Virginia Department of Corrections v. Surovell (Supreme Court)

In the Supreme Court of Virginia
September 17, 2015
The Virginia Supreme Court rules that a trial court must make its own determination of the proprierty of withholding documents when a security interest is cited, but while doing so, it must accord "substantial weight" to the agency's (in the case, the Virginia Department of Corrections) determinations.
The court also holds that there is no duty to redact a record that is exempt under an exemption that is not limited by the phrases "to the extent" and "portions of."
(On this last point, the majority opinion does not cite 2.2-3704 where it says one of the four allowable responses is to redact a record if it has exempt material in it. Consequently, in 2016, the General Assembly added section 2.2-3704.01 to explicitly demand a duty to redact, a principle later upheld in a 2022 Supreme Court case, Hawkins v. Town of South Hill.)
Virginia Department of Corrections v. Surovell