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Attorney General Kathy Jennings

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  Archived Posts From: 1997


97-IB07: FOIA Complaint Against Colonial School District

Written on: March 26th, 1997 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Colonial School District violated FOIA’s public records provisions when it failed to provide her records in the format she requested. HELD: (i) Public body not required to create records that do not exist or in the format requested by the Requesting Party and public body is not in violation of FOIA if they agree to provide access to those records for copying and inspection; and (ii) state laws readily available to the public are not deemed “public records” under FOIA.

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97-IB06: FOIA Complaint Against Appoquinimink School District

Written on: March 17th, 1997 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Appoquinimink School District violated the open records requirements of FOIA by not allowing reasonable access to public records. HELD: Computer generated records are “public records” for purposes of FOIA and are not exempt for disclosure. Any hard-copy documents which form the basis of the reports are also disclosable public records. Even though producing public records may be burdensome, it is not a valid reason, under FOIA, for not producing all the public records requested.

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97-IB05 RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Laurel

Written on: March 4th, 1997 in 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law10002(l) (9) Exemptions - Pending or Potential Litigation

Complainant alleged that the Town of Laurel denied his request to inspect and copy public records HELD: The Town did not violate the public records provisions of FOIA because the Town made available to complainant for inspection and copying most of the public records requested, and the documents it did not disclose are specifically exempted under FOIA because they related to pending litigation and the attorney client privilege (letters to counsel relating to a bankruptcy proceeding, letters to attorneys related to outstanding amounts due for water, sewer, trash, and real estate taxes, and a letter from counsel to a client relating to bankruptcy proceedings and sale of properties for tax delinquencies), and the common law right of privacy (parking tickets).

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