Processing notes re: Eric McDavid requests

CJ Ciaramella filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking #




From: CJ Ciaramella

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All processing notes and related memoranda for the following FOIA requests:

- FOIA Request No. 1079132-000
- FOIA Request No. 1126669-000

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


CJ Ciaramella

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear CJ Ciaramella,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at<>/ or If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A first set of responsive documents from the agency, with more to be sent at a specified date.

From: CJ Ciaramella

Dear FOIA Officer:

This is a FOIA appeal regarding request # 1320375-000. The FBI withheld in full 20 of 22 responsive pages in response to my FOIA request for processing notes surrounding two previous FOIA requests. Of the two pages released, one was blank, and the other was the last page of a standard form responding to a records request. The agency cited numerous exemptions: b(5), b(6), b(7)(c), and b(7)(e).

The agency has exceeded its statutory authority under the Act to withhold the requested records in full. According to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b): "Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided to any person requesting such record after deletion of the portions which are exempt under this subsection."

It strains credulity to imagine that every bit of communications regarding the FOIA requests in question, including email headers, dates and addresses, is deliberative, reveals law enforcement tactics or contains private information. Indeed, I've never known the processing of a FOIA request to involve law enforcement techniques.

Please note that I am requesting the records created during the processing of the two FOIA requests in question, not the documents responsive to those requests.

Furthermore, "In the Act generally, and particularly under Exemption (6), there is a strong presumption in favor of disclosure." Local 598 v. Department of Army Corps of Engineers, 841 F.2d 1459, 1463 (9th. Cir. 1988).

The Supreme Court has stated that privacy rights must be weighed against the extent to which disclosure would serve the "core purpose of the FOIA," which is "contribut[ing] significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government." Department of Defense v. F.L.R.A., 114 S.Ct. 1006, 1012 (1994).

The records in question concern a criminal case that was later marred by extensive Brady violations by U.S. Attorneys:

Incomplete responses to the FOIA requests in question contributed to the withholding of material from the defense counsel in this case. Therefore there is an overriding public interest in how the FBI handled the FOIA requests in question, and these records must be disclosed.

The blanket withholding of every page of substantive records is not in line with the spirit or letter of the FOIA, and I therefore request that the withheld records be partially released, or at the very least released with proper redactions and exemptions cited.


CJ Ciaramella

From: OIP-NoReply

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: OIP-NoReply

  • Ciaramella, CJ,