Attorney General's Seal
Attorney General's Opinions


Attorney General Matt Denn


          

17-IB06 03/21/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Delaware State Police

Written on: March 21st, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Delaware State Police violated FOIA by improperly redacting purchase orders. HELD: Consistent with this office’s March 4, 2016 opinion regarding the same records, we request that DSP review the redactions and either provide Petitioner copies without the redactions of that information or provide the bases for such redactions. Petitioner also alleged that the scope of DSP’s search for requested records was insufficient. HELD: Consistent with this office’s March 4, 2016 opinion, no FOIA violation has been found.


Read More

17-IB05 03/10/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Karl Baker re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Written on: March 10th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) denied his request for emails to and from the Officer of the Governor and DNREC Secretary and Assistant Secretary referencing a possible violation of a DNREC Secretary order. HELD: Because the records sought relate to an investigation, the records are exempt from FOIA’s definition of “public record.” As such, DNREC did not violate FOIA by denying the Petitioner’s request.


Read More

17-IB04 03/08/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Patricia McCune re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Town of Middletown

Written on: March 8th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Town of Middletown violated FOIA by not answering questions regarding the source of certain funds paid out by the Town and by not providing certain records relating to a 2002 real estate transaction. HELD: FOIA does not require a public body to respond to questions. Moreover, the Town performed an adequate search of its own records and there is no evidence to suggest that an existing third party has possession of responsive records over which the Town has control. The Town therefore did not violate FOIA as alleged.


Read More

17-IB03 02/15/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. James Dawson re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Delaware Technical & Community College

Written on: February 15th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that Delaware Technical & Community College violated FOIA by not basing the estimate of the cost to fulfill his request on the pay rate of the lowest-paid employees capable of performing the work. HELD: There was no FOIA violation. The College provided evidence through a sworn affidavit that the employees whose pay rates were used to develop the estimate are the lowest-paid ones capable of doing the necessary work within their information security protocols.


Read More

17-IB01 02/03/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase and Ms. Jessica Reyes re: FOIA Complaint Concerning The City of Dover

Written on: February 8th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioners alleged that the City of Dover’s denial of their request for a copy of a settlement agreement entered into by the City violated FOIA. HELD: The City has constructive possession of or administrative control over the settlement agreement and the confidentiality agreement does not bar disclosure. We conclude that the City violated FOIA by denying the Requests and request its insurer to provide Petitioners with the Release and Settlement Agreement within fifteen business days of this determination.


Read More

17-IB02 02/08/2017 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Wells re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Red Clay Consolidated School District

Written on: February 8th, 2017 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged on five occasions that Red Clay Consolidated School District violated FOIA by failing to respond to his requests records in a time and manner as prescribed by FOIA. HELD: We find that the District violated FOIA repeatedly, as alleged in each of the Petitions, by failing to respond to Petitioner’s requests in the manner and time prescribed by FOIA. The only exception to this finding is with respect to his request for 2016-2017 choice records, which were not available when requested. No specific remediation is recommended because the Petitioner did receive the records after the deadlines had passed. However, the District is encouraged to consult the statute and other materials available on FOIA compliance.


Read More

16-IB27 12/22/2016 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Frank Cannon re: FOIA Complaint Concerning City of Seaford

Written on: December 22nd, 2016 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

In May 2016, Petitioner alleged that the City had not given timely notice of their April 4, 2016 meeting. HELD: The City violated FOIA by providing five days’ public notice instead of the required seven.

In June 2016, the Petitioner alleged that the City’s Electric Committee failed to provide public notice of their May 16, 2016 meeting and the Economic Development Committee failed to post notice of their March 22, 2016 meeting. HELD: These committees are public bodies and these meetings were each attended by a quorum of members. Thus the City violated FOIA by not noticing these meetings. However, the City has agreed that future activities of these bodies will comply with FOIA.

In July 2016, Petitioner alleged that the City held meetings closed to the public between May 17, 2016 and June 14, 2016 in order to finalize and balance the fiscal year 2017 budget. HELD: There is insufficient evidence to support the allegation. No FOIA violation was found.

In November 2016, Petitioner alleged that the Electric Committee failed to publicly post or publish the minutes of its August 3, 2016 meeting and that sometime in the summer of 2016, the Council held meetings closed to the public. HELD: The City Council and the Electric Committee are required only to make minutes available to the public for review, which they were several days later. There is insufficient evidence to support the second allegation. Thus no FOIA violation was found in regard to either allegation.


Read More

16-IB26 12/13/2016 FOIA Opinion Letter to Rep. Paul Baumbach, Rep. John Kowalko, Jr., Rep. Ed Osienski, Sen. Karen Peterson, Sen. David Sokola, and Sen. Bryan Townsend re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the University of Delaware Board of Trustees

Written on: December 13th, 2016 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioners alleged that the University of Delaware Board of Trustees (the “Board”) violated the open meetings provisions of FOIA by not adequately describing in the agenda for a May 17, 2016 meeting a bylaws change which the Board expected to discuss. HELD: The Board violated FOIA by failing to include proposed revisions to Article 3 of the University’s bylaws – a major issue expected to be discussed – in its agenda for its May 17, 2016 meeting. Because the Board has indicated an intent to reconsider the issue and ratify the vote at its December 13, 2016 meeting, the Department of Justice requests no further remediation. The Department of Justice nonetheless requests that the Board engage in meaningful public discussion on the matter prior to its December 13, 2016 vote.


Read More

16-IB25 12/13/2016 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Laura Nash and Ms. Jackie Hildebrand Kook re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Christina School District Board of Education

Written on: December 13th, 2016 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioners alleged that the Christina School District Board of Education (the “Board”) had violated the open meetings provisions of FOIA by discussing items in executive session that are required to be publicly discussed. HELD: The Board violated FOIA by convening an executive session to discuss interview questions and next steps in the search process for the Christina School District Superintendent Position. To remediate this violation, the Department of Justice requests that the Board discuss the matters anew at its December 13, 2016 board meeting.discussed in executive session at the December 13, 2016 board meeting.


Read More

16-IB24 11/17/2016 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Michael Heyman re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Newark Planning Commission

Written on: November 17th, 2016 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that notice of a meeting of the Newark Planning Commission was insufficient based on its placement along a roadway. HELD: No FOIA violation was found. The Commission complied with the FOIA’s requirement of “conspicuous posting” at their primary place of business, which is also where the meeting was held. It also made multiple notices of the meeting available through online and print means.


Read More



Navigation



Adjust Your Font Size


Make Text Size Smaler Reset Text Size Make Text Size Bigger




+