FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Albert C. Victoria II,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-5

 

Garrell S. Mullaney, Superintendent, Norwich State Hospital,

 

Respondent August 10, 1988

 

The above-captioned matter was scheduled for hearing February 19, 1988, at the same time as #FIC 87-262 because the complainant and the respondent were the same in both cases. At the hearing the respondent presented a motion for findings and sanctions, and the parties presented evidence 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. By letter dated December 4, 1987, the complainant requested copies of:

 

(a) audio and visual recordings and notes of his October 1987, visits to the respondent;

 

(b) records pertaining to complaints filed by the complainant in 1984 with Richard Wilbur, and with Drs. Van der Velde, and Saracino.

 

3. By letter dated December 9, 1987, the respondent stated that the requested records did not exist.

 

4. It is found that the audio and visual recordings and notes of the complainant's October 1987 visits do not exist.

 

5. It is found that the complaints to which the complainant refers were made orally.

 

6. It is found the respondent has searched his own files, the file of the complainant, the files of Drs. Van der Velde, and Saracino, and the files of Richard Wilbur, and he has been

 

#FIC 88-5 page two

 

unable to locate any records pertaining to the oral complaints filed by the complainant.

 

7. It is found that the respondent has failed to search for the requested records in the file of the doctor against whom the complaint was lodged (Dr. Kothari), and in the files of investigations of complaints filed in 1984.

 

8. It is concluded that the respondent has failed to perform a complete search for the requested records, and, therefore, he has failed to prove that the records pertaining to the oral complaints of the complainant in 1984, do not exist.

 

9. At the hearing the respondent agreed to search and to determine whether additional records which fall within the scope of the complainant's request are in any investigation files which exist for the year 1984, or whether such additional records are in the file of Dr. Kothari.

 

10. The respondent has requested in his motion for findings and sanctions that this Commission impose a civil penalty against the complainant because the complainant has harassed the respondent with repeated, identical requests for records.

 

11. It is found although the complainant has made repeated, identical requests to the respondent, these requests were not made solely to harass the respondent.

 

12. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty against the complainant in this case.

 

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

 

1. Within two weeks of the date he receives notice of this final decision, the respondent shall search the file of Dr. Kothari and the records of investigations of complaints for 1984 and, if he locates any records which fall within the scope of the complainant's request, he shall provide copies of these records to the complainant.

 

2. Within two weeks of the date he receives notice of this final decision, the respondent shall provide this Commission with an affidavit stating that he has searched the file of Dr. Kothari and the records of investigations of complaints for

 

#FIC 88-5 page three

 

1984, and stating further that copies of records within the scope of the complainant's request, if any were found as a result of his search, were provided to the complainant.

 

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