Delaware Public Record Laws

Citations

29 Delaware Code Chapter 10
(http://delcode.delaware.gov/title29/c100/)

Exemptions to Disclosure

The following records are not deemed public:

  • Trade secrets
  • The University of Delaware and Delaware State University are explicitly exempt from the law: “Public body,” “public record” and “meeting” shall not include activities of the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, except that the Board of Trustees of both universities shall be “public bodies,” university documents relating to the expenditure of public funds shall be “public records,” and each meeting of the full Board of Trustees of either institution shall be a “meeting.” (see definition of “public body.”)

Access Rights

  • Any citizen
  • Regular business hours
  • Reasonable access to records and reasonable facilities for copying them and reasonable access to these facilities
  • Rules and fees to be established by the public entity custodian
  • If denied access to public records/meeting, can file suit to challenge denial w/in 60 days of learning of denial, but in no event not more than 6 months following denial
  • All requests must be made in writing
  • Need not state purpose for request
  • The state has a maximum of 15 business days to respond to any requests
  • If the public body denies a request in whole or in part, their response must explain the reason for the denial. (29 Del. C. § 10003).
  • If a suit is brought the burden is on the custodian of records to justify why the public records were not released (29 Del. C. § 10005)
  • Any citizen may petition the Attorney General in order to determine whether a violation of this act has occurred (29 Del. C. § 10005)
  • Fees
    • 29 Del. C. § 10003
      • Standard black and white pages $.10 per page
      • Double sided $ 0.20
      • Oversized copies/printouts: $ 2.00 -$ 3.00 per sheet depending on the size
      • Color copies/printouts: An additional charge of $ 1.00 per sheet and $ 1.50 per sheet for larger copies.
      • Administrative fees will be levied for FOIA requests that take longer than an hour to process
      • Payment of required fees are due before a FOIA request may be processed

      Destruction of Public Records

      • Must obtain consent from Delaware Public Archives before destroying any record. Title 29, Delaware Code, §504.