FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 89-52
Philip Schnabel, Police Chief; Rocky Hill Police Department; and Dana T. Whitman, Jr., Rocky Hill Town Manager
Respondent August 23, 1989
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 20, 1989, 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 delivered to the respondent police department on January 24, 1989, the complainant requested a certified copy of the police dispatch tape of the respondent department for January 22, 1989 and recorded between the approximate times of 9:55 p.m. and 10:29 p.m.
3. On February 8, 1989, the complainant requested a copy of his original January 24, 1989 written request as described in paragraph 2, above.
4. By letter of complaint dated February 13, 1989 and filed with the Commission on February 16, 1989, the complainant alleged that his requests had been orally denied by the respondents. The complainant also requested that civil penalties be imposed.
5. It is found that the respondent police chief, after a diligent search of the police department files, was unable to find any original or copy of a January 24, 1989 written request by the complainant for a certified copy of any police dispatch tape recording.
Docket #FIC 89-52 Page 2
6. It is found that the complainant refused the respondents' offer of a certified copy of the transcript of the tape recording described in paragraph 2, above.
7. It is found that the tape recording in question is a public record within the meaning of §1-18a(d), G.S., and that the complainant is entitled to a certified copy of it.
8. It is concluded that the respondents violated §1-15, G.S., by denying the complainant's request for a certified copy of the record referred to in paragraph 7, above.
9. It is concluded that under the circumstances presented in this case a civil penalty is inappropriate.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.
1. The respondents forthwith shall provide the complainant with a copy of the tape recording described in paragraph 2 of the findings, above, accompanied by a certification attesting that the copy of the tape recording was a true and accurate copy of the original of that tape recording only as of the time such copy is given to the complainant. The complainant shall bear the actual cost to the respondent of any audio tape provided by the respondents.
2. If in the course of their regular business, the respondents locate the original written request of the complainant for a certified copy of records dated January 24, 1989, the respondents shall forthwith provide a copy of such to the complainant.
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:
P.O. Box 4382
Hartford, CT 06146
PHILIP SCHNABEL, POLICE CHIEF, ROCKY HILL POLICE DEPARTMENT
AND DANA T. WHITMAN, JR., ROCKY HILL TOWN MANAGER
c/o Richard E. Pikor, Esquire
41 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
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