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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings


Attorney General's Opinions




20-IB33 12/18/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. William Paskey re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security

Date Posted: Friday, December 18th, 2020

Petitioner alleged DSHS violated FOIA by not timely responding to his request for records. DSHS advised Petitioner on the date of his request that the request had been sent for legal review and DSHS would respond within 15 business days, but DSHS failed to do so and did not respond to Petitioner’s follow-up correspondence.

DECIDED: The petition was determined to be moot, as DSHS provided the requested records while the petition was pending. However, DSHS’s immediate citation of a need for legal advice and failure to respond until the petition was filed, despite the petitioner’s follow-up, violate the spirit of FOIA. DSHS was cautioned to invoke extensions for additional time to respond to requests only when needed and to timely communicate regarding requests in the future.

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20-IB32 12/14/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Sam Chick re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Department of Transportation

Date Posted: Monday, December 14th, 2020

Petitioner alleged DelDOT improperly withheld certain records because DelDOT’s produced records indicated an exchange of text messages on a private cell phone occurred and those text messages were not included with the production. In addition, Petitioner argued that DelDOT failed to provide any records related to the Office of the Governor.

DECIDED: As DelDOT’s counsel indicated no additional responsive records were located, no FOIA violation was found.

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20-IB31 12/11/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Randall Chase re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers

Date Posted: Friday, December 11th, 2020

Petitioner alleged DAPE improperly planned to discuss financial data in executive session per its published agenda.

DECIDED: This Office accepted the representation that financial data was not discussed in executive session and its inclusion on the agenda was an error. This error was a technical violation of FOIA for which no remediation was necessary.

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20-IB30 12/7/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Amy McFalls re: FOIA Complaint Concerning New Castle County

Date Posted: Monday, December 7th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the New Castle County Division of Police improperly denied a request for a copy of an arrest warrant. In response, the County provided an affidavit of its FOIA Coordinator asserting that the County did not have the requested records within its possession or custody.

DECIDED: As the County demonstrated it had no responsive records, no FOIA violation was found.

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20-IB29 12/2/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Young re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Christina School District Board of Education

Date Posted: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the Christina School District Board of Directors selected and negotiated terms of employment with a candidate for superintendent out of public view and a meeting’s agenda item, “Board Action on Superintendent Search,” was insufficient to meet the agenda items.

DECIDED: The Board violated FOIA by not noticing and preparing minutes of the meetings of the two Board members, who constituted a Board committee subject to FOIA. No FOIA violation was found relating to allegation about the agenda, because the agenda item provided adequate public notice of the Board’s action.

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20-IB28 11/9/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Councilmember Samuel Guy re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington

Date Posted: Monday, November 9th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that the Wilmington City Council President violated FOIA by notifying a councilmember of the revocation of their position without a public meeting, that City held a virtual public meeting and denied this councilmember meeting access codes and other items, and that FOIA does not permit a pre-emptive bar on a public body member’s participation in the public body’s meetings.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.

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20-IB27 11/9/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Keith Steck re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Date Posted: Monday, November 9th, 2020

Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly denied a comment period at a hearing to members of the general public while permitting permit applicants to speak.

DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found, because the permit hearing is not subject to FOIA’s open meeting requirements.

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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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