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  Category: 10001 Declaration of Policy

Attorney General Kathy Jennings


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10001-declarations

19-IB24 4/29/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Christina Jedra re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of State

Written on: May 1st, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

This Office was asked to determine whether the Department of State appropriately denied a request for an unredacted copy of video showing an inmate’s death that was previously shown in a public disciplinary hearing of a nurse.

DECIDED: The Department of State’s denial violated FOIA because the privacy rights invoked by the Department are not entitled to protection under 29 Del. C. 10002(l)(6) and 29 Del. C. 10002(l)4).


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19-IB23 4/26/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Christina Jedra re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Correction

Written on: April 30th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

This Office was asked to determine whether the Delaware Department of Correction improperly denied Petitioner’s request for quality assurance audits conducted by DOC.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found, as the records were statutorily prohibited from disclosure under 29 Del. C. 10002(l)(6). The quality assurance audits in DOC’s possession constitute peer review materials, which are statutorily exempt from FOIA under 24 Del. C. § 1768 , and DOC attested that it did not create its own quality assurance audits.


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19-IB22 4/26/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Jeanne Kuang re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Transportation

Written on: April 30th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner challenged the Delaware Department of Transportation’s denial of their request for data from the Crash Analysis Reporting System (CARS) database.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. This Office found that the data was exempt from FOIA under 29 Del. C. 10002(l)(6) and 10002(l)(3).


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19-IB21 4/23/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Mark Betchkal re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Rehoboth Beach

Written on: April 30th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

This Office was asked to determine whether the City of Rehoboth appropriately denied a records request for the agenda and minutes for two City meetings.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The meeting attendees did not constitute a meeting of a public body nor did the meetings include a quorum of any existing public body. Thus, the City properly denied the request for records that did not exist, nor were these records required by FOIA to be created.


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19-IB20 4/15/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Wells re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Auditor of Accounts

Written on: April 16th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Delaware Auditor of Accounts did not respond to their FOIA request within 15 business days in the manner required by FOIA.

DECIDED: As AOA provided a response, the matter was found to be moot.


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19-IB19 4/3/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Fleur McKendell re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Written on: April 16th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security did not respond to their FOIA request within 15 business days in the manner required by FOIA.

DECIDED: As DSHS provided a response, the matter was found to be moot.


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19-IB18 4/2/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Christopher Teacher re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Correction

Written on: April 4th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that DOC improperly denied their request for presentence investigations of sixteen inmates who had been executed by the State of Delaware. DOC responded that investigatory files are exempt from FOIA and that another statute specifically prohibited releasing the records to anyone but specified agencies without a qualifying order.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found as the records are exempt from the definition of public record as investigatory files and as records statutorily prohibited from public disclosure.


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19-IB17 3/25/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Jeffrey Smith re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Dewey Beach

Written on: April 4th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner made a number of allegations that Dewey Beach violated the open meetings provisions of FOIA with regard to the Mayor’s reference to a FOIA request Petitioner filed, raising the following three questions for consideration: 1) whether the individuals asked by the Mayor to “look into that FOIA” violated open meeting requirements; 2) whether the agenda provided sufficient notice of the Mayor’s announcement with respect to this request; and 3) whether the Town Council improperly discussed the FOIA matter in executive session.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. This Office found no evidence that the individuals asked to look into the FOIA request met or planned to meet. In addition, this Office further found that this topic was not a “major issue to be discussed” that must be included on an agenda because Council did not consider or discuss the substance of this topic and that a preliminary request for research or review of a matter of public business does not constitute a “major issue to be discussed.” Also, the Town’s attorney confirmed that the FOIA matter was not discussed in the executive session.


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19-IB16 3/22/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Doug Spelman and Mr. John Hurlock re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Lewes

Written on: April 4th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

This Office was asked to determine whether the City of Lewes improperly cited to two exemptions for executive session: 1) documents protected by the FOIA records provisions; and 2) potential litigation. The City responded that the agenda item was sufficient, but the issue was moot as no action was taken. The City further argued the executive session was proper because they discussed documents subject to attorney-client privilege and protected as attorney work product.

DECIDED: This Office found that the City violated FOIA because a discussion of attorney-client privileged or work production materials was an insufficient reason for the executive session. The City must meet the standards of 29 Del. C. 10004(b)(4). However, because the FOIA petition constituted pending litigation and the discussions related thereto would adversely affect the City’s litigation position, this Office found that executive session was proper for that purpose. Thus, the citation to the other improper purpose was determined to be a technical violation for which no remediation was recommended.


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19-IB15 3/20/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Peter Kostyshyn re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington

Written on: April 4th, 2019 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that they did not receive 20 free pages when the City of Wilmington responded to their FOIA request with an estimate of the cost to fulfill it.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The City properly provided an estimate to fulfill the entire request, and that estimate allowed 20 free pages.


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