The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive


Attorney General's Opinion 2000 #042

Elected officials are not employees of the board, therefore the closed meeting exemption for private discussions of an individual employee's performance does not apply to them.

Attorney General's Opinion 1999 #061

Becuase a city council does not exercise control over the daily work of the city manager's employees, the city council cannot use the personnel exemption to discuss city employees in a closed meeting.

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.

Attorney General's Opinion 1999 #014

Two members of seven-member board may meet informally by phone, provided the two do not constitute a standing committee nor authorized to act on the board's behalf.

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 1999 #015

A school board may not meet in executive session to discuss the election of its chairman. The personnel exemption does not apply.

Attorney General's Opinion 1999 #012

A public body may exchange messages via e-mail without the communication being considered a meeting. No official meeting can be conducted without the body's members being physically present.

Attorney General's Opinion 1998 #009

Though a city council may meet in executive session to discuss personnel appointed by the council, it cannot close a public meeting to discuss the employees of those appointed personnel.

Attorney General's Opinion 1998 #096

A public body may meet in executive session to discuss the acquisition, condition or use of public property.

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.

Attorney General's Opinion 1998 #015

The records generated by the investigation of an agency by the Office of Professional Standards do not need to be disclosed.

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.

Attorney General's Opinion 1995 #004

FOIA not applicable to private businesses and corporations if their funding is not wholly or principally drawn from public funds

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 #001

Negotiations regarding the substantive terms of a contract to buy water from a neighboring locality is a 'legal matter' that can be discussed in a closed meeting because public disclosure could compromise negotiating positions/strategy. Not all public business that may end up in contract form is considered a 'legal matter'.

Attorney General's Opinion 1992 #157

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

Attorney General's Opinion 1992 #004

A legislative change making certain records public under FOIA may be applied retroactively.

Attorney General's Opinion 1991 #081

FOIA doesn't block an otherwise valid subpoena duces tecum that asks for information that could be exempt under FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1991 #009

Names, qualifications, evaluations, tests used to evaluate, and how indidivual candidates fared under selection criteria all exempt. General selection criteria not exempt. Certificates issued by Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy regarding persons certified to work in mines must be disclosed.

Attorney General's Opinion 1991 #005

Public body satisfies continual request for notice by saying its meetings are held at the same time and same place on the same day each month and that separate notice will be given for special meetings. No additional notice necessary when date, time and place of reconvened meeting is announced at regularly scheduled meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1991 #013

Files associated with an active investigation may be withheld, but do not have to be after the investigation is complete.

Attorney General's Opinion 1991 #007

Citizen does not have a right to make a continuing request for records that do not yet exist.