FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Leo Patenaude,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-245

 

State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Adjudications Unit and Hearing Reporter Richard Pieczarka,

 

Respondents October 12, 1988

 

The above-captioned mattter was heard as a contested case on August 12, 1988, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

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 or about March 14, 1986 the State of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") held a hearing on allegations, by the complainant, against Patenaude's Garage.

 

3. By letter dated May 19, 1988 the complainant made a request of the respondent hearing reporter for a copy of the transcript of the March 14, 1986 hearing.

 

4. On or about May 26, 1988 the respondent hearing reporter replied to the complainant's request, stating that the hearing record had never been transcribed, but that if the complainant wished to have a transcript, one would be prepared at a total estimated cost of $112.50.

 

5. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on June 28, 1988 the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging the respondents' failure to provide him with a copy of the requested transcript. The complainant also alleged that the respondent hearing reporter improperly requested that payment for the transcript be made directly to him.

 

6. It is found that as of the date of the complainant's request, no written transcript of the March 14, 1986 hearing existed.

 

Docket #FIC 88-245 Page Two

 

7. It is further found that the respondent hearing reporter's estimate of the cost of the transcript was based upon the actual cost of transcribing the document, in accordance with 1-15, G.S.

 

8. It is further found that, pursuant to a policy in effect since January 27, 1988, most transcripts of DMV hearings are prepared by hearing reporters working on their own time. Consequently, hearing reporters are paid directly for such work.

 

9. It is found that the complainant was offered a transcript of the March 14, 1986 hearing at the actual cost of transcription, in accordance with 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.

 

10. It is further found that the respondent adjudications unit's policy, which results in direct payment to hearing reporters, does not violate any provision of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of October 12, 1988.

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission