20-IB09 2/27/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. James Owen re: FOIA Complaint Concerning New Castle County
The Petitioner alleged that New Castle County violated FOIA by failing to complete a review of its records as it committed to do and by improperly denying access to records under the pending or potential litigation exemption.
DECIDED: The County violated FOIA by failing to timely give a reason for its delay and a good faith estimate of time needed to respond to the request. However, as it was determined that the request was ultimately properly denied under the potential litigation exemption, no remediation was recommended.Read More
20-IB08 2/25/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware River and Bay Authority
Petitioner alleged that the Delaware River and Bay Authority violated FOIA’s open meeting requirements by holding an improper executive session.
DECIDED: Delaware River and Bay Authority is not subject to Delaware’s FOIA law, and therefore, the petition is dismissed.
20-IB07 2/24/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Kohl Harrington re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Agriculture
Petitioner alleged they were denied records on the basis that they were not a Delaware citizen.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.Read More
20-IB06 2/5/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Dan Cannon re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Seaford
Petitioner alleged that the Board of Adjustment of the City of Seaford provided insufficient public notice of its consideration of a variance at its December 4, 2019 meeting.
DECIDED: This Office determined that the City did not violate FOIA as alleged by the Petitioner, as the agenda provided adequate notice to the members of the public with an intense interest in the variance.Read More
20-IB05 1/23/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Richard Abbott, Esq. re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly denied his request for records regarding his client’s wetland map amendment application.
DECIDED: DNREC did not violate FOIA as alleged. DNREC satisfied the statutory requirement in this instance by citing to the pending or potential litigation exemption as its reason for denying the request. In addition, the Office found that the circumstances met the two-prong test for the potential litigation exemption, and DNREC appropriately denied the request on this basis.Read More
20-IB04 1/14/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Rep. Kim Williams re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Odyssey Charter School
Petitioner alleged the Nominating Committee of the Odyssey Charter School’s Board of Directors improperly noticed its intent to hold an executive session.
DECIDED: Because any public body can hold an executive session in the manner authorized by FOIA, the Board’s Nominating Committee, as a public body, did not violate FOIA by noticing its intent to hold an executive session.Read More
20-IB03 1/14/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Laura Allen re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Division of Public Health
Petitioner alleged that the Division of Public Health of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (“DPH”) improperly withheld documents regarding certain animal control complaints and evidence.
DECIDED: DPH did not violate FOIA, as the requested records were investigatory file records exempt pursuant to 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(3).Read More
20-IB02 1/3/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Rep. Kim Williams re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Odyssey Charter School
Petitioner alleged Odyssey Charter School’s Board of Directors held a Board meeting on December 3, 2019 in a locked building that did not allow adequate public access. The Petitioner also asserted that this location also was not the Board’s typical meeting location. Petitioner further alleged the Board and its Nominating Committee improperly held executive sessions.
DECIDED: The Board did not violate FOIA in its provision of access to the December 3, 2019 meeting because it provided proper notice of the location and made arrangements for main office staff to allow access to the building. However, this Office determined that the Board’s failure to provide notice of its December 3, 2019 executive session was a violation of FOIA. The Board committed to discuss the qualifications of the candidates and take a vote selecting the Board members in open session at a future public meeting. No additional steps were recommended.Read More
20-IB01 1/3/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Rep. John Kowalko re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Prosperity Partnership
Petitioner alleged that the Delaware Prosperity Partnership is a public body and is obligated to respond to his request for certain records.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. DPP was determined not to be a public body subject to FOIA.Read More
19-IB68 12/30/2019 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. George X re: FOIA Complaint Concerning New Castle County
Petitioner alleged that New Castle County redacted “flagged” information from 911 records pertaining to his address without citing a statutory exemption from FOIA. The County responded that the “flagged” information maintained in the 911 system contains specific warnings and response strategies that aid law enforcement in responding to a particular address and that the disclosure of flagged information may endanger the safety of neighboring citizens and the responding officers, and is thus exempt pursuant to 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(17).
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. FOIA requires a public body to provide a reason for denying a request but does not require a specific citation to the statute. Based on the County’s representations, this Office found that the County properly asserted the 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(17) exemption in these circumstances.Read More