Constitutional and Legal Issues

Freedom of Information Act

Hunt v. CIA (1992)

Source: http://www.foia.ucia.gov/ln_hunt.htm (no longer operational)

Hunt Versus CIA

Joe HUNT, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 92-16548. United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted Oct. 5, 1992. Decided Dec. 30, 1992.

Individual on trial for murder of Iranian national filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for disclosure of CIA records pertaining to that national. CIA gave "Glomar response" refusing to confirm or deny the existence of those records. Requesting individual sought judicial review. The United States District Court for Northern District of California, Marilyn H. Patel, J., granted partial relief. CIA appealed. The Court of Appeals, Goodwin, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) nondisclosure of existence or nonexistence of records sought was proper under FOIA exemption covering matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute; (2) CIA enjoyed judicially created near-blanket FOIA exemption from disclosure of its records under FOIA; and (3) CIA Information Act did not preclude CIA from using Glomar response to FOIA request that was not related to covert action.


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