FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Kenneth Green,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-029
Chief, Hartford Police Department,
City of Hartford; Records Division,
Hartford Police Department, City of
Hartford; Hartford Police Department,
City of Hartford; and State’s Attorney,
Judicial District of Hartford,
Respondents July 22, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 16 and April 
6, 1998, at which times the complainant and the respondents appeared, 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.  During the week of January 12, 1998 and again on January 29, 1998, the 
complainant requested verbally that the respondent police department provide him with a 
record of a given arrest, including a narrative of the incident that gave rise to the arrest.
	3.  By letter dated and filed with the Commission on January 30, 1998, the 
complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the 
Freedom of Information Act by refusing to provide him with a record of an arrest, 
including “a narrative of the incident”. 
	4.  At the April 6, 1998 hearing, the respondent state’s attorney informed the 
Commission that the defendant in the criminal prosecution that resulted from the relevant 
arrest had plead guilty during the previous week to a reduced charge of breach of the 
peace. 
	5.  As a result of the fact that a prospective law enforcement action was no longer 
pending, the respondent police department, at the April 6, 1998 hearing, provided the 
complainant with a copy of the relevant incident report, which included a narrative of the 
incident that gave rise to the arrest. The incident report was redacted so as not to disclose 
the name of the complainant who was also characterized in the report as the victim in an 
alleged sexual assault in the fourth degree. 
	6.  At the April 6, 1998 hearing, the complainant did not take exception to the 
redaction, but did rejoin that he was receiving the incident report with a narrative in April 
1998, when he should have received it in January 1998.
	7.  Section 1-20b, G.S., states:
(a)  Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to 
the contrary, and except as otherwise provided in this 
section, any record of the arrest of any person, other than a 
juvenile, except a record erased pursuant to chapter 961a, 
shall be a public record from the time of such arrest and 
shall be disclosed in accordance with the provisions of 
section 1-15 and subsection (a) of section 1-19, except that 
disclosure of data or information other than that set forth in 
subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section shall be 
subject to the provisions of subdivision (3) of subsection 
(b) of section 1-19.  Any personal possessions or effects 
found on a person at the time of such person's arrest shall 
not be disclosed unless such possessions or effects are 
relevant to the crime for which such person was arrested.
(b)  For the purposes of this section, "record of the arrest" 
means (1) the name and address of the person arrested, the 
date, time and place of the arrest and the offense for which 
the person was arrested, and (2) at least one of the 
following, designated by the law enforcement agency:  the 
arrest report, incident report, news release or other similar 
report of the arrest of a person.
	8.  Section 1-19(b), G.S., provides that various records shall be exempt from 
mandatory disclosure, including:
(3)  records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available 
to the public which records were compiled in connection with the 
detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records 
would not be in the public interest because it would result in the 
disclosure of …(C) information to be used in a prospective law 
enforcement action if prejudicial to such action…
	9.  It is found that the respondent police department, in response to the requests 
described at paragraph 2, above, furnished to the complainant, on the same day of his 
request, a criminal history of the defendant who was the subject of the relevant arrest. The 
criminal history included the name and address of the person arrested, the date, time and 
place of the relevant arrest and the offense for which the person was arrested. The 
criminal history also included the following additional information: the place of the 
alleged offenses, the identity of the arresting officers, the case number, and the bond 
amount. 
	10.  It is found that the information included in the criminal history, as set forth at 
paragraph 9, above, could have easily been arranged into a narrative form that would 
have provided a description, narrative or comment concerning the arrest. 
	11.  It is concluded that 1-20b(b)(2), G.S., must require the provision of some 
information beyond the items listed in 1-20b(b)(1), G.S., in order that the legislature’s 
1-20b(b)(2), G.S., language not be rendered meaningless. All four options listed in 1-
20b(b)(2), G.S., generally include in their common sense meaning a description, narrative 
or comment. Therefore, the additional information required by 1-20b(b)(2), G.S., 
beyond the items listed in 1-20b(b)(1), G.S., shall include information that could be 
included into a description, narrative or comment concerning the arrest similar to that 
normally found in arrest reports, incident reports, news releases or other similar reports, 
except that the additional  1-20b(b)(2), G.S., information need not include any 
information exempt under 1-19(b)(3), G.S.
	12.  It is concluded, based upon the findings at paragraphs 9 and 10, above, that 
the information included in the criminal history was functionally equivalent to a “news 
release or other similar report of the arrest”.
	13.  Consequently, it is concluded that, under the circumstances of this case, the 
provision of the criminal history by the respondent police department to the complainant 
satisfied the requirements of 1-20b(b)(2), G.S.
	14.  It is also therefore concluded that the respondent police department did not 
violate of the promptness requirements of 1-15(a) and 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 July 22, 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 Green
223 Granby Street
Hartford, CT 06112
Chief, Hartford Police Department, City of Hartford; Records Division, Hartford Police 
Department, City of Hartford; and Hartford Police Department, City of Hartford
c/o Atty. Ivan Ramos and Atty. Delroy A. Shirley
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06106
State’s Attorney, Judicial District of Hartford
c/o Atty. Timothy J. Sugrue
CSAO
300 Corporate Place
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-029/FD/tcg/07291998