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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  April 2000

00-IB07 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaints Against Woodbridge School District

The Complainants alleged that the Woodbridge School District had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) in a number of ways while considering how to respond to a failed referendum. Held: (1) A three-member committee of the district’s school board was a “public body” within the meaning of FOIA and it violated FOIA by failing to provide adequate notice of its intention to meet and the subject of its planned meeting, and the district’s defense that it was not required to give notice because no “formal action” was taken at the meeting was rejected; (2) the district’s last-minute change to an agenda for a meeting on March 21, 2000 to include consideration of a potential second referendum violated the seven-day notice requirements of FOIA and did not arise during the course of the meeting; (3) even though no complaint was filed, the Attorney General concluded that a separate FOIA violation occurred in connection with the agenda for a later, April 17, 2000 meeting of the district board; and (4) the district’s response to the complaint, which included the setting of a new meeting to consider the relevant issues and providing adequate notice, complied with the requirements of FOIA. Given the newly-scheduled and adequately-noticed upcoming special meeting, no additional remedies were deemed required at that time.

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