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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  February 2005

05-IB05: RE: F.O.I.A.Complaint Against Town of Frederica

The Complainant alleged the Town violated FOIA by holding an emergency meeting with only 24 hours notice, with “City Solicitor” being the only agenda item, at which it discussed and fired the City Solicitor. Held: the Town did violate FOIA because there was no showing of exigent circumstances or compelling need to hold the meeting without the required 7 days notice for a regular meeting. The notice was also deficient because listing “Town Solicitor” in the agenda was not “sufficient to inform the public that the Council would consider and vote on firing the Town’s legal counsel.” The Town did not violate FOIA for failing to invite all of the Council members to the meeting, as FOIA requires notice to the general public, not to individual members of the public body.

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05-IB04: RE: Freedom of Information Complaint Against City of New Castle

The Complainant alleged the City Council violated FOIA by holding meetings in locations other than those previously used, without inviting the usual minute take or recording the meetings. Held: the meetings were properly noticed and advertised and minutes were prepared, thus, there was no violation of FOIA.

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05-IB03: Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint

The Complainant alleged a town council member violated FOIA by holding a series of personal meetings with four different members of the council (five members constituted a quorum) without public notice which resulted in a letter produced on Town stationary regarding the result of the conversations. Held: this violated FOIA because the meetings were determined to be more than “the passive receipt of information” and the sum of these communications (the letter signed by the council members) amounted to a meeting of a public body covered by FOIA and as such the lack of public notice constituted a violation of FOIA. An additional compliant was not a violation because the public workshop was rescheduled and proper notice was given prior to it being held.

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