FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1996-208
February 13, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Lonnie E. Harrington, Jr., and Judith B. Goldberg, Complainant(s)
against
Director of Health, Town of Bloomfield; Mayor, Town of Bloomfield; Town Manager, Town of Bloomfield; Chief of Police, Bloomfield Police Department; and Town of Bloomfield, Respondent(s)

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 9, 1996, at which time the complainants and respondents appeared 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. It is found that on or about April 23, 1996 ("April request"), the complainants mailed written requests to each of the respondents, and the Blue Hills Fire District ("BHFD"), for copies of all documentation concerning the "January 28, 1995 action taken at 13 Patton Road," ("January incident").

3. It is found that on behalf of the respondents, the respondent town manager’s office obtained copies of a total of four reports responsive to the complainant’s requests from the respondents director of health and chief of police concerning the January incident.

4. It is found that under cover letter to the complainants dated May 15, 1996 ("May letter"), the respondents’ attorney enclosed a copy of each of the four reports.

5. It is found that in his May letter, the respondents’ counsel also advised the complainants that the BHFD was not a public agency in the respondent town, and that the respondents do not maintain any of its records.

6. By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on May 22, 1996 ("appeal"), the complainants alleged that the respondents failed to respond to, or comply with their April 22, 1996 request for all documentation concerning the January incident.

7. It is found that the requested records maintained by the respondents are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.

8. In relevant part, 1-15(a), G.S., provides that "[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record."

9. It is found that the respondent town does not receive copies of reports from the BHFD, including any report that may have been done concerning the January incident, and that the respondents have provided the complainants with copies of all records in their possession that are responsive to their request.

10. It is further found that the respondents provision of the subject records more than three weeks after their April request was not prompt within the meaning of 1-15(a), G.S..

11. It is concluded that the respondents violated the provisions of 1-15(a), G.S., by failing to promptly comply with the complainants’ April request.

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

1. Henceforth the respondents shall strictly comply with the provisions of 1-15(a), G.S.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 13, 1997.

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting 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:

Lonnie E. Harrington, Jr.
Judith B. Goldberg
PO Box 1435
Hartford, CT 06143-1435

Frederick C. Smith
A to Z Organizers
PO Box 211
Hartford, CT 06141-0211

Director of Health, Town of Bloomfield; Mayor, Town of Bloomfield; Town Manager, Town of Bloomfield; Chief of Police, Bloomfield Police Department; and Town of Bloomfield
c/o Marc N. Needelman, Esq.
800 Cottage Grove Road, Suite. 313
Bloomfield, CT 06002

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1996-208/FD/eal/02211997