****UPDATE!**** Docs Received! Ralph Karpinos and Chapel Hill, We Are Waiting...(updated 3.26)
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
On April 1, 2020, Matthew DeBellis sent us a slew of documents from Chapel Hill regarding Superior Court Case 16 CVS 18. We are reviewing now and will update this blog post soon!
On March 10, 2020, we emailed the Town of Chapel Hill the following:
Please provide all Town of Chapel Hill documents relating to Superior Court Case 16 CVS 18 between Town of Carrboro, North Carolina; The Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Orange County, North Carolina; and William Inman, Plaintiffs versus Andrew and Bethany Slack, Defendant (Court of Appeals 17-864). Please include all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business. The law requires that you respond to and fulfill this request "as promptly as possible." If you expect a delay in responding to and fulfilling this request, please contact me with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records. If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law.
On March 11, 2020, Sabrina Oliver, Communications and Public Affairs Director/Town Clerk for Town of Chapel Hill, responded as follows:
Ms. Welch, please submit your request using our online form located here . This is the process we use to trach [sic] all requests. Thank you. Sabrina
As of March 25, 2020, we have received no documents nor any further response from the Town of Chapel Hill. Therefore, on March 25, 2020, we sent the following email to Ralph Karpinos, Chapel Hill attorney:
On 10 March 2020, at the prompting of Sabrina Oliver, I submitted a FoIA request through Chapel Hill's website. I want documents associated with Chapel Hill's unsuccessful lawsuit against Andrew and Bethany Slack (Superior Court Case 16 CVS 18) regarding an easement adjacent to their property. I have never received the requested documents.
Please confirm that this request was received and the approximate time frame for Chapel Hill's response. Additionally, please provide any and all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions relating to the Town's unsuccessful litigation against the Slacks, including but not limited to the attorneys' fees case.
Please be sure to include all public records associated with a recent (2020) request from you to meet with Andrew Slack (along with John Roberts) for further discussions regarding this easement.
On March 26, 2020, Sabrina Oliver responded as follows:
When did you submit the form? There is a request number in the top left column. Can you tell me that number? Or just forward again. I understand that most of these documents can be viewed at Town Hall. But that will have to wait until it reopens. I’ll continue to look and facilitate this in any way that I can.
I wrote: "On 10 March 2020, at the prompting of Sabrina Oliver, I submitted a FoIA request through Chapel Hill's website." I submitted [the request online] some time on or about March 10-11. You can check both dates to be sure. I never received any confirmation from the Town of Chapel Hill that I had submitted the form. I double checked my email before responding to you, and there is no acknowledgement of my form. As I have already completed the form and now emailed twice, I do not intend to complete the form again. I am certain that you have the information that you need to fulfill my Freedom of Information Act request. Later on March 26, 2020, Sabrina Oliver responded as follows:
We'll do what we can with what we've got.
And a few minutes later, Sabrina sent this email: And the reason you did not receive confirmation, is because apparently it wasn't received. That's why I needed the request number.
And a few minutes later, Sabrina sent this email: A staff member is working on gathering the information you requested. Documents that can be shared electronically, will be delivered. Those that cannot can be viewed at Town Hall, and copies made if needed. However, that cannot take place until our facility reopens. This month the Covid19 virus has resulted in a large number of emails for me and other staff members. If I had a number associated with the request, I could search with that. It makes it very easy. Without that number, not so easy. I’ve searched your name, etc. and have not found the form. Who knows with technology. Missed emails are not unusual (odd.)
We are awaiting responsive records and will post all on NCLeaks.org.