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Formal Complaints


Donnie Burgmaier/Department of Human Services - Dismissal Order


The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Donnie Burgmaier, Complainant

And Concerning:

Department of Human Services,  Respondent


                     Case Number: 18FC:0014                                

                         DISMISSAL ORDER


COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order:

On February 19, 2018, Donnie Burgmaier filed formal complaint 18FC:0014 against the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS).  He alleged that DHS violated Iowa Code chapter 22 by failing to release public records.

On February 2, 2018, Mr. Burgmaier requested that DHS produce a copy of all documents “in the directors file” pertaining to him.  (Note that the request filed with the complaint included a request dated November 2, 2018. It is assumed that this was an error, as other documents provided are dated February 2, 2018.)

On February 16, 2018, the DHS public information officer responded, noting that the records requested concerning child protection records from more than ten years ago have been expunged.  Mr. Burgmaier was provided copies of those records prior to expungement.

The record request provided by Mr. Burgmaier also requested “communications”.  Upon IPIB staff inquiry, it was determined that there were some emails and communications from Mr. Burgmaier that could be released.  These records were provided to Mr. Burgmaier on March 5, 2018.

It should be noted that Mr. Burgmaier filed formal complaints concerning his child protection records with the IPIB in 2013 and 2014.  Those complaints were dismissed as the initial record requests and responses occurred more than 60 days prior to the filing of the complaint and were outside the jurisdiction of the IPIB (Iowa Code section 23.7(1)).

In addition, child protection records are confidential pursuant to Iowa Code section 217.30 and are not to be released to the public.  Violation of this section is a serious misdemeanor.

Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint.  This complaint does not fulfill those requirements. Section 23.8(2) also states that a complaint will not be accepted if it “relates to a specific incident that has previously been finally disposed of on its merits by the board or a court.”


IT IS SO ORDERED:  Formal complaint 18FC:0014 is dismissed as legally insufficient  pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b).

Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.”  The IPIB will review this Order on March 15, 2018. Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.

By the IPIB Executive Director


Margaret E. Johnson, J.D.                                                 


Dated this _____ day of _______, 2018.


Cc:  Donnie Burgmaier

       Matt, Highland, DHS public information officer