FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 90-376
William Gifford, Chief of Police, Windsor Locks Police Department,
Respondent May 8, 1991
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 29, 1991, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. Docket numbers FIC 90-366 and 90-387 were consolidated for hearing with the above-captioned matter.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter dated September 20, 1990, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with one plain copy of each fee schedule or fee notice issued or set by the respondent pursuant to the Town of Windsor Locks Ordinance concerning the "Licensing and Regulating of Vendors, Hawkers, Peddlers and Solicitors in the Town of Windsor Locks" (hereinafter "Ordinance").
3. Specifically, the complainant requested every fee schedule or fee notice in effect from July 1, 1988 through April 29, 1990, inclusive, relating to the:
(a) Application Fee as called for in 4(a) of the Ordinance; and
(b) Credentials Fee as called for in 7(a) of the Ordinance.
4. By letter dated and filed with the Commission on October 2, 1990, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent failed to reply to his document request.
Docket #FIC 90-376 Page 2
5. The complainant requests the imposition of a civil penalty.
6. It is found that the complainant's letter of request was delivered to the respondent's office on September 22, 1990.
7. It is found that although the respondent was out of his office on vacation from approximately September 17, 1990 through October 5, 1990, his duties were being carried out by a temporary replacement.
8. It is found that neither the respondent nor his designee responded to the complainant's document request.
9. At the hearing on this contested case the respondent asserted that disclosure would affect his rights as a litigant under the laws of discovery, pursuant to 1-19b(b), G.S.
10. It is found that although the complainant threatened to institute legal action against both the respondent and the Town, as of the date of the hearing the complainant had failed to bring any legal action against either the respondent or the Town.
11. It is found that at the time of the hearing on this contested case, the respondent was not a party to any legal action instituted by the complainant, other than this proceeding, and therefore not a "litigant" or a "party" within the meaning of 1-19b(b), G.S.
12. It is therefore concluded that 1-19b(b), G.S., is not applicable to this case.
13. It is found that the requested information is a public record within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.
14. It is found that presently the town of Windsor Locks requires payment of a $50.00 fee for a permit, regardless of the type of permit application.
15. It is also found that presently the fee to be charged for a vendor's permit in Windsor Locks is listed on the vendor permit application.
Docket #FIC 90-376 Page 3
16. It is found that at a minimum the respondent should have furnished the complainant with a copy of a blank permit application and indicated that information concerning the permit fee appears on the application in a particular location.
17. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-15, G.S., by failing to promptly respond to the complainant's request and provide copies of the documentation requested.
18. It is found that the Freedom of Information Act violation committed by the respondent was without reasonable grounds.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the disclosure requirements of 1-15 and 1-19(a), G.S.
2. The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with copies of the records more fully described in paragraph 3 of the findings, above.
3. The Commission imposes a civil penalty against the respondent for noncompliance with 1-15, G.S., in the amount of $500.00. The aforementioned civil penalty is payable to the Commission within forty-five days of the date of mailing of the notice of final decision in this case.
Approved by order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 8, 1991.
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 90-376 Page 4
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
1060 Mapleton Avenue
Suffield, CT 06078
WILLIAM GIFFORD, CHIEF OF POLICE, WINDSOR LOCKS POLICE DEPARTMENT
c/o David J. Wenc, Esq.
5 North Main Street
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Tina C. Frappier
Acting Clerk of the Commission