FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Anne Grabowy,

 

 

Complainants

 

 

against

 

Docket #FIC 1997-369

Chairman, Board of Finance, Town of Lisbon,

 

 

Respondents

March 25, 1998

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 20, 1998, at which time the complainant and the 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(1), G.S. (prior to October 1, 1997, 1-18a(a), G.S.).

        2. By letter dated and filed with the Commission on November 19, 1997, the complainant alleged that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act ("FOI") Act by failing to notify members of the Lisbon Board of Finance of a special meeting of such board.

        3. Section 1-21(a), G.S., in relevant part that:

…Notice of each special meeting of every public agency…shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of such meeting by filing a notice of the time and place thereof in the office of the…clerk of such subdivision for any public agency of a political subdivision of the state….The secretary or clerk shall cause any notice received under this section to be posted in his office. Such notice shall be given not less than twenty-four hours prior to the time of the special meeting….The notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted. No other business shall be considered at such meetings by such public agency. In addition, such written notice shall be delivered to the usual place of abode of each member of the public agency so that the same is received prior to such special meeting. The requirement of delivery of such written notice may be dispensed with as to any member who at or prior to the time the meeting convenes files with the clerk or secretary of the public agency a written waiver of delivery of such notice. Such waiver may be given by telegram. The requirement of delivery of such written notice may also be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present at the meeting at the time it convenes….

        4. It is concluded that 1-21(a), G.S., confers upon individual members of public agencies the right to home delivery of notice of special meetings.

        5. It is found that the Lisbon Board of Finance held a special meeting on November 13, 1997 and that the notice of such meeting was timely filed and posted with the town clerk as required by the provisions of 1-21(a), G.S.

        6. It is also found that, except for one individual, all members of such board were present at the meeting described in paragraph 5, above.

        7. It is also found that the complainant is not a member of the Lisbon Board of Finance.

        8. Section 1-21i(c), G.S., in relevant part provides that:

[a]ny person who does not receive proper notice of any meeting of a public agency in accordance with the provisions of the [FOI] Act may appeal under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section….

        9. Section 1-21i(b)(1), G.S., in relevant part provides that:

[a]ny person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-19 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the [FOI] Act may appeal therefrom to the [FOI] Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission….

        10. It is concluded that the complainant has not been denied any right conferred by 1-21i(c), G.S., or any other provision of the FOI Act and therefore has no basis upon which to appeal to this Commission pursuant to the provisions of 1-21i(b)(1), 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 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

        Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 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:
Anne Grabowy
4 Club House Road
Lisbon, CT 06351

Chairman, Board of Finance, Town of Lisbon
c/o John R. FitzGerald
141 Broadway
Norwich, CT 06360

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1997-369/FD/tcg/03301998