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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings


Attorney General's Opinions




20-IB26 10/28/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Marie Hatkevich and Mr. Harvey Shulman re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Rehoboth Beach

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

Petitioners alleged that the Rehoboth Beach listed an agenda item for a meeting that was impermissibly vague because it did not include the name of a nominee to its membership. The agenda item was amended less than seven days before the meeting to include the name of the nominee.

DECIDED: The City violated FOIA by not briefly stating its reason for amending its agenda, as required by FOIA.

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20-IB25 10/28/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Bruce Vivari re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Rehoboth Beach

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that Rehoboth failed to respond to multiple records requests.

DECIDED: This Office determined that the City violated FOIA by failing to timely respond to three requests.

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20-IB24 10/21/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Jeanne Kuang re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the Land Bank improperly assessed charges for legal review of requested documents. The Land Bank responded that the review of nonpublic information would be done by a staff member rather than an attorney and would thus be considered administrative.

DECIDED: The Land Bank violated FOIA, as the determination of whether information is exempt from FOIA is legal review. This Office recommended that the Land Bank update its cost estimate accordingly.

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20-IB23 10/13/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Richard Abbott re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Environmental Appeals Board

Date Posted: Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Petitioner alleged the EAB improperly deliberated an appeal twice in executive session. DNREC argued that 7 Del. C. § 6008(a) permitted these deliberations.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.

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20-IB22 10/6/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Jeanne Kuang re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington

Date Posted: Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that City applications for federal grants and emails with federal agencies were improperly withheld. The City argued that the completed applications were under the exclusive control of the federal government and email requests should be directed to the Delaware Department of Technology and Information. DECIDED: The City violated FOIA by denying the requests.

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20-IB21 7/22/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Councilmember Vicki Carmean re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Fenwick Island

Date Posted: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the Town Council of Fenwick Island violated FOIA because the Town officials should have discussed the matter of approving an open pool bar at a public meeting and certain Town officials made unauthorized statements about this approval.

DECIDED: As these issues are outside the scope of FOIA, no violation of FOIA occurred.

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20-IB20 7/1/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Andrew Kerr re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the University of Delaware

Date Posted: Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the University of Delaware improperly denied its request for records related to the Vice President Biden senatorial papers maintained at the University library.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found, as the records were not “public records” subject to FOIA or were exempt pursuant to 29 Del. C. 10002(l)(12) as library patron records.

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20-IB19 6/25/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Sean Dunagan re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the University of Delaware

Date Posted: Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the University of Delaware improperly denied their request for records and communications related to Vice President Biden’s senatorial papers or communications between anyone acting on behalf of the university and Vice President Biden, his presidential campaign, or other person acting on his behalf.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. The University of Delaware is exempt from FOIA except for the meetings of its Board of Trustees and records related to the expenditure of public funds. The factual record did not indicate that the records requested were related to the expenditure of public funds.

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20-IB18 5/22/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Jeremy Rothwell re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Harrington

Date Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2020

The Petitioner alleged that the City of Harrington 1) improperly delayed a response to a FOIA request for certain items; and 2) did not respond to the remaining items in a timely manner.

DECIDED: This Office was unable to make a finding regarding whether the response was improperly delayed. Because the City has since provided the Petitioner with a response to the remaining items in his FOIA request, the second allegation is moot.

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20-IB17 4/8/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Jeffrey Clouser re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware State Police

Date Posted: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that DSP failed to timely respond to its request for records.
DECIDED: As DSP since provided a response, petitioner’s claim is now moot. DSP is cautioned to provide timely communications in the future.

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