FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Leonard P. Hendel,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 88-422

 

State of Connecticut Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services,

 

Respondent August 23, 1989

 

The above-captioned matter was scheduled for hearing as a contested case on January 19, 1989. At that time the parties appeared and presented evidence and argument on the complaint.

 

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

 

1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

 

2. By complaint filed with the Commission on October 20, 1989, the complainant alleged that he had been denied access to the results of two psychological tests which were administered to him in March, 1982 and October, 1985.

 

3. It is found that the respondent denied the complainant access to the requested test results on the basis of the opinion of a psychologist, P.W. Morse, who works for the respondent, and who provided the respondent with a written opinion on November 15, 1988.

 

4. The respondent claims that it may deny the complainant access to the test results on the basis of 1-19 and 4-194, G.S.

 

5. It is found that 4-194, G.S., permits an agency to deny access to personal data to the subject of the record, and that both 4-194 and 4-195, G.S., provide procedures for the persons to obtain relief from any denial of access to records.

 

6. It is found that 4-194, G.S., provides among other things that "the agency shall, at the written request of such person, permit a qualified medical doctor to review the personal data contained in the person's record to determine if the personal data should be disclosed. If disclosure is recommended by the person's medical doctor, the agency shall disclose the personal data to such person; if nondisclosure is recommended by

 

Docket #FIC 88-422 Page Two

such person's medical doctor, the agency shall not disclose the personal data and shall inform such person of the judicial relief provided under section 4-195."

 

7. It is found that the complainant asked his neurologist to review the records, but was told by his neurologist that he would not be able to disclose the records. For this reason, the records were never taken to the neurologist for his review.

 

8. It is found that at the hearing the complainant did not appear to understand that the only way he could obtain access to the requested records without seeking judicial relief pursuant to 4-195, G.S., was on the basis of the opinion of a qualified medical doctor.

 

9. It is concluded that the Commission has no jurisdiction over this complaint because the records which are sought by the complainant are not public records within the meaning of 1-19(a), G.S.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

 

2. The Commission urges the complainant to pursue the relief which is available to him through 4-194 and 4-195, G.S.

 

PURSUANT TO 4-180(c) C.G.S THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE F.O.I.C., OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

LEONARD P. HENDEL

4 Mediterranean Lane

Norwich, CT 06360

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, DIVISION OF REHABILITATION SERVICES

c/o John R. Whelan, Esquire

Assistant Attorney General

McKenzie Hall,

110 Sherman Street

Hartford, CT 06105

 

Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 23, 1989.

 

 

Tina C. Frappier

Acting Clerk of the Commission