Delaware lawmakers table bill extending FOIA to nonresidents

Legislation allowing nonresidents of Delaware to request public records under the state's Freedom of Information Act ran into a roadblock Wednesday in the General Assembly.

Currently, public bodies do not have to respond to FOIA requests from anyone who is not a resident of Delaware.

The proposed legislation, which was tabled in committee Wednesday, would remove that restriction while allowing state agencies and public bodies to charge higher fees to nonresidents, as long as they reasonably reflect the costs needed to defray expenses.

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First deadline in Delaware chancery’s ‘secret’ arbitration lawsuit passes without action

From DelawareOnline.com: Attorneys for the Delaware Court of Chancery have let one appeal deadline pass without acting in the lawsuit over the court’s “secret” arbitration program that two federal courts have declared unconstitutional.

Attorney Lawrence Hamermesh, who is representing the Chancery Court, declined to comment today on whether the state plans to appeal the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court or will abandon both an appeal and the confidential arbitration system.

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DelCOG scores major transparency victory

From NFOIC: A federal appeals court has agreed with NFOIC’s Delaware-based member organization, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, that Delaware’s Chancery Court judges’ practice of overseeing and resolving business disputes in secret arbitrations is unconstitutional.

Following the ruling, handed down last Wednesday by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, state and court officials, including a spokesman for Gov. Gov. Jack Markell’s office, indicated they are considering an appeal.

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Residents question town manager’s meetings

From delmarvanow.com: DEWEY BEACH — Citizens express concern about Town Manager Marc Applebaum’s meetings with members of the local business community, saying he should be subjected to open meeting laws, noticed and conducted in public, citing officials promise of more transparency last year after their published agendas violated the Freedom of Information Act rules.

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State FOIA Friday for August 2, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week.

While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Maine CDC official resigns over public records flap

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for November 9, 2012

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

image of Access

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Delaware FOIA raises questions regarding requirements

From CapeGazette.com:

GEORGETOWN — Municipalities are scrambling to comply with what some town officials say are newly expanded requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.  The deputy attorney general for FOIA matters denies any major changes, noting a public outreach campaign is being organized to clarify open meeting requirements.

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