Machado Amadis v. United States Department of State, No. 19-5088 (D.C. Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed three sets of requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking information about the denial of his applications for a United States entry visa. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the agencies.
The DC Circuit affirmed and held that the State Department and DEA's searches were reasonably calculated to locate all responsive records; OIP properly construed plaintiff's FOIA request to exclude the DEA and FBI documents created before his appeals were filed; OIP permissibly withheld the privileged information at issue; the district court address segregability when it addressed withholding the documents at issue under the deliberative process privilege; if the district court has not adequately addressed segregability, the court did so in the first instance and concluded that OIP appropriately segregated exempt and non-exempt portions of the documents; the DEA and FBI responses were proper determinations under FOIA, which triggered plaintiff's obligation to exhaust his administrative appeals; and the court rejected plaintiff's request to excuse his failure to exhaust on policy grounds.