John Anderson / University of Iowa / Chapter 22-records request
April 23, 2014
RE: Iowa Code Chapter 22, Formal Complaint 14FC:0019: Concerning a records request to attorney George Carroll, Iowa Attorney General Office, requesting certain records from the University of Iowa. Complaint dismissed. Complainant filed the complaint on March 30, 2014, but the records request was not sent until April 4, 2014, and was not sent to the custodian of the requested records. Records were sent to the complainant on April 15, 2104.
509 Harmon Street
Tama, IA 52339
Dear Mr. Anderson:
On March 30, 2014, you filed a formal complaint with the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), alleging that George Carroll, an attorney with the Iowa Attorney General Office, did not properly respond to your request for public records. The original complaint did not contain information about your records request.
When asked for additional information about the records request, you responded that you thought you had sent a request, but you actually did not send the record request until April 4, 2014, after you received a request for more information from this office. The records requested are in the custody of the University of Iowa, not with the Iowa Attorney General. The request was forwarded by Mr. Carroll to the proper custodian at the University of Iowa, and the records were sent to you on April 15, 2014.
The IPIB jurisdiction is statutorily established in Iowa Code Chapter 23. The IPIB has jurisdiction over violations of Chapters 21 and 22. In this situation, there was no violation of Chapter 22, as a request for records had not been made at the time your complaint was filed. Your subsequent request, though misdirected, was timely addressed. The records were provided within seven business days.
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Code Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the Executive Director. The decision of the Executive Director is subject to review by the Board.
Iowa Code Section 23.8 provides two options for action by the IPIB upon receipt of a complaint, the second of which states:
“Determine that, on its face, the complaint is outside its jurisdiction, is legally insufficient, is frivolous, is without merit, involves harmless error, or relates to a specific incident that has previously been finally disposed of on its merits by the board or a court. In such a case the board shall decline to accept the complaint. If the board refuses to accept a complaint, the board shall provide the complainant with a written order explaining its reasons for the action.”
For the reasons set forth above, it is therefore ordered that the complaint is dismissed on the grounds that the alleged violation of Chapter 22 is legally insufficient.
A copy of this Order is being forwarded to the Iowa Public Information Board for review at its next scheduled meeting on May 15, 2014.
Cc: George Carroll, Iowa Attorney General Office
Nathan Levin, University of Iowa