Written on: July 15th, 2010 in 10002(l) (9) Exemptions - Pending or Potential Litigation
Complainant asserts DSU violated FOIA open records requirements by refusing to provide records relating to two collective bargaining complaints filed by DSU’s Union at the Delaware Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB”) on the basis of “pending or potential litigation” and no responsive documents. HELD: DSU violated FOIA because PERB does not create a clear right to the pending litigation exception. DSU did not violate FOIA for other parts of the request where no documents are available.
Written on: June 14th, 2010 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
Complainant asserts Town violated FOIA by charging an excessive amount for town related emails that were on the Mayor’s home computer. The Town informed Complainant that it would charge $1,875 for a contractor to retrieve the documents because the Town did not have an employee who could provide this service. HELD: Town did not overcharge for the FOIA request. Public body may choose to employ services of a private contractor to respond to FOIA requests so long as decision to do so is reasonable.
Written on: April 14th, 2010 in 10002(g) Meeting
Complainant asserts that District failed to post agenda for meeting and to keep meeting minutes. District agreed that no agenda was posted and no minutes were taken. District committed to posting agendas and keeping minutes going forward.
Written on: March 10th, 2010 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
Complainant asserts that town violated FOIA open meetings requirements related to (1) adequacy of notice of executive session on agenda; 92) exclusion of town manager from executive session and (3) whether matters discussed were appropriate for executive session. The agenda listed “Executive Session to Discuss Contract and Personnel Issues.” Complainant asserts that he believed the executive session topic related to the town manager employment contract. However, the executive session related to the Chief of Police contract. Agenda does not have to give full explanation of topics or names when confidential personnel matters will be discussed. HELD: Notice was adequate, employment contract negotiation matters are appropriate subject for executive session and FOIA does not address whether Counsel can exclude town manager from executive session.
Written on: January 25th, 2010 in 10001 Declaration of Policy, 10002(g) Meeting, 10004(b)(1) Executive Session Job Qualifications, 10004(b)(4) Executive Session Collective Bargaining/Litigation, 10004(c) Requirements to Meet in Executive Session, 10004(e)(2) Notice Requirements for Regular Meetings
Complainant asserts that Town violated FOIA open meetings requirements when it held executive session to discuss subdivision applications. Town’s agenda properly posted and noticed the executive session but did not state the purpose. Town asserted that executive session was for purpose of receiving legal advice. After going into executive session and receiving legal advice, the Council discussed the applications for about an hour and voted on the applications before coming out of executive session. They re-voted at the public continued public meeting. Meeting minutes did not reflect legal advice. HELD: Executive Session was held for the proper purpose of receiving legal advice. However, Council violated FOIA by not listing the purpose of the executive session on the agenda, discussing applications during executive session and not properly reflecting legal advice in minutes.
Written on: January 22nd, 2010 in 10002(l) (9) Exemptions - Pending or Potential Litigation
Complainant asserts City violated FOIA’s open records requirements by denying FOIA request for documents relating to the City Water Department on the basis of “potential litigation.” City asserted that conversations with Complainant made City believe Complainant would file suit against the City as the documents are released. City provided no other reasons for FOIA denial. HELD: City violated FOIA because they provided no evidence of a “realistic and tangible threat of litigation” characterized by objective factors in support of the FOIA denial.