In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Sharon C. Tarrant,




against Docket #FIC 88‑371


Commissioner Diogenes P. John of the Norwich Town Housing Authority and Norwich Town

Housing Authority,


Respondents December 14, 1988


The above‑captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 25, 1988, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The matter was heard in conjunction with Docket #FIC 88‑367, Allison Lussier v. Commissioner Diogenes P. John of the Norwich Town Housing Authority and Norwich Town Housing Authority.


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. It is found that on August 30, 1988 the complainant visited the office of the respondent authority for the purpose of inspecting and copying minutes of meetings of the respondent authority's commissioners.


3. It is further found that the complainant was permitted to inspect the minutes, but upon requesting copies was informed that, upon the order of the respondent commissioner, copies were not available.


4. By letter of complaint dated September 6, 1988 and filed with the Commission on September 12, 1988 the complainant appealed the respondents' refusal to provide copies of minutes.


5. It is found that the respondents' failure to provide the complainant with copies of minutes when requested on August 30, 1988 denied the complainant prompt access to such records, in violation of 1‑15, G.S.


Docket #FIC 88‑371 Page Two


6. It is further found that the respondents' initial denial of the complainant's request for copies was, regrettably, based upon a lack of knowledge of the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. Upon being made aware of their responsibilities following their denial of a similar request on September 6, 1988, the respondents took steps to provide the requested copies, which were received by the complainant on September 7, 1988.


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


1. The respondents henceforth shall act in strict compliance with the requirements of 1‑15, G.S. regarding prompt access to copies of public records.


Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of December 14, 1988.



Catherine H. Lynch

Acting Clerk of the Commission