American Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Defense

339 F. Supp. 2d 501 (2004)

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American Civil Liberties Union v. Department of Defense

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
339 F. Supp. 2d 501 (2004)

LJ

Facts

On October 7, 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (plaintiff) filed a request with the Department of Defense (DOD) (defendant) pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act. Specifically, the ACLU requested from the DOD certain information regarding detainees in the United States’ custody. The DOD did not respond to the ACLU’s request, did not assert any exemptions, and did not produce any documents. On July 2, 2004, the ACLU filed suit against the DOD in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The district court judge ordered that the DOD respond to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act request and either produce the requested documents or provide a log identifying each document that was withheld along with a specific claim for each exemption. The DOD responded and only provided a small number of documents. The DOD also requested that the district court allow it to respond to the remainder of the ACLU’s request on a rolling basis. Specifically, the DOD sought permission to have another year to review the documents because many of the documents were classified and had to be reviewed and redacted line by line. The DOD also asserted that it could not confirm or deny the existence of some documents because of national-security concerns.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hellerstein, J.)

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