Justia Animal / Dog Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“ASPCA”) appealed the judgment of the district court dismissing its “policy or practice” claim brought under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) against the Department of Agriculture and its component agency, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The ASPCA alleged that the agencies adopted a policy or practice of violating the FOIA when the agencies decommissioned two online databases of frequently requested documents. The ASPCA argued that the policy or practice violates the FOIA. While the ASPCA’s action was pending before the district court, Congress enacted a new statute that required the agencies to recommission the databases, and the agencies complied. The district court held that the ASPCA’s policy or practice claim was resolved when the agencies recommissioned the databases as required by law.   The Second Circuit affirmed, holding that the ASPCA cannot state a policy or practice claim that the agencies systematically violated the FOIA after an intervening statutory enactment required the restoration of the databases that underpinned the ASPCA’s claim. The court explained that even assuming that a “policy or practice” claim is cognizable, the ASPCA failed to state such a claim against the agencies because the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 reversed the alleged policy or practice. View "ASPCA v. APHIS & Dep't of Agric." on Justia Law