In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Albert C. Victoria II,




against Docket #FIC 87-362


Garrell S. Mullaney, Andrea Gaines, Christiaan D. Van Der Velde, Deborah Silva, Joan Warner, Robert L. Gibson, Lawrence Carver and Norwich State Hospital,


Respondents August 10, 1988


The above-captioned matter was combined with Docket #FIC 88-5 and heard as a contested case on February 19, 1988. At that time the parties appeared and the respondents presented a motion to dismiss as to the respondent Andrea Gaines and a motion for findings and sanctions.


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. On December 3, 1987, the complainant mailed a complaint to this Commission alleging that the respondents failed to provide him with records which were requested September 11, 1987, September 20, 1987, October 1, 1987, October 20, 1987, and October 24, 1987.


3. The complainant alleged that, since the Commission declined to treat the requests at a hearing on November 9, 1987, he was not barred by the thirty day limitation on time to file complaints, as required by 1-21i(b), G.S.


4. It is found that 1-21i(a), G.S., provides that failure of a public agency to comply with a request to copy records within four business days shall constitute a denial.


5. It is found that, since no formal or written denial of access to the records requested by the complainant occurred, the thirty day limitation of time to file a complaint must be computed on the basis of the provision cited at paragraph 4, above.


6. It is concluded, therefore, that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear the December 3, 1987 appeal of the complainant.


Docket #FIC 87-362 page two


7. It is further found, since the Commission has no jurisdiction to hear the instant appeal, it need not consider the motions filed by the respondent.


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.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of August 10, 1988.


Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission