FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Larry Gorfien,  

Complainant

 

against

Docket #FIC 1996-281

State of Connecticut, Department of Education,  

Respondent

March 26, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 14, 1997, at which time the complainant and 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. It is found that on June 27, 1996 the complainant mailed a letter to the respondent via certified mail return receipt delivery, wherein he requested information and access to certain records ("records request").

3. It is found that the return receipt indicates delivery of the complainant’s records request to the respondent on June 28, 1996.

4. By letter of complaint dated July 10, 1996, and filed with the Commission on July 15, 1996, the complainant alleged that the respondent failed and refused to comply with his records request.

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

6. Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides that "all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency … shall be public records and every person shall have the right to inspect .. or to receive a copy of such records … in accordance with the provisions of 1-15."

7. The respondent contends that while the complainant’s records request may have been delivered to the central mailroom on June 28, 1996, the request must have been misdirected because the respondent did not become aware of the records request until receipt of the request under cover letter from the Commission dated September 26, 1996, advising it of the complainant’s complaint.

8. It is found that under cover letter dated October 31, 1996—four months after the records request, and one month after the respondent received notice of the records request from this Commission--the respondent provided the complainant with the information and records requested.

9. It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-19(a), G.S., by failing to provide the complainant with prompt access to the requested records.

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

1. Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the public records access requirements clearly set forth in 1-19(a), G.S.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 26, 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:

Larry Gorfien
30 Knollwood Drive
New Haven, CT 06515

State of Connecticut, Department of Education
c/o Linsley J. Barbato, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
MacKenzie Hall
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1996-281/FD/eal/04041997