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Attorney General Kathy Jennings


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10001-declarations

02-IB21: FOIA Complaints Against Town of Fenwick Island

Written on: August 30th, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Town of Fenwick Island (“the Town”) violated FOIA by failing to remediate previous FOIA violations. Held: the Town did not violate the open meeting requirements of FOIA at the June 28, 2002 meeting, and that the Town has satisfied our directives to remediate the FOIA violations that occurred at meetings earlier this year.


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10001-declarations

02-IB18 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Laurel

Written on: August 19th, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

The Complainant alleged that the Town of Laurel (“the Town”) violated FOIA by not providing access to public records he requested. Specifically, he alleged that by letter dated July 12, 2002 he asked for but did not receive a copy of “an annexation report” and the Town’s “2002 Comprehensive Development Plan.” Held: the Town did not violate the public records requirements of FOIA because it provided Complainant with a copy of the annexation report on August 6, 2002.


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02-IB19 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Joint School Boards of New Castle County

Written on: August 19th, 2002 in 10002(h) Public Body

The Complainant alleged that the joint school boards of New Castle County (“Joint Board”) “consists of representatives of each of the public school boards in New Castle County” and that it is a public body covered by FOIA because it “functions on public funds and does, at least indirectly, influence public policy.” Held: the Joint Board is a “public body” for purposes of FOIA and subject to all of the requirements of the open meeting laws. The school boards were directed to notice these meetings to the public in the future in the same manner as they would a meeting of the individual school board under FOIA and to maintain minutes of the joint meetings.


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10001-declarations

02-IB17 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Capital School District Board of Education

Written on: August 6th, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

The Complainant alleged that the Capital School District Board of Education (“the Board”) violated FOIA by: (1) not providing access to public records you requested; and (2) meeting to interview applicants for a new superintendent without notice to the public. Held: the School Board did not violate the public records requirements of FOIA but the School Board violated the open meeting requirements of FOIA by: (1) meeting in executive sessions on October 2 and 17, 2002 for a purpose not authorized by statute; (2) meeting in executive sessions on March 2 and 6, 2002 for a purpose not authorized by statute; (3) by meeting on March 8, 9, and 10, 2002 without posting public notices and agendas and without maintaining minutes of those meetings; (4) meeting in executive session on April 11, 2002 for a purpose not authorized by statute; and (5) meeting in executive session on April 16, 2002 for a purpose not authorized by statute.


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02-IB16 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against New Castle County

Written on: July 30th, 2002 in 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law

The Complainant alleged that New Castle County (“the County”) violated FOIA by not providing a letter of engagement between the County and the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. Held: Based on an in camera review of the documents, each of them is exempt from disclosure under FOIA either by attorney-client privilege or work product immunity.


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02-IB12: Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Fenwick Island Town Council

Written on: May 21st, 2002 in 10002(a) Agenda10002(l) (9) Exemptions - Pending or Potential Litigation

Complainant alleged that the Town of Fenwick Island (“the Town”) violated FOIA by: (1) failing to give the public notice of its intent to go into executive session at a meeting on February 8, 2002; (2) improperly entering into executive session at that meeting to discuss pay raises for police officers; (3) failing to give adequate notice to the public that it would go into executive session at a meeting on February 22, 2002; (4) improperly entering into executive session at that meeting to discuss police department problems; (5) failing to give adequate notice to the public of its intent to go into executive session at a meeting on March 16, 2002; (6) impermissibly entering into executive session at that meeting to discuss personnel and legal problems involving the police department; and (7) not providing you with copies of the minutes of executive sessions. Held: the Council violated the open meeting requirements of FOIA when it went into executive session to discuss matters of public business at its meetings on February 8, February 22, and March 16, 2002. The Council violated the agenda requirements of FOIA by amending the agenda just prior to the meeting on March 16, 2002, and without stating the reason for the delay. Finally, the Council violated the public records requirements of FOIA by denying access to the minutes of executive sessions which were not authorized by law.


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10001-declarations

02-IB10: FOIA Complaint Against Christina School District

Written on: April 24th, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

The Complainant alleged that the Christina School District (“the District”) violated FOIA by not providing reasonable access to public records. Specifically, the School District did not provide accounting and other information requested, and the School District’s procedures for processing FOIA requests are “designed to impede the public’s access to documents.” Held: the School District must make available for inspection and copying any rulings or decisions or orders by an administrative body issued during the years 1999, 2000, and 2001 which require the School District to expend monies. Also, in order to charge for the costs of retrieving computerized data, the School District must amend its written rules and regulations to provide for a reasonable schedule of costs. In all other respects, we determine that the School District did not violate the public records requirements of FOIA.


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10001-declarations

02-IB08: FOIA Complaint Against Sussex County

Written on: April 4th, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

The Complainant alleged that Sussex County (“the County”) violated FOIA by discussing and developing a redistricting ordinance in meetings that were not open to the public. Held: the meetings between the County Attorney and others to discuss re-districting were not subject to FOIA because they were part of “an unstructured arrangement” in which the County Attorney sought “advice from what is only a collection of individuals who [did] not significantly interact with each other.” Association of American Physicians, 997 F.2d at 914


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10001-declarations

02-IB09: FOIA/Middletown

Written on: April 4th, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Town of Middletown (“the Town”) violated FOIA by denying citizens reasonable access to meetings to discuss a proposed Wal-Mart site plan. Held: if a public body has reason to know that a large number of citizens is likely to attend a meeting, then FOIA requires the public body to find another, larger place for the meeting. Alternatively, in the event of an overflow, a public body should consider adjourning the meeting to another time at a facility that can accommodate all of the interested citizens.


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10001-declarations

02-IB07: FOIA Complaint Against Sussex County Council

Written on: March 22nd, 2002 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

The Complainant alleged that Sussex County (“the County”) violated FOIA by failing to prepare minutes of a meeting on December 11, 2001. Held: the Council violated the open meeting requirements of FOIA by not preparing minutes of the luncheon between the Council and representatives of the Land Trust on December 11, 2001.


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