FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Helen McKee Dodge,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88‑288

 

Judge of Probate of the Town of Winchester,

 

Respondent October 26, 1988

 

The above‑captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 23, 1988, at which time the complainant appeared, but the respondent failed to appear.

 

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

 

1. It is found that the respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1‑18a(a), G.S. with respect to his administrative functions.

 

2. In October, 1987, the Winsted probate court, pursuant to 46a‑20(a) and (c), G.S., appointed the commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department of Human Resources to be the conservator of the person for Emma McKee, the complainant's mother.

 

3. By letter dated June 23, 1988 the complainant made a request of the respondent for information concerning Emma McKee. In her letter, the complainant posed a series of questions, such as "What are [Emma McKee's] conservators being paid? What are they doing for her?" and "Does she have a will? How come my brother seems to know about it?"

 

4. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on July 6, 1988 the complainant appealed the respondent's failure to respond to her request for information.

 

5. It is found that the complainant's June 23, 1988 letter to the respondent was largely a request for information, not a request for access to inspect or copy public records within the meaning of 1‑15 and 1‑19(a), G.S.

 

6. It is found that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act requires a public agency to respond to questions or otherwise supply information which does not exist in recorded form.

 

Docket #FIC 88‑288 Page Two

 

7. However, the complainant's June 23, 1988 letter was also a request for records maintained by the respondent concerning Emma McKee.

 

8. The respondent having failed to appear at hearing, also failed to offer any proof that the requested information is exempt from disclosure by any provision of the Freedom of Information Act, other state statute or federal law.

 

9. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1‑15 and 1‑19(a), G.S. when he failed to provide the complainant with records pertaining to Emma McKee prepared, owned, used, received or retained pursuant to his administrative functions.

 

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

 

1. The respondent forthwith shall provide the complainant with access to inspect or copy records pertaining to Emma McKee prepared, owned, used, received or retained pursuant to his administrative functions.

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of October 26, 1988.

 

 

Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission