19-IB60 10/28/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Holly Kirkland re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Petitioner alleged that DNREC’s FOIA Coordinator violated FOIA by failing to provide adequate assistance by not responding to questions emailed on September 10, 2019 email and that the cost estimate was flawed because DNREC could use lower-paid employees to perform the search of electronic records; the nature of the work required was not included; and DNREC did not provide proof that it excluded fees necessary to perform a legal review of the responsive records.
No FOIA violation was found. DNREC’s failure to respond to the petitioner’s inquiries in these circumstances do not rise to the level of a FOIA violation. Based upon DNREC’s sworn affidavit and the representations made in response, this Office did not find a FOIA violation in DNREC’s preparation of this cost estimate.
19-IB59 10/28/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Robert Lynch re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Sussex County
Petitioner alleged spouse’s FOIA requests were improperly denied.
DECIDED: This Office declined to address the merits of the petition; only the individual whose request was denied has standing to file a petition to challenge that denial.Read More
19-IB58 10/24/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Dion Wilson re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington
Petitioner alleged that the Wilmington City Council violated FOIA by prohibiting him from providing public comment at a public meeting. The City argued that the public comment period, which is a separate session preceding the Council meeting, is not subject to FOIA’s open meetings provisions and further argued that Petitioner’s conduct justified excluding him from participation.
DECIDED: The public comment period is subject to FOIA’s open meeting requirements, and it was determined that the City violated FOIA by barring the petitioner from speaking in these circumstances.Read More
19-IB57 10/24/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Daniel Kramer re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Sussex County Council
Petitioner alleged that Sussex County Council did not notice a meeting a full seven days in advance because the notice was posted after business hours one week before the meeting and further alleged that the Council did not provide a reason for amendments to the agenda.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.Read More
19-IB56 10/1/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly withheld documents received from the US Air Force, claiming such records fell under the exemptions for investigatory files and the common law right of privacy.
DECIDED: This Office determined that DNREC did not meet its factual burden demonstrating that the investigatory file exemption is applicable to the records requested and that DNREC violated FOIA by declining to produce the records on this basis. This Office recommended DNREC, within fifteen business days of the date of this Opinion, produce a supplemental response to Petitioner’s FOIA request.