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96-IB21: FOIA-Wilmington Housing Authority

Written on: June 11th, 1996 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Civil Division – New Castle County
June 11, 1996

Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 96-IB21 (Del.A.G.), 1996 WL 345864

(holding that a FOIA complaint is moot where the public body has complied with the document request)
Ms. Maureen F. Bowser

815 W. 22nd Street

Wilmington, DE 19802
RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint – 29 Del. C. §10005(e)

Wilmington Housing Authority

Dear Ms. Bowser:
This is a determination of your complaint under the Delaware Freedom of Information Act (“the Act”) against the Wilmington Housing Authority (“WHA”). For the reasons which follow, we conclude that your complaint is moot.

On May 2, 1996, this Office received your complaint which alleged that you were unable to obtain documents from WHA with regard to a plan to establish elderly housing within WHA’s properties.(1) On May 8, 1996, this office sent a copy of the complaint to Mr. Charles H. Smith, Jr., Executive Director of WHA, for a response according to the terms of 29 Del. C. §10005(e). On May 16, 1996, this office received a copy of a response by Mr. Smith to Ms. Bowser which purported to contain the following:

1. All public records relating to a task force for the establishment of elderly and/or disabled individuals in properties owned or operated by WHA; and

2. All public records relating to any plan or study developed by WHA or any task force established by WHA concerning elderly and/or disabled individuals and properties owned or operated by WHA.

In view of WHA’s voluntary production of the relevant documents requested by Ms. Bowser, we conclude that the complaint is moot and it is unnecessary to determine whether a violation of the Act has occurred or is about to occur under 29 Del. C. §10005(e).

Thank you for your courtesy and cooperation with respect to this matter. If you require any further assistance from our office, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Very truly yours,
Lawrence W. Lewis

Deputy Attorney General
Michael J. Rich

State Solicitor
cc: Charles H. Smith, Jr., PHM, Executive Director, WHA

Elizabeth Bacon, Opinion Administrator

1. Since the complainant is alleging that she was unable to obtain documents, the complaint alleges a continuing violation of the Act.