Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

10-IB04 RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Christina School District

Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 10-IB04 (Del.A.G.), 2010 WL 1818073
Office of the Attorney General
State of Delaware
Opinion No. 10-IB04
April 14, 2010
RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Christina School District
*1 Ms. Elizabeth Scheinberg
1 Boca Court
Newark, DE 19702
Mr. John M. Young
109 Cypress Dr.
Newark, DE 19713
Dear Ms. Scheinberg and Mr. Young:
On March 11, 2010, the Delaware Department of Justice (“DDOJ”) received your complaint alleging that the Christina School District Board of Education (“the Board”) violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by conducting a meeting on March 6, 2010 that was not properly noticed and failing to keep minutes of “Agenda Preparation Meetings” held by the Board on the Monday before the Board’s regularly scheduled monthly public meeting. On March 12, 2010, the DDOJ forwarded your complaint to the Board, which promptly requested an extension of time in which to respond. We received its response on April 1, 2010.
In its response, the Board admits that the posted notice of the March 6 meeting did not include an agenda, as required by 29 Del. C. § 10004(e)(2), and commits to posting agendas for all Board meetings in the future. It also admits that it has not been keeping minutes of its agenda preparation meetings, as required by 29 Del. C. § 10004(f), and represents that it will do so in the future. Because the Board meetings in question were all open to the public and were, in fact, attended by members of the public, and because no votes were taken at any of the meetings, there is no reason to require a remedial meeting of the Board. However, it appears from the Board’s response to your complaint that the Board may be misconstruing FOIA’s definition of a public meeting, which is not limited to meetings where “action is taken by the Board.” We caution the Board to apply the requirements of FOIA to all meetings of a quorum, even when the Board meets informally to discuss public business. 29 Del. C. § 10002(b).
Judy Oken Hodas
Deputy Attorney General
Lawrence W. Lewis
State Solicitor
Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 10-IB04 (Del.A.G.), 2010 WL 1818073

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