Attorney General's Seal
Attorney General's Opinions


Attorney General Matt Denn


Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Flickr  Youtube  Soundcloud

10001-declarations

17-IB39 08/16/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Chris Witkowsky re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Office of the State Treasurer

Written on: August 16th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Office of the State Treasurer violated FOIA by denying his request for public records based on his not being a citizen of Delaware. HELD: There was no FOIA violation. The Petitioner’s request listed a New York address and he did not make any claim to being a Delaware citizen. As this office has previously held, FOIA allows, but does not require, a public body to provide records to other states’ citizens.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB38 08/11/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Councilman Samuel L. Guy re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington City Council

Written on: August 11th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

PRINT VERSION: Attorney General Opinion No. 17-IB38 OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE Attorney General Opinion No. 17-IB38 August 11, 2017   VIA U.S. MAIL & EMAIL The Hon. Samuel L. Guy Wilmington City Council 800 N. French Street Wilmington, Delaware 19801 Sguy41@comcast.net RE:     April 21, 2017 FOIA Petition Regarding […]


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB37 08/7/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Kevin Ohlandt re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Office of the Governor

Written on: August 7th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Office of the Governor (“OGov”)’s Family Services Cabinet Council (the “Council”) is a public body which violated the open meetings provisions of FOIA. HELD: The Governor is a public body of one member and such public bodies are permitted to meet with their staff without triggering FOIA’s open meetings provisions. Because the Council is made up entirely of Cabinet members, it is effectively a staff meeting, which distinguishes it from other advisory bodies that include members outside of OGov and thus must follow the open meetings provisions.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB36 08/3/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Carol DiGiovanni re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Village of Arden

Written on: August 3rd, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Village of Arden failed to respond to her request for records. HELD: The Village responded to the request one day after receipt but responded to an email address that the Petitioner no longer uses and did not use in her request. This is at most a technical violation for which no remediation is warranted. The Petitioner may submit a new petition if she wishes to challenge the content of the response.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB35 07/31/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Office of the Governor

Written on: July 31st, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Office of the Governor (OGov) effectively denied his request for the governor’s calendar by providing printouts of the public schedule available on the OGov website. OGov subsequently provided a more detailed calendar with redactions. HELD: Because the more detailed calendar was provided, the issue was determined to be moot.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB34 07/28/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Dorsey Fiske re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Trustees of the New Castle Commons

Written on: July 31st, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner requested that this office determine whether the Trustees of the New Castle Common is a public body subject to FOIA’s requirements. The Trustees contended that it is not a public body and thus not required to follow FOIA’s requirements. HELD: Based on the application of the two-part test laid out in FOIA- 1) that the Trustees was created by, and later had its authority modified by, the General Assembly and 2) that the Trustees administer funds for public use- the Trustees are determined to be a public body subject to FOIA.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB33 07/26/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Kenneth Kristl re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Written on: July 26th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (“DNREC”) violated FOIA by taking so long to provide a response to their client’s request after payment was received. HELD: DNREC did not provide sufficient evidence of having complied with FOIA’s requirements of response to a request that permits certain explanations of why and how much more time is needed to fulfill that request. However, no remediation is recommended because the Petitioner’s client has since received a response.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB32 07/25/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Courtney French re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington

Written on: July 25th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the City of Wilmington violated FOIA by denying access to the following parking ticket data: license number, state, vehicle make, vehicle color, officer name, officer badge number, and the date the ticket was paid. HELD: The City did not violate FOIA by denying vehicle license numbers, which are protected by the common law right of privacy, or officer names, which would require inputting new information into the database and thus creating a new record which FOIA does not require. However, the City did violate FOIA by failing to provide the data regarding the state, vehicle make, vehicle color, officer badge number, and date ticket was paid, which would only require exporting existing data. Further, the City may be able to recoup costs incurred for the export to be completed. This office recommends as remediation that recommend that the City provide this information, or an itemized written cost estimate pursuant to 29 Del. C. §§ 10003(m)(2) and (5), within fifteen (15) business days of this determination.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB31 07/24/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Christine Wembly re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Delaware Technical Community College

Written on: July 24th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

On June 8, 2017, Petitioner alleged that Delaware Technical Community College violated FOIA with respect to an October 24, 2016 meeting. This office declined to consider the allegation because it is our practice to not consider such allegations regarding events more than 6 months prior in keeping with the statute of limitations followed by the Courts.

On June 13, Petitioner alleged that the Board of Trustees violated FOIA by using the agenda heading “New Business” in its June 19, 2017 meeting agenda and that the Board of Trustees and the Personnel Committee violated FOIA by using the language “Personnel and Legal” in their June 19, 2017 meeting agendas as the bases for their respective executive session discussions. HELD: The Board’s use of “New Business” rather than a more specific explanation in the agenda for the recognition of a long-serving employee did not violate FOIA because employee recognition is not a “major issue” as contemplated by FOIA. The Board’s and Personnel Committee’s use of “Personnel and Legal” also did not violate FOIA because the Delaware Chancery Court has upheld the use of that language as long as it is not used to encompass a number of the reasons an executive session may be held. There is no evidence in the record that the language was so used.

On June 17, Petitioner alleged that the Finance Committee violated FOIA by by using the agenda heading “Other Business” in its June 19, 2017 meeting agenda. HELD: We conclude that the use of “Other Business” as a heading does not per se violate FOIA for similar reasons used to determine that “New Business” does not.


Read More

10001-declarations

17-IB30 07/24/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Joseph Stinson re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Wilmington Police Department

Written on: July 24th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Wilmington Police Department (“WPD”) had not responded to his FOIA request within 15 business days. WPD acknowledged not meeting the deadline. HELD: WPD violated FOIA, but no remediation was necessary as WPD has since responded to the request.


Read More



+