FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

William M. Zima,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 86-178

 

State of Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner's Office, and the Office of the State's Attorney, J.D. of New Haven,

 

Respondents October 22, 1986

 

The above captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 12, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent chief medical examiner appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The respondent state's attorney failed to appear. This hearing was continued to September 15, 1986, at which time the complainant and respondent chief medical examiner again appeared and presented testimony and argument on the complaint. Again, the respondent state's attorney failed to appear.

 

After consideration of the entire record the following facts are found:

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on June 17, 1986, the complainant alleged that the respondent denied him access to various autopsy reports in violation of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

3. By letter dated July 9, 1986 the Commission informed the complainant that it was not apparent from his letter of complaint that the respondent's alleged denial of his request occurred within 30 days of filing the complaint, pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S.

 

4. By letter dated July 9, 1986 the complainant renewed his request to the respondent for copies of the autopsy reports performed on Connie Lynn Zima, Crissy Zima, Tracy Zima and the family pet dog.

 

Docket #FIC 86-178 Page 2

 

5. By letter dated July 15, 1986 the respondent informed the complainant that the deaths had been investigated jointly by a number of different agencies and due to its magnitude, the investigation had not been completed at the time of his request.

6. By letter dated July 18, 1986 the complainant notified the Commission that he wanted the case to go forward.

 

7. It is found that on or about September 10, 1986 the four autopsy reports, including all other reports prepared by and in the possession of the respondent, were forwarded to the complainant.

 

8. With respect to the respondent state's attorney, it is found that the records requested by the complainant do not relate to the administrative functions of the respondent state's attorney.

 

9. It is therefore concluded that with respect to the records requested the respondent state's attorney is not a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a) and 1-19(c), G.S. and that the Commission lacks jurisdiction over the complaint.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed as to both respondents.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 22, 1986.

 

Karen J. Haggett

Acting Clerk of the Commission