The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive


Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #443

County-made maps are protected by copyright laws, and the county, as owner of the copyright has exlusive copying rights. County can charge no more than actual costs for making copies of maps.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #377A

The business address and type of business license granted is not information protected from disclosure by the tax code.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #438

Newsletters prepared by county administrator summarizing issues to be discussed at the next board of supervisors meeting are official records open to the public, even if some of the topics are the proper subject of a closed meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #437

Committees established by bodies subject to FOIA (in this case, the curriculum study committee of a school board) must also comply with the Act.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #190

No other statute prohibits the release of information regarding instances of substandard care in opthalmological services to the state board of optometry.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #060

Circuit court is a public agency under FOIA. Absent a court order, circuit court clerk cannot deny access to divorce files.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #436

As long as no more than two members from any one local governing body particpate in a joint conference with other governing bodies to discuss regional issues, the joint meetings need not comply with FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #439

Legislatively created political subdivision may discuss bond financing and acquisition of property to be developed and sold for the subdivision. The subdivsion cannot, however, meet in executive session to discuss industrial revenue bond financing of privately owned property for private commercial or industrial purposes.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #432

Just because a contract is a legal document, a redevelopment authority cannot use the legal matters exemption to justify closing a meeting to discusses changes to the contract.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #442

So-called workshop gatherings are still meetings for purposes of FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #433

Neither applications nor the identities of those applying for nonpaying positions on public boards or commissions are exempt from disclosure as personnel records.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #058

The use of the word teacher in the personnel exemption to open meetings - personnel evaluations - encompasses college faculty members.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #384

Meeting of county government's two-member subcommittee subject to FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #394

Public salaries over $10,000 subject to mandatory disclosure; salaries under $10,000 may be disclosed voluntarily.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #395

Official records routinely generated in response to various statutes do not become the working papers of the chief executive officer merely because they are passed on to that office in the ordinary course of business.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #391

Arrest warrants and attached papers containing breath analysis results are exempt under FOIA until executed, and not exempt once executed. Official forms used to record the results of breath analyses are excluded from FOIA when their use is restricted to the preliminary determination to charge suspected violators.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #392

Records regarding the use of a sheriff's special account are official records,even if the account is not funded by the county or state, when the funds are used for a public purpose.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #387

Public body may use real estate exemption to discuss relocation of an arts center onto now-privately owned land. Public body cannot meet in closed session to discuss garbage collection, drainage problems, or the use of a private company for city-owned auto repairs. Legal matters exemption applies to discussion of prosecuting owners of adult entertainment establishments.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #386

Public body may not use the real estate exemption to hold an executive meeting to discuss potential health hazards or government asbestos ratings of publicly owned buildings.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #386A

Virginia Beach City Council may meet behind closed doors to discuss selection of the city's mayor, but election to a new mayor must wait until an open meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #389

Legal matters exemption does not pertain to issues that have a general legal character, like zoning.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #390

School board may hold closed meeting to discuss prospective school board appointees, but must wait until an open meeting to appoint or elect them.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #056

board of supervisors may not close its public meetings to direct broadcast by radio, or to recording for later broadcast, although the board of supervisors may impose reasonable rules and restrictions upon the broadast and recording activities such as are imposed equally on the public.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #389

Records of the identity of students participating in special education programs are exempt from disclosure under the scholastic records exemption. Nothing prevents intra-school board access to those records, though.