FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

FINAL DECISION
Docket #FIC 1997-049
September 10, 1997

In the Matter of a Complaint by Clemens C. Kuhlig, Sr. And Ruth E. Kuhlig, Complainants
against
Reports and Records Division, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety, Respondents

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 27, 1997, at which time the complainants and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.

2. By letter dated January 15, 1997, the complainants requested of the respondent department a copy of a statement made to Sgt. Maynard by Velda Haskell at the Troop E Barracks in Montville on or about April 18, 1992 referring to a conversation between the complainant Ruth Kuhlig and Haskell concerning the skill exhibited by the complainant Clemens Kuhlig and referencing case #92-035683.

3. By letter dated January 21, 1997, the respondents replied to the complainants’ request by stating that the complainants have already received a copy of case report E92-035683 and by stating, with no further explanation, that the respondents’ records indicate that the requested written statement does not exist.

4. Having failed to receive a copy of the requested statement, the complainants appealed to the Commission by letter dated January 27, 1997, and filed with the Commission on January 29, 1997.

5. It is found that prior to January 15, 1997, the complainants received from the respondents a copy of case report #E92-035683

6. It is also found that the requested statement was not included in case report #E92-035683.

7. It is further found that the requested report was part of the file of an internal affairs investigation of a Trooper Miller, instituted by a complaint filed by the complainants herein and resulting in a finding of no misconduct on the part of Trooper Miller.

8. It is further found that the requested statement was lawfully destroyed pursuant to the authority of the state Public Records Administrator prior to the complainants’ request in this case.

9. It is therefore concluded that, although the complainants had good reason to believe that the requested statement existed at the time of their request and, indeed, had provided information to the respondents correctly indicating where the statement might be found, the respondents did not violate the Freedom of Information Act because the statement was no longer in existence at the time of the complainants’ request.

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 September 10, 1997.

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
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:
Clemens C. Kuhlig, Sr. and Ruth E. Kuhlig
25 Armbruster Road
Terryville, CT 06786

Reports and Records Division, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety
c/o Robert B. Fiske, III
Assistant Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1997-049/tcg/09101997