In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Andrew J. Torraco,


Complainant Docket #FIC 86-191




State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles,


Respondent December 16, 1986


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 4, 1986, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.


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. 14-36(e), G.S., provides that if an applicant for a motor vehicle operator's license suffers from any physical defect or disease which might affect his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle, the commissioner of motor vehicles may require such person to demonstrate his or her fitness to drive, and may require a physician's certificate of such fitness.


3. On or about March 12, 1986 the complainant was summoned by the respondent, pursuant to 14-36(e), G.S., to appear for a driver's examination. The complainant was required to submit to a reexamination as the result of a complaint filed against him alleging that he was physically unfit to operate a motor vehicle. The complainant subsequently submitted to and passed the driver's examination and a physical examination.


4. By letter dated June 23, 1986 the complainant made a request of the respondent for a copy of the complaint against him.


5. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on July 3, 1986 the complainant appealed the respondent's failure to provide him with a copy of the requested letter.


6. The respondent claims that the letter of complaint is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3), G.S.


Docket #FIC 86-191 Page Two


7. It is found that the respondent is a law enforcement agency within the meaning of 1-19(b)(3), G.S., pursuant to the provisions of 14-8 and 54-142g(b), G.S.


8. The respondent failed to prove that operating a motor vehicle while suffering from a physical defect or from a disease constitutes "an infraction" within the meaning of 14-36(g), G.S. or "crime" within the meaning of 1-19(b)(3), G.S.


9. The respondent also failed to prove that the requested letter is exempt from disclosure pursuant to any other provision of the Freedom of Information Act, other state statute, or federal law.


10. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S. when it denied the complainant's request for a copy of the complaint in question.


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


1. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the letter of complaint which prompted the respondent's reexamination, on or about March 12, 1986, of the complainant's ability to operate a motor vehicle.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of December 16, 1986


Catherine I. Hostetter

Acting Clerk of the Commission