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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  November 1999

99-IB14 RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Elsmere

The Complainant alleged that the Town of Elsmere had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by refusing to permit him to review documents in a police complaint file regarding an unregistered motor vehicle parked in Complainant’s driveway. The Town argued that the “investigative file” exception to FOIA exempted the documents from disclosure. Held: Relying on case law in the Court of Chancery, the opinion held that the “investigative file” exception to FOIA applies even after a file is closed, and especially with respect to cases where no criminal charges are filed. The records requested were therefore not “public records” within the meaning of FOIA, and no violation occurred.

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