19-IB33 7/1/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Peter Kostyshyn re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Insurance
Petitioner alleged that the Delaware Department of Insurance improperly responded to his request by not returning a time-stamped copy of his request and the envelope it was mailed in and by asking the Petitioner for clarification regarding their remaining requests.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. DOI asserted that it already provided a copy of the request and sent a copy in response to the Petition. FOIA requires a requester to provide sufficient information to enable a public body to locate the records with reasonable effort, and this Office determined that the remaining requests did not meet this standard. Thus, DOI did not violate FOIA by seeking clarification.
19-IB32 6/24/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Dr. Edward Montz re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Petitioner alleged that the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services improperly withheld records responsive to his request related to an infectious disease cluster at a health facility. Petitioner further alleged that only one division of DHSS, the Division of Public Health, responded to his request.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The records are exempt from FOIA under 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(1), which exempts medical information that would constitute an invasion of privacy, and under 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(6), which exempts information which is protected by other statutes, including those federal and state statutes which prohibit or restrict the release of health information.
19-IB31 6/24/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Gary Glass re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Rehoboth Beach
Petitioner alleged that the City of Rehoboth violated open meetings requirements with regard to a City Commissioners’ meeting. This Office addressed the following three issues: 1) whether the executive session was for an improper purpose, in light of your belief that the City planned to vote on a possible sale immediately following the executive session; 2) whether the open session item, described on the agenda as “discussion and consideration of vote on possible sale of City property,” gave sufficient notice to the public whether the executive session was for an improper purpose, in light of your belief that the City planned to vote on a possible sale immediately following the executive session; and 3) whether the agenda required an explanation of why a “Special Meeting” was necessary.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. First, the executive session was found to be held for a proper purpose under 29 Del. C. 10004(b)(2). Second, an open session item following a proper executive session under 29 Del. C. 10004(b)(2) is not required to identify the property specifically. Third, this Office found that the meeting was not a special meeting as defined by FOIA, so no additional explanation was required in the agenda.
19-IB30 6/20/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Kenneth Kristl re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Agriculture
Petitioner alleged that the Delaware Department of Agriculture (“DDA”) violated FOIA by not providing reasons for redacting certain information in the requested records in the response to DDA’s records request.
DECIDED: DDA failed to include the reasons for redacting portions of the provided records in its response as required by FOIA. Because DDA had since provided those reasons, no additional measures were recommended, but DDA was respectfully cautioned to state its reasons for any redactions in future responses.
19-IB29 6/7/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Ray Tomasetti re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly denied his clients’ records request pursuant to the pending or potential litigation exemption.
DECIDED: Because DNREC alleges the potential litigation would be between the two private parties and not against the public body from which records are sought or a closely affiliated person or entity, it was determined that denial of the records pursuant to the pending or potential litigation exemption violates FOIA.
19-IB28 6/5/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Sarah Mueller re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington
Petitioner alleged that the City of Wilmington delayed more than five months in providing responsive records to her FOIA request.
DECIDED: The City has since provided a response to the petitioner’s narrowed request, mooting the petition.
19-IB27 5/29/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Wells re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Auditor of Accounts
Petitioner alleged that a 2019 report to be provided on a website by the Auditor of Accounts when complete would not be responsive to his request for records because the Petitioner did not believe that this 2019 report would meet certain statutory parameters. The Petitioner’s allegation was based on his review of the 2018 report that the Auditor of Accounts cited.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The Auditor of Accounts denies having any other responsive records, and this Office does not have the authority to determine whether any law other than FOIA has been violated through the FOIA petition process.
19-IB26 5/28/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Darya Marchenkova re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Correction
Petitioner alleged that the Department of Correction improperly denied her request for information on pre-trial detainees.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The information requested is exempt from FOIA under 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(6) which exempts any records prohibited from disclosure by statute. In these circumstances, it was determined that 11 Del. C. § 4322(a) and 11 Del. C. § 8513(d) precluded disclosure of the requested records.
19-IB25 5/10/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Christina Jedra re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Correction
Petitioner challenged the timeliness of the Department of Correction’s response to its FOIA request for certain emails, alleging that DOC’s good faith estimate and cost estimate for completing the request were not provided within fifteen business days.
DECIDED: As Petitioner received a response to her FOIA request since filing the Petition, the Petition’s allegations were determined to be moot.
19-IB24 4/29/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Christina Jedra re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of State
This Office was asked to determine whether the Department of State appropriately denied a request for an unredacted copy of video showing an inmate’s death that was previously shown in a public disciplinary hearing of a nurse.
DECIDED: The Department of State’s denial violated FOIA because the privacy rights invoked by the Department are not entitled to protection under 29 Del. C. 10002(l)(6) and 29 Del. C. 10002(l)4).