United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division
Morris, United States District Court Judge
David Braun (Braun), appearing pro se, commenced this action
against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), under the
Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act), 5 U.S.C. §§ 552a
et seq. Braun seeks an order compelling the FBI to
produce certain documents and information in its possession.
case arises from an information request Braun submitted to
the FBI on May 21, 2015. (Doc. 2-1). Braun requested that the
FBI produce all records in its possession “generated by
[his] contacts with the FBI over the years.” (Doc. 2-1
at 1). The FBI processed Braun's request for information
under the Privacy Act, and the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. The FBI identified 119 pages of
documents that were responsive to Braun's request. The
FBI produced 108 pages. The FBI made redactions on some of
pages produced. Eleven pages were withheld in full. The FBI
relied upon exemption (j)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C.
§ 552a(j)(2), and exemptions 3, 6, 7(C), and 7(E) of
FOIA, 5 U.S.C. §§ 552(b)(3), (6), 7(C), 7(E), as
legal authority for its decision to withhold certain
information and documents. (Doc. 40-8).
before the Court is Braun's motion for summary judgment,
and the FBI's cross motion for summary judgment. Braun
argues that the FBI unlawfully withheld and redacted certain
documents. He seeks an order compelling the FBI to produce
all of the documents and information it withheld.
argues that it has produced to Braun all documents and
information to which Braun is entitled to receive under the
Privacy Act, and FOIA. The FBI requests that this action be
States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch issued Findings and
Recommendations in this matter on December 28, 2016. (Doc.
49). Judge Lynch determined that Braun's claims under the
Privacy Act lack merit because the information and documents
withheld by the FBI were exempt from production under
exemption (j)(2) of the Privacy Act, and exemptions 3, 6,
7(C), and 7(E) of FOIA. Judge Lynch recommended that the
FBI's motion for summary judgment be granted, and that
Braun's motion for summary judgment be denied. Judge
Lynch also recommended that this action be dismissed. (Doc.
49 at 19).
objects to Judge Lynch's Findings and Recommendations in
part. (Doc. 50). Braun states that he does not object to
Judge Lynch's determination “that the requested
[FBI] records were properly withheld.” (Doc. 50 at 2).
Braun states that he does object, however, to Judge
Lynch's recommendation that this action be dismissed.
Id. Braun argues that this action should remain open
because he filed a motion to compel after Judge Lynch entered
his Findings and Recommendations, and that motion will no
longer exist if this case is dismissed. (Doc. 50 at 3).
Braun's motion to compel related to a “claim”
he purportedly submitted to the Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) on January 9, 2017. Braun sought an order
compelling OMB to process the claim. (Doc. 52 at 2). Judge
Lynch denied the motion on January 30, 2017. (Doc. 58).
Court reviews de novo findings and recommendations to which
objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). No review is
required of proposed findings and recommendations to which no
objection is made. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140,
information and records withheld by the FBI consist of: (1)
criminal investigation documents maintained in FBI's
Central Record System (Doc. 40 at ¶¶ 26-27); (2)
investigative financial records and reports compiled by the
FBI under 31 U.S.C. § 5311 (Doc. 40 at ¶¶
32-37); (3) names of FBI employees, local law enforcement
officers, and individual third parties identified in the
investigative records requested by Braun (Doc. 40 at
¶¶ 42-46); and (4) documents describing the
FBI's investigative techniques and guidelines. (Doc. 40
at ¶¶ 48-52). Judge Lynch did not err when he
determined that these matters were properly withheld by the
FBI. Such information and documents are exempt from
production under exemption (j)(2) of the Privacy Act, 28
C.F.R. § 16.96(a)(1), and exemptions 3, 6, 7(C), and
7(E) of FOIA.
no error in Judge Lynch's Findings and Recommendations
and adopt them ...