The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive

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FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-01

The Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers may, under a FOIA exemption, withhold the names of applicants for licensure.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-21-00

The Erosion and Sedimentation Control Administrator for the Natural Tunnel Soil and Water Conservation District, when conducting an investigation to determine if a criminal violation of section 10.1-563 has been committed, could properly withhold the records of the complaints leading to the investigation.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-20-00

The annual report on the compensation plan being developed by the Department of Human Resources is a public record.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-18-00

Death certificates, as vital records, are not covered by FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-14-00

Complaints against identifiable individuals are exempt personnel records; settlement amounts are public records, but if a record listing all amounts paid does not exist, public body has no duty to compile such a list; reworded request may yield documents sought.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-11-00

public body not required to merge two separate databases to create a record containing the information sought by a requester; requester can ask for both databases and manipulate the raw data himself.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-17-00

An individual is entitled to his personnel record; general job classification and salary information of public officials is specifically available under FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-12-00

once city council members acted on a report that was arguably part of the city manager's working papers, any exempt status is lost and the document becomes part of the public record.

Fisher v. King

No 1st Amendment right of access to government-held information.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-00

The release of local license taxes assessed against any person, firm or corporation is prohibited by the Tax Code.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-00

A so-called master list of courses offered by a school during the next academic year, the times and who will be teaching them is a public record despite the list's possible revision by the administration.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-01-00

Inquiries as to the status of e-mail under the Freedom of Information Act, charges for electronic records, the working papers exemption, assessment of fees for producing a requested record, the meaning of 'reasonable specificity'

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-00

property appraisal cards containing the calculations and methodology used in arriving at individual assessments are available through FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 2000 #058

Original marriage licenses and certificates maintained by a circuit court clerk are considered vital records open to public inspection; access to microfilmed copies are open to the public, too.

Connell v. Kersey

Commonwealth Attorney not a public body under FOIA. Criminal incident information need only be summarized; the actual records need not be disclosed.

Shenandoah Publishing House v. City of Winchester

Document given to city attorney by city manager is protected from mandatory disclosure as attorney-client privilege because it was prepared as part of an active administrative investigation in which legal advice was needed.

Attorney General's Opinion 1999 #075

Under law as it existed prior to July 1, 1999, advance notice of a telephone meeting didn't need to list all locations from where telephone participation was to take place. Post-July 1, 1999, law says all locations must be identified.

Attorney General's Opinion 1999 #212

Though the fact of tax delinquency based on gross receipts is public, the amount, name and address of the delinquent taxpayer is exempt from FOIA by section 58.1-3.

Lawrence v. Jenkins

Not an FOIA violation when a public official chooses to exercise an exemption, redacted exempt information, but failed to timely cite the applicable Code section for the exemption.

Attorney General's Opinion 1999 #017

The custodian of the records may place the burden for copying the records on the citizen making the request if the custodian has no system or computer database available that is capable of producing the copies.

Attorney General's Opinion 1998 #005

A record's copyright status does not prevent it from being released under FOIA; lyric sheets and audio tapes are official records.

Tull v. Brown

Tapes used to record 911 calls are public records, but they are exempt as noncriminal incident information.

Richmond Newspapers v. Casteen

Materials that would nonetheless be official records standing alone may become exempt correspondence if they are transmitted to a qualified office as a letter.

Capital Tours v. DMV

FOIA does not require the production of trade secrets or proprietary information.

Attorney General's Opinion 1996 #102

Bail and Recognizances: prior AG opinions described as public records commitment papers, continuance cards and other info relevant to making bail, extend to giving it to magistrates who ask for it.

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