Statutory Citation: 29 Del. C. § 10001 et seq.

Definition of Public Record

Public records are defined as 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. 1

Exemptions to Public Records

Personal information on accepted students, current students, and past students, Medical records, Trade Secrets, Records of attorneys who represent the state, Reports that result in unfair competition, Appraisal information for public land purchases, Criminal files, Military confidential records, Personal information in records of employees and elected officials of public agencies, Library records, Information on the donors of charitable contributions, Corrections department information that would jeopardize security, Communications made to the government but not required by statute, Examinations, Archaeological and historical ecologically sensitive material locations and information, Marketing and advertising budgets and strategies for non-profits, Information maintained by mediators employed to solve the disputes with government agencies. 2

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

15 days. 3

Information on Fees

Any “reasonable expense involved in the copying of records,” may be charged to a requester. In Delaware it is also up to the individual agency to write their own rules about charging for requests. If they plan to deviate from this, they must give written notice, Labor for search times may also be charged if the agency has a written policy. Notable in Delaware is the mandate that any charges be estimated in full, to allow the requester to properly be able to decide if they wish to proceed with the request. 4

Enforcement Mechanisms

By petition of a citizen denied access to information, the Attorney General can determine whether a violation has occurred. 29 Del. C. § 10005(e). There is no general public records custodian. If the Attorney General or the courts decide your appeal is valid and the agency must disclose the documents they withheld, the extent of enforcement is an award for attorney fees and records cost. There is no penalty to an offending agency. 5

Attorney Fees

You can win attorney’s fees.

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

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Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

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