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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  September 2005

05-IB28 RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against New Castle County Council

Complainant alleges that the County Council violated the FOIA open meeting requirements by holding a “special meeting” for 7 of the 13 members of the Council to discuss a pending lawsuit with the County Attorney because a meeting of 7 members of the County Council constitutes a meeting of a ‘public body.’ The ‘Special Meeting Notice’ appears to exclude not only the public but also the remaining County Council members who are not the subject of a recently filed lawsuit.” Held: the Council did not violate the open meeting requirements when 9 members of the Council met in executive session to discuss pending litigation with the County Attorney. FOIA authorizes the Council to meet in private with the County Attorney to discuss litigation strategy because an open meeting would have had an adverse effect on the litigation position of the Council and the individual defendants.

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