FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 1997-359|
|Supervisor, Fiscal and
Services, Cheshire Public Schools
|Respondents||July 8, 1998|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 9, 1998, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The case caption has been corrected to reflect the appropriate name of the respondent.
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 written request dated October 24, 1997, the complainant requested that the respondent provide her with copies of all private entrance/road agreements for the last 10 years (hereinafter agreements), as well as a list of all addresses where buses have and continue to enter private driveways/roads to pick up/deliver children without private entrance/road agreements for the last 10 years (hereinafter list).
3. By letter dated October 29, 1997, the respondent provided the complainant with the agreements but denied access to the list based upon §1-19(b)(11), G.S.
4. By letter dated November 6, 1997 and filed on November 10, 1997, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by denying her access to the list.
5. It is found that the requested record is a public record within the meaning of §§1-18a(5) (prior to October 1, 1997, §1-18a(d)) and 1-19(a), G.S.
6. 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 inspect such records promptly or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-15 .
8. The respondent contends the addresses on the list are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-19(b)(11), G.S., since such addresses correspond to the addresses of students enrolled in the Cheshire Public Schools.
9. Section 1-19(b)(11), G.S. , in relevant part provides that:
[n]othing in the [FOI] Act shall be construed to require disclosure of [the] names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is eighteen years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each such student who is younger than eighteen years of age
10. The complainant contends that she is not seeking student addresses, but rather information related to the route taken by public school buses.
11. However, it is found that the requested addresses correspond to the addresses of students within the meaning of §1-19(b)(11), G.S. It is therefore concluded that the list is exempt from disclosure pursuant to such provision, and that the respondent did not violate §1-19(a), G.S., by denying the complainant access to such record.
12. At the hearing on this matter, the respondent provided the complainant with three addresses from the list which correspond to two daycare centers and the driveway of one apartment complex entered by a particular bus in order to make a difficult turn in the road. It is found that information regarding such addresses came to the attention of the respondent approximately two days before the hearing. At such hearing, the complainant requested that a civil penalty be imposed upon the respondent for failing to timely provide such addresses.
13. It is found that the addresses described in paragraph 12, above, are not exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-19(b)(11), G.S., and that the respondent violated §1-19(a), G.S., by failing to promptly provide the complainant with such non-exempt portions of the list.
14. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty under the facts of this case.
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 promptness provision of §1-19(a), G.S.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of July 8, 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:
Kathy Ewings c/o Atty. Kevin Heche 220 South Main Street Cheshire, CT 06410
Supervisor, Fiscal and Transportation Services, Cheshire Public Schools c/o Atty. Priscilla Mulvaney Office of John K. Knott, Jr. 325 South Main Street Cheshire, CT 06410
__________________________ Doris V. Luetjen Acting Clerk of the Commission