’s “segregability” requirement. The Court agrees with Defendant on many of the issues raised by the parties, but ultimately concludes that Defendant has failed to provide sufficient evidence that the ICE FOIA Office conducted an adequate search or complied with FOIA’s “segregability” requirement. Thus, Defendant’s motion for summary judgment will be granted in part and denied in part, with leave granted to file a renewed motion within 60 days. Accordingly, the Court will reserve judgment in part and deny in part Roseberry-Andrews’ cross-motion for summary judgment. Background A. Roseberry-Andrews’ FOIA Request and Lawsuit On December 29, 2014, Roseberry-Andrews filed a FOIA request with the ICE FOIA Office. See ECF No. 1 (“Orig. Compl.”) Ex. 1 at 8-9.1 The request sought information pertaining to her employment in that same ICE FOIA Office from eight different program offices within DHS. Id. at 8. Those offices were: (1) the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (“OPLA”); (2) the ICE FOIA Office; (3) the ICE Privacy Office; (4) “HR [Human Resources]”; (5) “EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity]”; (6) “Reasonable Accommodation”; (7) the Office of Employee and Labor Relations (“ELR”); and (8) the Office of the Assistant Secretary (“OAS”). Id.2 Roseberry-Andrews also listed the names of individual employees in the ICE FOIA and ELR offices from whom she requested records. Id. That same day, ICE confirmed receipt of Roseberry-Andrews’ FOIA request. Orig. Compl. Ex. 1 at 11; ECF No. 14 (“Am. Compl.”) ¶ 10. On December 31, ICE followed up with a formal acknowledgment letter and assigned her request a case number. Orig. Compl. Ex. 1 at 12-13; Am. Compl. ¶ 11; ECF. No. 22-1 (“Def.’s SoMF”) at 2. The acknowledgement letter also stated that, “[a]lthough ICE’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request,” FOIA permits, and ICE would invoke, a 10-day extension because Roseberry- Andrews’ request “seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a thorough and wide-ranging search.” Orig. Compl. Ex. 1 at 12 (citing 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B)). 1 Citations to pages numbers in Roseberry-Andrews’ filings refer to the page number generated by the ECF system at the top of the page. 2 Human Resources, EEO, and Reasonable Accommodation were offices listed by Roseberry- Andrews ...

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