FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Alex Wood and The Journal Inquirer,  

Complainants

 

against

Docket #FIC 1996-505

Chief State’s Attorney, State of Connecticut, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, and Deputy Chief State’s Attorney, State of Connecticut, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney,  

Respondents

April 9, 1997

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 24, 1997, at which time the complainant Alex Wood and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

The Commission commends both parties, and particularly complainant Alex Wood, on the vigor and quality of the written materials submitted in this case. All of these extensive materials have been carefully reviewed and weighed.

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

1. The respondents are the Division of Criminal Justice and offices and officers thereof.

2. By letter dated October 18, 1996, the complainant Alex Wood requested of the respondents to inspect all court transcripts in the criminal case of State v. Ronald Joseph Albert, Docket No. AC15490 (the "transcripts").

3. By letter dated October 22, 1996, the respondents denied the complainant’s request for the transcripts.

4. By letter dated November 8, 1996, and filed on November 12, 1996, the complainants appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying the request of complainant Wood to inspect the transcripts.

5. It is found that the transcripts were being maintained or kept by the respondents for the purpose of prosecuting an appeal in the Albert case.

6. Section 1-19c, G.S., states:

For the purposes of subsection (a) of section 1-18a, the division of criminal justice shall not be deemed to be a public agency except in respect to its administrative functions.

7. The Supreme Court, interpreting a parallel provision pertaining to judicial office, stated in Connecticut Bar Examining Committee v. FOIC , 209 Conn. 204, 208 (1988), that:

We have construed the term "administrative functions" in 1-18a(a), records of which are accessible under 1-19, to exclude matters involved in the adjudication of cases…and to refer only to "matters relating to the internal machinery of the court system."

8. It is concluded that, because the transcripts were maintained or kept by the respondents in connection with the adjudication of a case, such transcripts are not related to the administrative functions of the respondents.

9. Therefore, pursuant to 1-19c, G.S., the Commission lacks jurisdiction over the respondents in this matter.

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

1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 9, 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:

Alex Wood and The Journal Inquirer
306 Progress Drive
PO Box 510
Manchester, CT 06045-0510

Chief State’s Attorney, State of Connecticut, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, and Deputy Chief State’s Attorney, State of Connecticut, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
c/o Timothy J. Sugrue, Esq.
Executive Assistant State’s Attorney
300 Corporate Place
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

__________________________
Elizabeth A. Leifert
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC1996-505/FD/eal/04221997