Morley v. Central Intelligence Agency - Arizona Court of Appeals

Morley v. Central Intelligence Agency

By Arizona Court of Appeals

  • Release Date: 2007-12-07
  • Genre: Law
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Morley v. Central Intelligence Agency Arizona Court of Appeals Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Journalist Jefferson Morley appeals the grant of summary judgment to the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") on his request under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") for documents pertaining to George Joannides, a deceased CIA officer. Although the CIA disclosed some records, it withheld others pursuant to various FOIA exemptions. On appeal, Morley contends that the CIA did not conduct an adequate search or provide an adequate Vaughn indexand that it failed to meet its burden to justify withholding documents under FOIA exemptions. Upon de novo review, we reverse the grant of summary judgment. We hold that Morley met his burden to show that his request falls within an exception to the Central Intelligence Agency Information Act of 1984 ("CIA Act"), 50 U.S.C. § 431(c)(3), and we remand the case so that the CIA may search its operational files in response to Morleys FOIA request. Additionally, its release of records pursuant to the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 ("JFK Act"), 44 U.S.C. § 2107 note, does not relieve the CIA of its obligations under the FOIA. On remand, the CIA must also expand its description of the search by its component units and supplement its justification for withholding documents under FOIA Exemptions 2, 5 and 6.

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