|Multi Request||COVID vaccines|
|Submitted||Jan. 22, 2021|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
* Files, including letters, memos and emails, describing or discussing policies, guidance and procedures for providing COVID-19 vaccines to prisoners/inmates and/or staff.
* Files mentioning or describing the number of vaccines given to prisoners/inmates and/or staff.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself.
As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 15 business days, as the statute requires.
Please note that I am a citizen of Delaware, and am using MuckRock's services to help manage and track my request.
In response to your recent DE DOC FOIA request for files including letters, memos
and emails describing or discussing policies, guidance and procedures for providing
COVID-19 vaccines to prisoners/inmates and/or staff. Files mentioning/describing
the number of vaccines given to prisoners/inmates and/or staff. For the following
reasons, your DE DOC FOIA request is being denied. Please refer to the Delaware
Statutes provided herein:
11 Del. C. §4322. Protection of Records.
(a) The presentence report (other than a presentence report prepared for the Superior Court or the Court of Common Pleas), the preparole report, the supervision history and all other case records obtained in the discharge of official duty by any member or employee of the Department shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone other than the courts as defined in § 4302 of this title, the Board of Parole, the Board of Pardons, the Attorney General and the Deputies Attorney General or others entitled by this chapter to receive such information;
(b) The Commissioner or the Commissioner’s designees may receive and use, for the purpose of aiding in the treatment of rehabilitation of offenders, the preparole report, the supervision history and other Department of Correction case records, provided that such information or reports remain privileged for any other purpose.
(d)The Department of Correction Policies and Procedures, including any Policy, Procedure, Post Order, Facility Operational Procedure or Administrative Regulation adopted by a Bureau, facility or department of the Department of Correction shall be confidential, and not subject to disclosure except upon the written authority of the Commissioner.
29 Del. C. §10001. Declaration of Policy.
It is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner so that our citizens shall have the opportunity to observe the performance of public officials and to monitor the decisions that are made by such officials in formulating and executing public policy; and further, it is vital that citizens have easy access to public records in order that the society remain free and democratic. Toward these ends, and to further the accountability of government to the citizens of this State, this chapter is adopted, and shall be construed.
29 Del. C. §10002. Definitions.
(l) “Public record” is information of any kind, owned, made, used, retained, received, produced, composed, drafted or otherwise compiled or collected, by any public body, relating in any way to public business, or in any way of public interest, or in any way related to public purposes, regardless of the physical form or characteristic by which such information is stored, recorded or reproduced. For purposes of this chapter, the following records shall not be deemed public:
(1) Any personnel, medical or pupil file, the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy, under this legislation or under any State or federal law as it relates to personal privacy;
(6) Any records specifically exempted from public disclosure by statute or common law;
(9) Any records pertaining to pending or potential litigation which are not records of any court;
29 Del. C. §10005. Enforcement.
(b) Any citizen denied access to public records as provided in this chapter may bring suit within 60 days of such denial. Venue in such cases where access to public records is denied shall be placed in a court of competent jurisdiction for the county or city in which the public body ordinarily meets or in which the plaintiff resides. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a person denied access to public records by an administrative office or officer, a department head, commission, or instrumentality of state government which the Attorney General is obliged to represent pursuant to § 2504 of this title must within 60 days of denial, present a petition and all supporting documentation to the Chief Deputy as described in subsection (e) of this section. Thereafter, the petitioner or public body the Attorney General is otherwise obligated to represent may appeal an adverse decision on the record to the Superior Court within 60 days of the Attorney General’s decision.
(c) In any action brought under this section, the burden of proof shall be on the custodian of records to justify the denial of access to records, and shall be on the public body to justify a decision to meet in executive session or any failure to comply with this chapter.
(d) Remedies permitted by this section include an injunction, a declaratory judgment, writ of mandamus and/or other appropriate relief. The court may award attorney fees and costs to a successful plaintiff of any action brought under this section. The court may award attorney fees and costs to a successful defendant, but only if the court finds that the action was frivolous or was brought solely for the purpose of harassment.
(e) Any citizen may petition the Attorney General to determine whether a violation of this chapter has occurred or is about to occur. The petition shall set forth briefly the nature of the alleged violation. Upon receiving a petition, the Attorney General shall promptly determine whether the petition is against an administrative office or officer, agency, department, board, commission or instrumentality of state government which the Attorney General is obliged to represent pursuant to § 2504 of this title. Every petition against an administrative office or officer, agency, department, board, commission or instrumentality of state government which the Attorney General is obliged to represent pursuant to § 2504 of this title shall be referred to the Chief Deputy Attorney General who shall, within 20 days of receiving the petition, render a written determination to the petitioner and the public body involved declaring whether a violation has occurred or is about to occur. If the Chief Deputy finds that a violation of this chapter has occurred or is about to occur, the Attorney General shall not represent the public body in any appeal filed pursuant to this chapter for such violation if the public body the Attorney General is otherwise obligated to represent fails to comply with the Chief Deputy’s determination. Regardless of the finding of the Chief Deputy, the petitioner or the public body may appeal the matter on the record to Superior Court. In every other case, the Attorney General shall, within 10 days, notify in writing the custodian of records or public body involved. Within 20 days of receiving the petition, the Attorney General shall make a written determination of whether a violation has occurred or is about to occur, and shall provide the citizen and any custodian of records or public body involved with a copy of the determination. If the Attorney General finds that a violation of this chapter has occurred or is about occur, the citizen may: (1) File suit as set forth in this chapter; or (2) request in writing that the Attorney General file suit on the citizen’s behalf. If such request is made, the Attorney General may file suit, and shall within 15 days notify the citizen of the decision to file suit, unless the custodian of records or public body has agreed to comply with this chapter. The citizen shall have the absolute right to file suit regardless of the determination of the Attorney General, and may move to intervene as a party in any suit filed by the Attorney General.
With this response, your DE DOC FOIA request is considered as answered and will
be closed at this time.