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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  June 1996

96-IB23: FOIA-Sussex County Council; Planning and Zoning Board and Board of Adjustments

The Complainant alleged that the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Board violated the Freedom of Information Act by holding meetings in rooms that were too small and by noting that it would “take matters under advisement.” Held: the public bodies did not violate the Act by “taking matters under advisement” and holding meetings in places allegedly too small to allow for participation and observation by the public. The public body should clearly announce the time and place of the deliberation and vote, should advise the public that the session is open, and should announce that if the public elects not to attend the vote, that they can call the office in the morning during business hours for the decision. The procedure, although not specifically mandated by the Act, certainly complies with the spirit of §10001. When the meeting place may not be large enough to accommodate all the people who may wish to attend, the governmental unit must balance the public right of access against the burdens that providing additional public access would impose on the governmental unit.

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96-IB22: FOIA-Town Council of Millsboro

The Complainant alleged that the Millsboro Economic Development Committee and the Town Council of Millsboro held meetings in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Held: the Economic Development Committee and the Town Council provided adequate notice of each meeting, each meeting was open to the public and minutes were taken. The meetings were not in violation of FOIA.

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96-IB21: FOIA-Wilmington Housing Authority

The Complainant alleged that the Wilmington Housing Authority improperly withheld records relating to plans to establish elderly housing. The Housing Authority provided the records. Held: the complaint is moot.

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96-IB19: FOIA-Camden Town Council

The Complainant alleged that the Camden Town Council violated the Freedom of Information Act by improperly noticing a public meeting and entered into executive session during that meeting without a vote. Held: FOIA was violated when the Council did not properly notice the hearing in that the agenda failed to include certain items–primarily the executive session. The council further failed to properly enter into that executive session in accordance with section 10004(c), and failed to prepare and maintain the minutes of that executive session.

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