Albright v. United States

631 F.2d 915, 203 U.S. App. D.C. 333 (1980)

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Albright v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
631 F.2d 915, 203 U.S. App. D.C. 333 (1980)

Facts

A federal government agency (defendant) was considering several analysts (plaintiffs) for promotions. However, agency officials reclassified certain positions, which resulted in the promotions being denied. An official responsible for that decision held a meeting with the analysts. There was a heated exchange between the official and the analysts during the meeting. Unknown to the analysts, the meeting was recorded using a concealed videotape system. The videotape was labeled without the analysts’ names and placed in a locked file. The videotape was marked confidential. The analysts later sued the agency, alleging a violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which prohibited government agencies that maintained records systems from maintaining a record of the exercise of an individual’s First Amendment rights. The district court held that incorporation of such First Amendment records into an agency’s system of records was necessary to trigger the act’s protections. Because the videotape was not indexed according to the analysts’ identifying information, the court concluded that the record was not incorporated into the agency’s system of records. The analysts appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mikva, J.)

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