The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive

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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.

Coward v. City of Richmond

A valid subpoena duces tecum is not a matter covered by FOIA.

Wall v. Fairfax County School Board

High school student election results are not official records subject to disclosure under FOIA.

Redinger v. Casteen

Letters exchanged between an institution of higher learning and a law firm representing a university student are not exempt as work product compiled for use specifically for litigation.

Wheeler v. Gabbay

FOIA and the discovery rules of the Supreme Court are mutually exclusive. Under FOIA, citizens are entitled to criminal incident reports that describe the criminal act.

Attorney General's Opinion 1993 #221

No requirement for commissioner of revenue to reveal to public methodology used in determining fair market value for each particular property.

Attorney General's Opinion 1993 #217

The names of current and past delinquent payers of business license taxes may be disclosed under FOIA, but not the amount of the delinquency.

Attorney General's Opinion 1993 #001

Report prepared by the Auditor of Public Accounts (re: adequacy of accounting systems used by commissioners of revenue, directors of finance and other assessing officers) may be disclosed under FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1992 #157

The names of delinquent taxpayers may be released under FOIA, but the amount of delinquency may not.

National Rural Utilities v. Greenlief

The tax-exempt status of certain individuals is information that is exempt from disclosure under FOIA by virtue of the Tax Code's general prohibition against release of taxpayer information.

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