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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  December 2020

20-IB33 12/18/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. William Paskey re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Petitioner alleged DSHS violated FOIA by not timely responding to his request for records. DSHS advised Petitioner on the date of his request that the request had been sent for legal review and DSHS would respond within 15 business days, but DSHS failed to do so and did not respond to Petitioner’s follow-up correspondence.

DECIDED: The petition was determined to be moot, as DSHS provided the requested records while the petition was pending. However, DSHS’s immediate citation of a need for legal advice and failure to respond until the petition was filed, despite the petitioner’s follow-up, violate the spirit of FOIA. DSHS was cautioned to invoke extensions for additional time to respond to requests only when needed and to timely communicate regarding requests in the future.

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20-IB32 12/14/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Sam Chick re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Transportation

Petitioner alleged DelDOT improperly withheld certain records because DelDOT’s produced records indicated an exchange of text messages on a private cell phone occurred and those text messages were not included with the production. In addition, Petitioner argued that DelDOT failed to provide any records related to the Office of the Governor.

DECIDED: As DelDOT’s counsel indicated no additional responsive records were located, no FOIA violation was found.

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20-IB31 12/11/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers

Petitioner alleged DAPE improperly planned to discuss financial data in executive session per its published agenda.

DECIDED: This Office accepted the representation that financial data was not discussed in executive session and its inclusion on the agenda was an error. This error was a technical violation of FOIA for which no remediation was necessary.

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20-IB30 12/7/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Amy McFalls re: FOIA Complaint Concerning New Castle County

Petitioner alleged that the New Castle County Division of Police improperly denied a request for a copy of an arrest warrant. In response, the County provided an affidavit of its FOIA Coordinator asserting that the County did not have the requested records within its possession or custody.

DECIDED: As the County demonstrated it had no responsive records, no FOIA violation was found.

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20-IB29 12/2/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Young re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Christina School District Board of Education

Petitioner alleged that the Christina School District Board of Directors selected and negotiated terms of employment with a candidate for superintendent out of public view and a meeting’s agenda item, “Board Action on Superintendent Search,” was insufficient to meet the agenda items.

DECIDED: The Board violated FOIA by not noticing and preparing minutes of the meetings of the two Board members, who constituted a Board committee subject to FOIA. No FOIA violation was found relating to allegation about the agenda, because the agenda item provided adequate public notice of the Board’s action.

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