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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  April 2002

02-IB10: FOIA Complaint Against Christina School District

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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02-IB08: FOIA Complaint Against Sussex County

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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02-IB09: FOIA/Middletown

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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