The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive

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Davis v. City of Chesapeake (Chesapeake Circuit Court)

The Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act is not an exemption to FOIA's disclosure requirements. City may not charge for summary/abstract of record without first reaching an agreeement with the requester.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-12-07

If a public body denies a request for public records in whole or part, it must send the requester a written response citing the law that allows the records to be withheld. The release of certain Department of Social Services records pertaining to child support enforcement matters is prohibited by law under Title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Fenter v. Norfolk Airport Authority (Virginia Supreme Court)

Norfolk Airport Authority's response that it had forwarded a citizen's FOIA request to the Transportation Security Administration did not meet the standards of any of Virginia FOIA's required responses.

Attorney General's Opinion 2007 #068

Virginia Retirement System can withhold information private equity firms provide the system on its structure, portfolio or strategy.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-09-07

FOIA allows a public body to charge for existing records. FOIA does not address what a public body may charge for additional access features beyond inspection and copying of existing records.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-07

The student government of a public institution of higher education is a public body subject to FOIA. The branches of student government are analogous to the organization of government generally (i.e., legislative, executive, and judicial). (Several other related issues discussed.)

Attorney General's Opinion 2007 #027

List of concealed-carry gun permittees should be kept confidential by the state police because it might contain names of crime victims or witnesses.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-07

A public body may charge for the actual cost of staff time spent redacting records in response to a request. It may not charge any additional fee for a separate legal review of the same records.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-07

An electronic mail message header showing the time and date when the message was received by a public body may not be withheld as documentation or other information that describes the design, function, operation or access control features of any security system under subdivision 3 of § 2.2-3705.2.

Rivera v. Long (Norfolk Circuit Court) (on costs and attorneys' fees)

Judge rules on cost prevailing plaintiff should pay for copies of general registrar's records, as well as on attorneys' fees for the plaintiff's attorney.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-08-06

Animal licensing records are open to the public under FOIA and §3.1-796.86. Public bodies should not collect from citizens information that will become part of a public record unless such collection is required or necessary to the mission of the public body.

Rivera v. Long (Norfolk Circuit Court)

General Registrar must disclose rejection letters written to applicants to vote. Actual applications may be withheld under state election law.

Bland v. Virginia State University (Supreme Court, 6/8/06)

In FOIA cases, complete set of records must be included on appeal to afford Supreme Court full review on the merits. Trial court erred in refusing plaintiff's motion to include full set of records.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-06

A request for statutes and regulations granting legal authority to a public body is not a request for public records as contemplated by FOIA. FOIA expressly provides the procedure to follow if a public body needs additional time to respond to a request. A response that does not meet the procedural requirements of FOIA is not a proper response.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-06

Opining whether a FOIA provision violates substantive due process under the federal Constitution is beyond the authority of the FOIA Council.

911 tapes are public record, judge rules

-- The public has a right to hear the 911 call made by a mother accused of killing her son, a judge ruled April 13.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-05

At present, there is no requirement for public body to tell records requester that the records asked for do not exist. If original records are legible, the copies should be, too. Publilc body cannot require requester to inspect records rather than copy them. Public body not required to recreate lost records or records no longer in its possession.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-05

If a public body elects to abstract or summarize records, it can only charge for such a newly created record after a prior agreement with the requester.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-08-05

Accident reports containing information on juveniles are not to be treated any differently than reports containing information on adults

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-07-05

Nothing in FOIA prohibits the release of the name of a juvenile shot and killed by a police officer, but §16.1-301 appears to serve as a broad prohibition against the release of law-enforcement records relating to juvniles.

William H. Turner v. Virginia Board of Dentistry, Department of Health Professions, et al.

Board of Dentistry meeting minutes were inadequate, did not include even a summary of the discussion on a particular subject and decision. Attorney fees awarded for FOIA violation. No wilful violation found.

Albright v. Woodfin

NOTE: Scroll to end for another ruling in a district court proceeding, June 10, 2005, between Albright and the Attorney General over advance-estimating of costs for filling a FOIA request.


Lee H. Albright v. William Woodfin et al., CL05-0006, Nelson County Circuit Court

May 26, 2005

Judge J. Michael Gamble

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-05

a list of websites and keywords blocked by the school district's computer network firewall may be exempt from disclosure because those records may reveal the design and/or function of part of the school's security system.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-05

personnel files at most governmental agencies are available to the subject of the records, but not if the subject is the employee of an educational agency.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-05

Nothing in FOIA prohibits the release of the name of a juvenile shot and killed by a police officer, but §16.1-301 appears to serve as a broad prohibition against the release of law-enforcement records relating to juvniles.

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