FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION

OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

 

Clyde Tyler,

 

Complainant

 

against Docket #FIC 90-500

 

Chief of Police, Rocky Hill Police Department and Deputy Chief of Police, Rocky Hill Police Department,

 

Respondents October 23, 1991

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 25, 1991, 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 inter-office memorandum (hereinafter "memo"), dated December 10, 1990, the complainant requested that the respondent deputy chief of police provide him with copies of all documents sent to and received from Attorney Carmine Giuliano by way of the Rocky Hill Police Department's FAX machine.

 

3. By reply letter dated December 11, 1990, the respondent deputy informed the complainant that the records he sought were exempt from disclosure because the information related to pending litigation.

 

4. It is found that in response to the complainant's document request, the respondents provided him with copies of nine FAX cover sheets, dated from October 1 through November 21, 1990.

 

5. By memo dated December 13, 1990, the complainant acknowledged the fact that attorney Giuliano represents the respondent chief of police in a personal matter involving the complainant. The complainant also repeated his document request, indicating his disbelief that the actual documents were exempt from disclosure.

 

Docket #FIC 90-500 Page 2

 

6. By letter dated December 23, 1990, and filed with the Commission on December 26, 1990, the complainant alleged a failure of the respondents to further respond to and comply with his document request.

 

7. At the hearing on this matter, the respondents made a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

 

8. In support of their motion to dismiss, the respondents argued that the information sought by the complainant relates to the respondent chief of police in his capacity as a civilian prosecuting a lawsuit.

 

9. It is found that Attorney Giuliano is representing the respondent chief of police in the defamation lawsuit he filed against the complainant.

 

10. It is found that the documents at issue relate to the defamation action pending between the respondent chief of police and the complainant.

 

11. Section 1-18a(d), G.S., in pertinent part, states that a "public record or file" means:

 

"...any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency...." [Emphasis added.]

 

12. It is found that under the facts of this case, the documents that the complainant is seeking are not public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

 

13. The respondents' motion to dismiss is hereby granted.

 

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

 

1. The complaint is dismissed.

 

Docket #FIC 90-500 Page 3

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 23, 1991.

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission

 

Docket #FIC 90-500 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:

Clyde Tyler

10 Haren Drive

Rocky Hill, CT 06067

 

Chief of Police, Rocky Hill Police Department and

Deputy Chief of Police, Rocky Hill Police Department

c/o Michael E. Foley, Esq.

Shipman & Goodwin

One American Row

Hartford, CT 06103

 

 

Karen J. Haggett

Clerk of the Commission