FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Kenneth Nelson and Berlin Batting Cages, Inc.,

 

 

Complainants

 

 

against

 

Docket #FIC 1997-221

Inland Wetlands Agent, Inland Wetlands Commission, Town of Berlin; and Inland Wetlands Commission, Town of Berlin,

 

 

Respondents

February 25, 1998

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 6, 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(1), G.S. (prior to October 1, 1997, 1-18a(a), G.S.).

        2. By letter dated June 16, 1997, the complainants requested that the respondents provide them with copies of any records authorizing the respondent agent to change the respondent commission’s approval of an application identified as "92-10W."

        3. It is found that in response to such request, the respondents promptly provided the complainants with copies of the following records: a June 25, 1997 letter from Thomas P. Byrne to the respondent agent; an April 29, 1997 letter from Thomas P. Byrne to the Town Manager of Berlin; an October 21, 1996 letter from the complainants to the respondent commission; a July 27, 1992 letter from the respondent agent to Ronald Edelson; and a two page record which appears to relate to the vote of the respondent commission on Application 92-10W.

        4. By letter dated June 19, 1997, and filed on July 21, 1997, the complainants appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by denying them a copy of the requested records.

        5. Section 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant 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…receive a copy of such records…

        6. With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 4, above, the respondents contend that they have provided the complainants with all records in their custody related to Application 92-10W.

        7. The complainant contends that the April 29, 1997 letter provided to the complainants and described in paragraph 3, above, states in relevant part "…pursuant to the authority granted to [the Agent] by the inland wetlands commission in its approval of the Edelson application on June 2, 1992…," constitutes evidence that the respondents maintain or keep on file a record confirming the agent’s authority.

        8. It is found however, that the April 29, 1997 letter does not verify that such a record exists.

        9. It is further found that the respondents promptly provided to the complainants all existing records responsive to their request; and is therefore concluded that the respondent did not violate the provisions of 1-19(a), G.S.

        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 February 25, 1998.

_________________________
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:
Kenneth Nelson and Berlin Batting Cages, Inc.
P.O. Box 307
Kensington, CT 06037

Inland Wetlands Agent, Inland Wetlands Commission, Town of Berlin; and Inland Wetlands Commission, Town of Berlin
c/o Atty. Thomas P. Bryne
1790 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1997-211/FD/tcg/02251998