to his request for information. The City was notified of the Complaint by letter dated June 22, 1995 and responded on July 18, 1995.1
The request was made on a "Mayor and Council of the City of New Castle request for Public Records under the Freedom of Information Act" form. Under "Specific Documents Requested," the Complainant printed "Information on status of former public walkways taken for private use." (Exhibit "A"). The request was not specific as to what walkways, or where the walkways were located in the corporate limits. While there is no Delaware case law on point, the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C.A. § 550 is similar to the Delaware FOIA, and has been interpreted in several reported cases. These cases indicate that broad, sweeping requests lacking specificity are not permissible under the federal FOIA. See Marks v. Department of Justice, 578 F.2d 261, 263 (9th Cir. 1977); Mason v. Callaway, 554 F.2d 129 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U/S. 877, reh. denied, 434 U.S. 935 (1977). "It is the duty of the requester to frame the request with sufficient specificity so that it is not excessively broad." Hunt v. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 484 F.Supp. 47, 51 (D.D.C. 1979). Since the description of the documents sought was not sufficient to allow the City to locate such records, request lacks specificity.
1 During a portion of this time period, the undersigned Deputy Attorney General was on leave. During his absence, another Deputy Attorney General granted the City an extension to reply to the Complaint.