In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION


Edward A. Peruta,




against Docket #FIC 88-296


Town of Rocky Hill and Acting Town Manager of the Town of Rocky Hill,


Respondents January 25, 1989


The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 2, 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 and conclusions of law are reached:


1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.


2. By letter dated July 14, 1988, the complainant requested that the respondents provide him with access to inspect all time sheets kept by attorneys working for the town or paid by the town in 1986, 1987 and 1988, especially time sheets kept by the law firms of Shipman & Goodwin and Zamen & Ellis from January 1, 1987 to the present.


3. By letter dated July 19, 1988, the respondent acting town manager denied the complainant's request.


4. By letter dated and filed with the Commission on July 21, 1988, the complainant appealed to the Commission from the denial of his request.


5. It is found that the respondents never prepared, owned, used, received, retained, kept or maintained the requested records.


6. Indeed, it is found that at all times the records were in the custody of private law firms.


7. Thus it is found that the requested records are not public records of the respondents within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.


Docket #FIC 88-296 Page Two


8. It is further found that the Freedom of Information Act nowhere requires the respondents to create or obtain records they never had.


9. Thus it is concluded that the respondent acting town manager's denial of the complainant's request does not violate any provision of the Freedom of Information Act.


The following order of 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 regular meeting of January 25, 1989.



Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission