Security estoppel, otherwise “matter preclusion,” along with could possibly get foreclose subsequent attention regarding an excellent FOIA suit

Security estoppel, otherwise “matter preclusion,” along with could possibly get foreclose subsequent attention regarding an excellent FOIA suit

Payne People v. United states, (207) however, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that when records are routinely withheld at the initial processing level, but consistently released after an administrative appeal, and when this situation results in continuing injury to the requester, a lawsuit challenging that practice is ripe for adjudication and is not subject to dismissal on the basis of mootness. (208) The defendant agency’s “voluntary cessation” of that practice in Payne did not moot the case when the plaintiff challenged the agency’s policy as an unlawful, continuing wrong. (209) Although Payne has been used as the springboard for suits by plaintiffs contending that individual agencies have engaged in a “pattern and practice” of ignoring their obligations under the FOIA, in most of these cases plaintiffs have not found a sympathetic reception to their complaints. (210)

List,” designed because of the Judge out-of Appeals toward Region regarding Columbia Routine over twenty years before within the a situation named

Dismissal from a great FOIA suit also can become compatible when the plaintiff doesn’t prosecute new match, (211) otherwise ideas is actually in public offered less than an alternative legal design on payment regarding fees, (212) or if the new says exhibited are not ready. (213) Dismissal is not always compatible whenever a beneficial plaintiff passes away, however; significantly less than some activities, good FOIA claim could be went on of the a properly substituted group. (214)

One more reason having dismissing a good FOIA lawsuit requires the doctrine from res judicata, that can is referred to as “allege preclusion.” (215) Res judicata precludes relitigation out of an action if it’s delivered by a plaintiff against the exact same agencies for similar data files, the fresh withholding from which prior to now could have been adjudicated. (216) Res judicata doesn’t prevent consideration out of a FOIA suit, regardless of if, if the plaintiff in the last, non-FOIA situation amongst the exact same facts cannot boost a good FOIA allege. (217) introduction, res judicata is not appropriate where there has been an improvement source site about truthful things or courtroom principles relevant for the suit. (218)

When parallel FOIA provides try lead because of the exact same party for the same facts, dismissal is appropriate from the procedure of your own “first-filed” laws. (219) So it signal retains you to “[w]hen legal actions within exact same debate is actually submitted in more than one to jurisdiction, the entire rule is the fact that the judge one to very first acquired jurisdiction has priority.” (220) The fresh new “first-filed” rule differs from res judicata once the regarding latter an instance involving the same events already could have been felt like, while regarding the former new circumstances are nevertheless pending, however, each other regulations just do it on the same mission — to minimize redundant legal actions and you can and therefore save judicial information. (221)


(222) Security estoppel precludes relitigation off an issue in the past litigated of the you to party for the step. (223) Instance, if the a keen agency’s seek out information already has been discovered to be sufficient, an effective plaintiff really should not be capable question that same research from inside the a consequent action. (224) While you are collateral estoppel are significantly more tricky throughout the FOIA context where there’s not fundamentally an express otherwise meant legal dating amongst the plaintiff in the 1st action therefore the plaintiff about consecutive match, (225) the possibility of contradictory e number of details means that informal notions away from privity — and that courts have greet various other contexts (226) — are particularly suitable inside FOIA cases. (227) Like with the new doctrine away from res judicata, equity estoppel isn’t appropriate so you can a following lawsuit in the event the there is an enthusiastic intervening point improvement in what the law states or factual predicate. (228)

A distinguishing feature of FOIA litigation is that the defendant agency bears the burden of sustaining its action of withholding records. (229) The most commonly used device for meeting this burden of proof is the “Vaughn Vaughn v. Rosen. (230)

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