Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

UNITED STATES v. WEBER AIRCRAFT CORP. ET AL.

decided: March 20, 1984.

UNITED STATES
v.
WEBER AIRCRAFT CORP. ET AL.



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT.

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Author: Stevens

[ 465 U.S. Page 793]

 JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U. S. C. ยง 552 (1982 ed.), requires federal agencies to disclose records*fn1 that

[ 465 U.S. Page 794]

     do not fall into one of nine exempt categories.*fn2 The question presented is whether confidential statements obtained during an Air Force investigation of an air crash are protected from disclosure by Exemption 5, which exempts "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be

[ 465 U.S. Page 795]

     available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency."

I

On October 9, 1973, the engine of an Air Force F-106B aircraft failed in flight. Captain Richard Hoover, the pilot, was severely injured when he ejected from the plane. Under Air Force regulations, the incident was a significant air crash that required two separate investigations: a "collateral investigation" and a "safety investigation."

The collateral investigation is conducted "to preserve available evidence for use in claims, litigation, disciplinary actions, administrative proceedings, and all other purposes."*fn3 Witnesses in a collateral investigation testify under oath and generally are protected by the procedural safeguards that are applicable in other formal hearings. The record of the collateral investigation is public.

The safety investigation is quite different. It is conducted by a specially appointed tribunal which prepares a report that is intended for "the sole purpose of taking corrective action in the interest of accident prevention."*fn4 To encourage witnesses to speak fully and frankly, they are not sworn and receive an assurance that their statements will not be used for any purpose other than accident prevention.*fn5 Air Force regulations contain a general prohibition against the release of safety investigation reports and their attachments,*fn6 subject to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.