FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
against Docket #FIC 94-197
South Windsor Police Department,
Respondent March 8, 1995
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 17, 1995, at which time the complainant appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint but the respondent failed to appear.
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 May 16, 1994, the complainant requested from the respondent copies of "all tapes, reports and memoranda including, but not limited to, police broadcasts and 911 call tapes, or a true copy thereof, concerning any investigations relating to [the complainant] ... on or about April 12, 1994 in the evening hours."
3. By letter dated June 2, 1994, the respondent denied the complainant's request on the grounds that an arrest warrant was obtained on May 2, 1994 for certain conduct of the complainant that occurred on April 11, 1994, and that the records were exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act pursuant to 1-19(b)(3)(B), G.S.
4. By letter dated June 14, 1994 and filed June 15, 1994, the complainant appealed the respondent's denial of access to the requested records to this Commission.
5. It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.
Docket #FIC 94-197 Page 2
6. It is found that other than the June 2, 1994 response letter referred to in paragraph 3, above, the respondent has not communicated with the complainant concerning her records request.
7. Section 1-19(b)(3)(C), G.S., previously 1-19(b)(3)(B), G.S., provides in relevant part:
(b) Nothing in sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive, and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, shall be construed to require disclosure of ... (3) records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of ... (C) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to such action..."
8. It is found that the complainant was arrested on May 2, 1994 in connection with an April 1994 incident involving the complainant but that prosecution of her arrest was suspended due to the complainant's participation in a program with the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission.
9. Having failed to appear at the January 17, 1994 hearing on this matter, it is found that the respondent failed to prove that the requested records are exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(3)(C), G.S., or any other federal law or state statute.
10. Consequently, it is concluded that the respondent violated the provisions of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with any records maintained by it that are responsive to the complainant's request, as described in paragraph 2, above.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondent shall forthwith provide, at no cost to the complainant, the records maintained by it that are responsive to the complainant's request described in paragraph 2, of the findings above.
2. In the event there are no longer any 911 tapes or broadcast tapes in existence that are responsive to the complainant's request, the respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with an affidavit stating that such records have been destroyed, detailing the date or dates of their destruction and the legal authority for such destruction.
Docket #FIC 94-197 Page 3
3. Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the requirements of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 8, 1995.
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission
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/o Alice M. Gray, Esq.
Jon L. Schoenhorn, Esq.
97 Oak Street
Hartford, CT 06106-1515
SOUTH WINDSOR POLICE DEPARTMENT
151 Sand Hill Road
South Windsor, CT 06074
Debra L. Rembowski
Clerk of the Commission