Shapiro v. Department of Justice, No. 18-5123 (D.C. Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking information related to the FBI's thoughts about and possible uses of mosaic theory in its handling of FOIA cases. The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the FBI, holding that the FBI failed to sufficiently explain its determinations.
The court held that the FBI's affidavit did not explain how the agency concluded that the files preliminarily listed as responsive did not relate to the request; the affidavit said nothing—at least nothing clear—about the files whose numbers were redacted, though it identifies each numbered file as either non-responsive or destroyed; and the affidavit did not explain why or how the FBI knew that certain files had been destroyed. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's decision in part and remanded for further proceedings.