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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings


Attorney General's Opinions




21-IB24 10/06/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Ethics Committee, House of Representatives, Delaware General Assembly

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that the Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly (“Committee”) violated FOIA by failing to follow open meeting requirements in setting a meeting agenda.

DECIDED: As Section 10004(h)(7) expressly excludes the proceedings of ethics committees of the General Assembly from the requirements of Section 10004, we find that the Committee has not violated FOIA by failing to meet the open meeting requirements.

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21-IB23 10/04/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to Councilmember Dee Durham re: FOIA Complaint Concerning New Castle County

Date Posted: Monday, October 4th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that New Castle County’s delay in responding to her FOIA request was unreasonable and not justified as of the date of the petition.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation occurred, as there is no indication that the County’s invocation of the need for additional time for the stated reasons was improper nor is there any evidence of the County’s bad faith in estimating its timeframes for completion.

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21-IB22 09/29/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to Karl Baker re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of State

Date Posted: Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

Petitioner alleged the Department of State improperly assessed charges for legal review of requested documents and failed to comply with its statutory obligations to make every effort to ensure that the administrative fees are minimized and to sufficiently itemize its cost estimate.

DECIDED: The Department violated FOIA by failing to meet its burden to demonstrate that it minimized the use of nonadministrative personnel to the extent possible in responding to this request.

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21-IB21 09/27/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to William Pickett re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Indian River School District

Date Posted: Monday, September 27th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that the Indian River School District (“IRSD”) violated FOIA by holding two votes at its August 22, 2021 meeting without providing proper notice to the public on the agenda.

DECIDED: IRSD violated FOIA as alleged in the Petition.

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21-IB20 09/14/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to Leo A. Ventresca re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Date Posted: Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly denied his request for records under the pending or potential litigation exemption. In addition, the petitioner alleged that DNREC failed to fulfill its obligations under the State Implementation Plan and a certain memorandum of understanding.

DECIDED: As an appeal was pending before the Environmental Appeals Board and the request related to that matter, this Office found that DNREC did not violate FOIA by denying the request under the pending litigation exemption. The remaining issues are outside the purview of this Office’s authority.

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21-IB19 08/18/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to Shannon Marvel McNaught re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Date Posted: Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly denied her request for septic system inspection records under the investigatory files exemption.

DECIDED: DNREC’s denial of the request was proper under the investigatory files exemption.

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21-IB18 08/06/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to Bernice I. Corman re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Transportation

Date Posted: Friday, August 6th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that her request was improperly denied on the basis of her lack of citizenship and the potential litigation exemption.

DECIDED: The request was properly denied on the basis of petitioner’s lack of citizenship.

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21-IB17 07/23/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to William Pickett re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Georgetown

Date Posted: Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Petitioner alleged that the Town of Georgetown violated FOIA by voting via email outside of a public meeting regarding the observation of the Juneteenth holiday this year.

DECIDED: The Town Council violated FOIA by voting on a matter of Council business by a series of calls and emails outside of a public meeting.

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21-IB16 07/06/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to William Pickett re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Governor’s Council on Agriculture and the Delaware Council on Food and Farm Policy

Date Posted: Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Petitioner alleged that the Governor’s Council on Agriculture and the Delaware Food and Farm Policy Council failed to follow the open meeting requirements of FOIA by posting notices, agendas, and minutes of its meetings.

DECIDED: Both Councils are public bodies and in violation of FOIA for their failure to comply with the open meeting requirements.

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21-IB15 07/02/2021 FOIA Opinion Letter to John W. Paradee re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Transportation

Date Posted: Friday, July 2nd, 2021

Petitioner alleged that DelDOT improperly asserted attorney-client privilege, pending or potential litigation, draft document exclusion, and the exemption for confidential financial or commercial information to deny his clients’ request for a traffic impact study and related draft documents and correspondence.

DECIDED: DelDOT violated FOIA by failing to meet its burden with respect to the records it claims are subject to attorney-client privilege, attorney work product, or the pending litigation exemption. It was recommended DelDOT review its records in accordance with this Opinion and provide a supplemental response in accordance with the timeframes permitted in Section 10003(h). This response is recommended to include a statement that the attorney-client privileged and work product materials were reviewed and to include any responsive records, with the exception of materials subject to attorney-client privilege or attorney work product and any working drafts, subject to any redactions otherwise appropriate under FOIA.

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