In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Professional Ambulance Service of Middlesex, Inc.,




against Docket #FIC 87-357


James R. Blois, David Chowaniec, Daniel Hyland, Terry Parmelle, Edward O' Connor, Robert Carlson, Ambulance Study Committee of the Middlefield Board of Selectmen and Middlefield Board of Selectmen,


Respondents July 13, 1988


The above-captioned matter was scheduled as a contested case on February 8, 1988, at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence. Thereafter, the hearing was continued to March 7, 1988 at which time the parties appeared and presented evidence and argument. The respondent board requested permission to file additional evidence on April 5, 1988, and its request was denied on May , 1988.


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


1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. By letter of complaint filed December 9, 1987, the complainant alleged that the respondent committee had violated the Freedom of Information Act by holding an illegal executive session on October 19, 1987, and that it had failed to provide it with copies of minutes and an agenda.


3. It is found that the alleged illegal meeting occurred more than thirty days prior to the date the complaint was mailed or filed and that, therefore, pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S., the Commission has no jurisdiction over that portion of the complaint.


4. It is found that attorneys for the complainant requested copies of all records of the respondent committee on November 18, 1987.


5. It is found that the respondent committee responded to the complainant's request on November 23, 1987.


Docket #FIC 87-357 page two


6. In its letter of response, the respondent committee invited the complainant to inspect the files and stated its understanding that copies of all records in which the complainant had any interest had already been provided.


7. The complainant did inspect the file and made its own copies.


8. It is found that, while the respondent board failed to comply with the requirement of 1-15, G.S. to provide copies, copies of records were obtained by the complainant.


9. It is found, under the facts of this case, that the failure to provide copies constituted no more than a technical violation of the law.


10. The complainant has requested a civil penalty.


11. It is found that, under the circumstances of this case, a civil penalty is not appropriate.


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


1. The respondent committee shall comply, henceforth, with the requirements of 1-15, G.S.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of July 13, 1988.


Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission