Wagafe et al v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services et al
ORDER denying Defendants' 99 Motion for Reconsideration signed by Judge Richard A Jones. (TH)
THE HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
CASE NO. 2:17-cv-00094-RAJ
12 ABDIQAFAR WAGAFE, et al.,
DONALD TRUMP, et al.,
This matter comes before the Court on Defendants’ motion for reconsideration.
20 Dkt. # 99. Plaintiffs oppose the motion. Dkt. # 100. For the following reasons, the
21 Court DENIES the motion.
“Motions for reconsideration are disfavored.” LCR 7(h)(1). “The court will
23 ordinarily deny such motions in the absence of a showing of manifest error in the prior
24 ruling or a showing of new facts or legal authority which could not have been brought to
25 its attention earlier with reasonable diligence.” Id.
Defendants move the Court to reconsider Part III.A. of its prior discovery order,
entered at docket number 98, wherein the Court granted in part and denied in part
Plaintiffs’ motion to compel. Defendants argue that the Court reached its decision in
ORDER- 1 -
error by (1) rejecting Mr. McCament’s declaration; (2) failing to find that Plaintiffs did
not meet their burden to show “necessity”; (3) failing to articulate why the balance of the
parties’ needs weighed in favor of disclosure; and (4) suggesting that the parties could
cure their issues with a detailed and thorough protective order. See generally Dkt. # 99.
First, the Court considered Mr. McCament’s declaration and found that it was
7 insufficient under the standard advanced by the Government. That the Government
8 disagrees with this assessment is not proper grounds for granting a motion for
Second, Defendants’ Ninth Circuit authority cited for the proposition that
11 Plaintiffs failed to show “necessity” is based on the informants privilege, not the law
12 enforcement privilege. 1 The premise behind the informants privilege differs from that of
13 the law enforcement privilege. For example, Defendants rely on In re Perez for “an
14 analogous request to disclose specific identities.” Dkt. # 99 at 5. However, In re Perez
aimed to protect “employees seeking to vindicate rights claimed to have been denied.” In
re Perez, 749 F.3d 849, 856 (9th Cir. 2014) (quotations and citations omitted). Here, the
identities that the Government seeks to withhold are those individuals who wish to
vindicate their own rights. The Government is not withholding those identities to protect
Third, the Court exercised its discretion in balancing the needs of Plaintiffs versus
22 those of Defendants and found that the balance weighed in favor of disclosure. The
23 Government argued that grave national security threats could materialize were the
24 Government forced to reveal the individuals subject to CARRP and “the types of records
25 consulted” because this could lead those individuals to “alter [their] behavior, conceal
26 evidence of wrongdoing, or attempt to influence witnesses or adjust [their] means of
Moreover, the persuasive authority that the Government cited dealt with asserting privilege over evidence collected
through surveillance and recording; such situations are not analogous to the one at hand.
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communication or financial dealings to avoid detection of the very behavior that the law
enforcement and intelligence community have determined may be indicative of a national
security threat[.]” Dkt. 94-5 at ¶ 18. But Plaintiffs did not request more than the
identities of the class members; Plaintiffs did not request “the types of records consulted”
for each potential class member. The Government may not merely say those magic
7 words—“national security threat”—and automatically have its requests granted in this
8 forum. Plaintiffs articulated enough to tip the balance in their favor; they requested
9 limited information—only the names of potential class members—and explained that
10 those potential class members may already be aware of the Government’s additional
11 scrutiny considering the passage of time. Under any rational balancing act, such a limited
12 scope of request will not be outbalanced by the speculative scope of what the
13 Government offered in opposition.
Finally, the Government disagreed with the Court’s conclusion that a robust
protective order was sufficient to protect against improper disclosure of privileged
information. The Government cited cases that were not analogous to this matter and
therefore did not persuade the Court. Disagreement with the Court’s conclusions is not a
sufficient basis upon which to grant a motion for reconsideration.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Defendants’ motion for
reconsideration. Dkt. # 99.
Dated this 28th day of November, 2017.
The Honorable Richard A. Jones
United States District Judge
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