628 F.2d 9 (D.C. Cir. 1980), 79-2441, Crooker v. United States State Dept.

Docket Nº:79-2441.
Citation:628 F.2d 9
Party Name:Michael Alan CROOKER, Appellant, v. U. S. STATE DEPARTMENT.
Case Date:June 30, 1980
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Page 9

628 F.2d 9 (D.C. Cir. 1980)

Michael Alan CROOKER, Appellant,



No. 79-2441.

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

June 30, 1980

As Amended July 11, 1980.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (D.C. Civil Action No. 78-1867).

Page 10

Michael Alan Crooker was on the brief, pro se.

Charles F. C. Ruff, U. S. Atty., John A. Terry, Michael W. Farrell, Diane M. Sullivan and Barry M. Tapp, Asst. U. S. Attys., Washington, D. C., were on the brief, for appellee.

Before MacKINNON and ROBB, Circuit Judges and CORCORAN, [*] Senior District Judge for the District of Columbia.



In January, 1977, appellant Michael Alan Crooker (a federal prisoner proceeding pro se ) requested from the State Department a copy of all files indexed under his name. Nineteen documents were found. Thirteen of them which had originated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were forwarded to that agency for review and direct response to appellant. The FBI released the thirteen documents to appellant on April 17, 1978. Nevertheless, on August 1, 1978, Crooker wrote the State Department requesting the FBI documents indexed under his name. The State Department responded that the FBI had released the thirteen documents to him on April 17, 1978.

Appellant then filed the complaint in this case under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the State Department. The only documents at issue are the thirteen documents already released to him by the FBI.

The District Court has previously disallowed a second claim by plaintiffs seeking the same documents from a separate agency. Lynas v. United States Department of State, Civ. No. 76-1880, slip op. at 2 (D.D.C. Nov. 30, 1978); accord, Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese v. CIA, Civ. No. 77-1412, slip op. at 2-3 (D.D.C. July 13, 1978). The Freedom of Information Act does not require that the agency from which documents are requested must release copies of those documents when another agency possessing the same material has already done so. Thus, the State Department is not required to release documents that appellant has already received from the FBI.

Once the records are produced the substance of the controversy disappears and becomes moot...

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