Gill v. DOJ, No. 17-16107 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for federal defendants in an Administrative Procedure Act (APA) action challenging the Functional Standard regarding the sharing of terrorism-related information. The panel held that the Functional Standard constituted final agency action because it has legal and practical effects. However, it was not a legislative rule because it requires significant analyst discretion, and thus the Functional Standard was exempt from the notice and comment requirement. Furthermore, the Functional Standard was not arbitrary and capricious because the Information Sharing Environment's (ISE) 2015 explanation distinguishing Part 23 information and suspicious activity reports (SARs) is consistent with the ISE's objectives.
Court Description: Administrative Procedure Act The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of federal defendants in an action under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) challenging the Functional Standard regarding the sharing of terrorism- related information. In the wake of 9/11, the federal government sought to standardize the sharing of terrorism-related information through the adoption of a Functional Standard. Plaintiffs are United States citizens who are the subjects of a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) or Information Sharing Environment (ISE)-SAR, none of whom have been charged with a crime. The panel held that the Functional Standard constituted final agency action because it had legal and practical effects.