FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
against Docket #FIC 92-276
Richard S. Borden, Jr., Glastonbury Town Manager,
Respondent May 12, 1993
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 6, 1993, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. By letter of complaint filed August 25, 1992, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that his August 9, 1992 request for certain records had been denied, and requesting the imposition of civil penalties against the respondent.
3. It is found that the complainant by letter dated August 9, 1992 requested copies of the Glastonbury police department daily log for April 1 of the years 1980 through 1992, with any exempt information "expurgated."
4. It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.
5. It is found that the respondent did not provide the requested records.
6. The respondent makes no claim that the requested records are exempt from disclosure.
7. Rather, the respondent maintains that the complainant's appeal to the Commission is frivolous, without reasonable grounds and solely for the purpose of harassing the respondent; that the respondent therefore should be relieved from the obligation of providing the requested records; and that a civil penalty should be imposed against the complainant pursuant to 1-21i(b), G.S.
Docket #FIC 92-276 Page 2
8. In turn, the complainant maintains that he is entitled by law to copies of nonexempt records, regardless of his motive, and that therefore his appeal can not be deemed frivolous.
9. The Commission takes administrative notice of its records in Advisory Opinion #71.
10. It is found that the complainant has long engaged in an outrageous campaign of verbal and pictorial harassment of the respondent.
11. It is found that the complainant has himself or through his agents made hundreds of requests for documents from the respondent and the Town of Glastonbury, many of such requests in turn involving hundreds of pages of documents.
12. It is found that the complainant has in many cases, including the instant request, requested only isolated portions of a particular records over a long period of time, only to later request different isolated portions of the same record over the same period of time.
13. Specifically, it is found that the complainant has requested, at different times, copies of the police department daily log for 21 different days of the month over the same 12-year period.
14. The complainant maintains that he is an advanced mathematician and that his method of requesting information is for statistical sampling of the records in question.
15. It is found, however, that the complainant's testimony in support of his claim of mathematically sound statistical method was not credible.
16. The complainant maintains that he is a self-sacrificing citizen acting in the public interest, seeking information about the workings of his town government.
17. It is found, however, that the complainant is relentlessly and unreasonably attacking his local government through irrational distortions of public records and contumely against public officials.
18. It is found that the complainant is simply at war with the respondent, using unduly burdensome requests for documents and appeals from denials of any such requests solely to harass the respondent.
19. It is also found that the complainant's constant appeals to the FOI Commission of record denials which he has himself engineered, including this appeal, are not the actions of a man acting upon reasonable grounds.
Docket #FIC 92-276 Page 3
20. It is found that the respondent has not engaged in a pattern of denying all of the complainant's requests, but only those requests which it perceives as harassing, such as a series of requests for isolated information from a single data base, as happened in this case.
21. It is also found that the complainant persists in presenting his requests in an intentionally burdensome manner, fully aware that reasonable requests for similar records will be met by the respondent.
22. It is therefore found that the complainant's practice of bringing appeals from denials of requests which he has deliberately framed in order that they will be denied, as he has done in this case, is entirely frivolous.
23. It is therefore found that the complainant has taken this appeal to the Commission frivolously, without reasonable grounds and solely for the purpose of harassing the respondent.
24. In light of the finding in paragraph 23, above, the Commission in its discretion declines to find that the respondent violated the FOI Act by failing to provide the complainant with the requested record.
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.
2. Within 30 days of the date of issuance of this final decision, the complainant shall remit to the Commission a civil penalty in the amount of $500.00.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 12, 1993.
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 92-276 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:
C. J. Mozzochi
South Glastonbury, CT. 06073
Richard S. Borden, Jr., Glastonbury Town Manager
c/o William S. Rogers, Esq.
Tyler Cooper & Alcorn
City Place - 35th Floor
Hartford, CT. 06103
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission