Clinic Wins Partial Victory in Public Records Case

The Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic (IEC) has won a partial victory for its client in a case seeking public records under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment Foundation (MCEF) sought documents from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers related to a study of flooding in the Upper Mississippi River System, which includes portions of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois Rivers. When the Corps failed to produce any of the requested documents, the IEC brought suit on behalf of MCEF.

The federal district court ruled in favor of the Corps, but the IEC appealed with law student Aryeh Kaplan, JD '08, presenting the oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

In a September 16, 2008 decision, the Eighth Circuit held that the district court improperly failed to determine whether the withheld documents contained unprivileged material that must be provided to MCEF. The Eighth Circuit remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings.