The City of Lewes responded to a FOIA request and provided records but refused to certify to the requestor that all records responsive to the request had been provided and refused to produce a duplicate copy of an email. This Office was asked to determine whether the City’s response was appropriate under FOIA.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The FOIA statute does not require a public body granting access to records to certify that all responsive public documents have been provided to the requesting party, nor does it require that a public body produce multiple copies of identical public records.Read More
This Office was asked to determine whether the Delaware State Police appropriately denied a request for raw data regarding traffic stops.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The requested information is exempt as investigatory files under 29 Del. C. § 10002(l)(3) and 12 Del. C. §313. Transferring the information from these reports into a digital format does not eliminate the exemptions for such information.Read More
Petitioner alleged that Dewey Beach provided records that were not responsive to their request for schedules of two Town employees.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The Petitioner indicated during the petition process that they were seeking a level of detail that was not contained in the original request to the Town, and the Town expressed a willingness to provide additional public records in response to a more detailed request.
This Office was asked to address 1) whether New Castle County was required to provide time-stamped copies of the Petitioner’s requests, the envelopes they were mailed in, and all records generated as a result of the request; and 2) whether the County properly asserted that the Petitioner’s requests were too vague to require a response under FOIA.
DECIDED: The County violated FOIA by not specifically responding to the request for time-stamped copies of the requests and this Office recommended it make a reasonable search for responsive records and provide the Petitioner with a supplemental response. No other FOIA violation was found.
Petitioner alleged that the Department of Elections improperly withheld 48 pages of records listing campaign donors of former Wilmington mayor and disputed the Department’s claim that it had no other responsive records
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The records sought were more than 20 years old and the Department’s policy only called for 22 months’ retention.
Petitioner alleged that an incorrect date on the Department of Elections’ response to their request indicated a greater failure to comply with FOIA.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.
Petitioner alleged DOI’s interim response advising that additional time was needed for legal review violated FOIA.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation found. FOIA expressly permits a public body to take additional time to respond to a request if legal advice is needed so long as a good faith estimate of the time needed is provided.
This Office was asked to address the following issues: 1) whether the Town of Bellefonte committed a FOIA violation by not providing records requested; 2) whether the Petitioner’s request for resulting records “it generates” was sufficiently specific under FOIA; and 3) whether the Town’s failure to send its response to the correct address was a violation of FOIA
DECIDED: No FOIA violations were found. The Town demonstrated that it did not have certain records requested and is not required to create them. The Town is permitted to request more specificity for requests that are vague. The addressing error was unintentional and not a violation.
Petitioner alleged that the Delaware State Police did not timely respond to their FOIA request for an unredacted copy of an Initial Crime Report.
DECIDED: DSP was unable to prove that it complied with FOIA’s deadline for responding to the Petitioner’s request. As it provided a response during the petition process, no remediation was recommended but DSP was encouraged to more carefully track requests.
Petitioner alleged the Auditor of Accounts improperly relied on the investigatory files exemption in redacting a log of complaints.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The functions of the AOA are to ensure public funds are legally used and responsive records are thus “compiled for civil or criminal law-enforcement purposes” and exempt from FOIA.