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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  February 2000

00-IB05: FOIA Complaint Against Red Clay Consolidated School District

The Complainant alleged that the Red Clay Consolidated School District had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) at a meeting in November 1998, and again by failing to provide executive session minutes for a December 16, 1998 executive session. The district responded by arguing that the complaint was time-barred and, in any event, it had provided the Complainant with a copy of the executive session minutes in question. Held: The request for executive session meeting minutes was moot. As for the complaint about the November 1998 meeting, FOIA requires a citizen to complain about a violation of its terms within 60 days of it learning of such action, and in no event later than 6 months after the action. In light of the fact that more than six months had passed since the meeting in question, no further action was taken on the complaint.

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00-IB03: FOIA Complaints Against Brandywine School District

The Complainant alleged that the Brandywine School District had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by (i) charging him for access to public records; and (ii) failing to provide him with communications from the Delaware Department of Justice office to the district pertaining to an audit investigation of the district being performed by the Delaware Department of Justice. The district responded by agreeing not to charge the Complainant for the response, and by claiming that any communications responsive to his request were not in its custody. Held: The district may have violated FOIA by charging for access to public records when it did not have a formal policy in place requiring it to do so. Any such violation was remedied by the district’s agreement not to charge the access fee. As for the communications requested, the district was not the custodian of the records that were being sought, and it was therefore under no obligation under FOIA to produce the documents in question.

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