FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Francine C. Karp,  

Complainant

 

against

Docket #FIC 1996-239

Glastonbury Police Department,  

Respondent

March 12, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 25, 1996, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The respondent submitted the subject records to the Commission for in camera inspection.

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. On May 15, 1996, the complainant orally requested that the respondent provide her with copies of the following:

a) the case report and all documents, memoranda and notes on case #96-05959 with all information pertaining to minors redacted; and,

b) the case report and all documents, memoranda and notes on case #96-4423 with all information pertaining to minors redacted.

3. By letter dated May 16, 1996, the respondent informed the complainant that her request had been referred to the town attorney for direction.

4. By letter dated and filed with the Commission on June 20, 1996, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by denying her copies of the requested records.

5. It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d) and 1-19(a), G.S.

6. Section 1-19(a), G.S., in pertinent part states: [e]xcept as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency … shall be public records and every person shall have the right to inspect such records promptly … or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15.

7. Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides: [a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

8. The respondent contends that the requested records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 46b-124, G.S., as records of juveniles, and that the respondent’s standard operating procedures serve to further the intent of 46b-124, G.S., by prohibiting the disclosure of such juvenile records. The respondent further contends that 46b-124, G.S., does not provide for redaction of records of juvenile matters.

9. Section 46b-124, G.S., in relevant part provides:

(a) All records of cases of juvenile matters defined in section 46b-121, or any part thereof, including studies and reports by probation officers, social agencies and clinics, shall be confidential and for the use of the court in juvenile matters, and open to inspection or disclosure to any third party, including bona fide researchers commissioned by a state agency, only upon order of the superior court.…

10. It is found that 46b-124(a), G.S., relates to judicial records only.

11. It is therefore concluded that the requested records are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(a) and 46b-124(a), G.S.

12. Although the respondent did not specifically claim it as a basis for nondisclosure of the requested records, 1-19(b)(3)(E), G.S., provides in relevant part:

Nothing in [the FOI Act] 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 …(E) arrest records of a juvenile, which shall also include any investigatory files, concerning the arrest of such juvenile, compiled for law enforcement purposes.

13. It is found that the requested records are police investigation records that pertain to the activities of minors.

14. It is also found that the respondent failed to prove that disclosure of the requested records, redacted as requested by the complainant, would result in the disclosure of arrest records of a juvenile within the meaning of 1-19(b)(3)(E), G.S.

15. It is therefore concluded that the respondent violated 1-19(a) and 1-15(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with copies of the requested records described in paragraphs 2a) and b), above.

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

The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the requested records, more fully described in paragraph 2a) and b), of the findings, above.

2. In complying with paragraph 1 of the order, above, the respondent may redact the names and any identifying information pertaining to minors.

3. Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the provisions of 1-19(a) and 1-15(a), G.S.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 12, 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:

Francine C. Karp
41 Wapping Avenue
South Windsor, CT 06074

Glastonbury Police Department
c/o Jean M. D’Aquila, Esq.
Halloran & Sage
One Goodwin Square
225 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103-4303

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1996-239/FD/eal/03201997