FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-19

Charges for public records are limited to reasonable charges not to exceed the public body's actual costs, but the question of whether a particular charge is reasonable may be decided only by a court.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-10

For the purpose of the definition of public records, the meaning of in the transaction of public business must be examined on a case by case basis. FOIA does not mandate how to perform a search for records, but any search that is conducted must be carried out in good faith.

Cline v. Augusta County and Board of Equalization of Augusta County

Augusta County Circuit Court judge rules that county Board of Equalization violated FOIA by meeting in a small, inaccessible room with a sign on the door directing the public to wait outside until their case was called.

Full text of the opinion (PDF)

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-08

FOI Advisory Council discusses exemptions on vendor proprietary records, security system manuals, and school safety audits. Also discussed: duty of government to seek clarification if records request is confusing; failure to identify the volume of records requested that are subject to an exemption; and improperly denying records based on the sheer volume of the request.

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-04-07

The authority of the FOIA Council is limited by statute to providing advisory opinions and guidance regarding FOIA. An opinion advising on the interaction of boat titling and registration laws with provisions of the Government Data Collections and Dissemination Practices Act would be beyond the authority of this office.

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-05-03

A city's response for a demand of records under a subpoena duces tecum is governed by rules of the Supreme Court, not FOIA, even if those records would otherwise be available under FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-38-01

It is not a violation of FOIA for public body members to reach a consensus in closed session, but nothing is official until a vote in open session has been taken; a motion to close a meeting listing only the purpose and the statutory citation is inadequate because it does not also identify the purpose of the meeting; FOIA insures the public's right to witness public meetings, it does not guarantee the right to participate in meetings.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-37-01

An agency remains the legal custodian of records it is mandated by law to maintain, even if it does not retain physical custody of the records.


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