Sause v. Hummel, A175238

CourtCourt of Appeals of Oregon
Citation318 Or.App. 869
Docket NumberA175238
PartiesH. Richard SAUSE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. John HUMMEL, Defendant-Respondent.
Decision Date06 April 2022

318 Or.App. 869

H. Richard SAUSE, Plaintiff-Appellant,

John HUMMEL, Defendant-Respondent.


Court of Appeals of Oregon

April 6, 2022

Argued and submitted March 7, 2022

Deschutes County Circuit Court 19CV06346; Alison M. Emerson, Judge.

George W. Kelly argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant.

John E. Laherty argued the cause for respondent. On the brief was Amy Heverly.

Before Tookey, Presiding Judge, and Egan, Judge, and Kamins, Judge.

[318 Or.App. 870]



Plaintiff submitted a public records request to defendant, the Deschutes County District Attorney.[1] Twenty-seven days later, after hearing nothing, plaintiff filed suit against defendant. As to the request relevant on appeal, the complaint alleged that defendant "did not respond" to the public records request and "his failure to do so constitutes a denial." Plaintiff sought both a declaration that defendant "must produce the improperly withheld records" and an award of his attorney fees. Two weeks later, defendant responded to the request, produced records, and waived the fee associated with obtaining those records. Defendant later moved for summary judgment, arguing that the case was moot, and the trial court granted that motion after concluding that there was no dispute of material fact about whether defendant had already complied with the request.

"We review a trial court's grant of summary judgment for legal error, and we will affirm if there are no genuine issues as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Smith v. Airbnb, Inc., 316 Or.App. 378, 380, 504 P.3d 646 (2021) (quoting Towner v. Bernardo I Silverton Health, 304 Or.App. 397, 400, 467 P.3d 17, rev den, 367 Or. 115 (2020)). In plaintiffs first assignment of error, he argues that the trial court erred in ruling that defendant had fully complied with the request because defendant conducted an inadequate search for those records. He urges us to adopt the standard applicable to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC § 552, and require a government defendant to affirmatively demonstrate the details of the search conducted. See, e.g., Rubman v. U.S. Citizenship & Immigr. Servs., 800 F.3d 381, 387 (7th Cir 2015) ("To demonstrate that its search was adequate [in a case challenging the adequacy of the search], the agency must show that it made a good faith effort to conduct a search for the requested records, using methods...

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  • Sause v. Hummel, A175238
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Oregon
    • April 6, 2022
    ...318 Or.App. 869507 P.3d 1292H. Richard SAUSE, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.John HUMMEL, Defendant-Respondent.A175238Court of Appeals of Oregon.Argued and submitted March 7, 2022.April 6, 2022George W. Kelly, Eugene, argued the cause and filed the briefs for appellant.John E. Laherty, Bend, argued ......

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