FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Robert J. Wise,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-047
Director, Community Planning and
Development, Town of Simsbury; and
Community Planning and Development,
Town of Simsbury,
Respondents July 22, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 31, 1998 at 
which time the complainant 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.
	2.  It is found that by letter dated January 16, 1998, the complainant requested that 
the town clerk provide him with the following, (hereinafter “requested records”):
i)  all records, memoranda, letters or documents pertaining 
to research of change in zoning regulations transmitted by 
the law firm of Beck & Eldergill to the town of Simsbury 
(“town”) from September, 1997 to the present date: and 
ii)  all records, memoranda, letters or documents pertaining 
to research of change in zoning regulations transmitted by 
the law firm of Beck & Eldergill to the town of Simsbury 
and charged by Beck & Eldergill on invoice dated 
September 19, 1997.
	3.  It is found that by letter dated February 6, 1998 the respondent director 
denied the request indicating that such records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 
1-19(b)(4) and 1-19(b)(10), G.S.
	4.  Having failed to receive the requested records, the complainant, by letter 
dated February 16, 1998 and filed with the Commission on February 17, 1998, alleged 
that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying him access to 
the requested records.
	5.  It is found that the respondents have a February 11, 1998 letter (hereinafter 
“letter”) which is responsive to the complainant’s request.
	6.  Section 1-18a(5), G.S., defines public records as “[a]ny recorded data or 
information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, 
received or retained by a public agency, whether such data or information be handwritten, 
typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other 
method.”
	7.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., in relevant part, further provides:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state 
statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public 
agency, whether or not such records are required by any 
law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and 
every person shall have the right to inspect such records 
promptly during regular office or business hours or to 
receive a copy of such records in accordance with the 
provisions of section 1-15.
	8.  It is concluded that the letter is a public record within the meaning of 1-
18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	9.  The respondents however, contend that the letter is exempt from disclosure 
pursuant to 1-19(b)(4) and (10), G.S.
	10.  Section 1-19(b)(4), G.S., permits the nondisclosure of  “[r]ecords pertaining 
to strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which 
the public agency is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or 
otherwise settled.”
	11.  Section 1-19(b)(10), G.S., permits the nondisclosure of “[c]ommunications 
privileged by the attorney-client relationship.”
	12.  Following the hearing in this matter, the respondents submitted the letter to 
the Commission for an in camera review.
	13.  The exemption for attorney-client privileged communications contained in 
1-19(b)(10), G.S., is limited to the following circumstances in accordance with 
established Connecticut law:
Where legal advice of any kind is sought from a 
professional legal adviser in his capacity as such, the 
communications relating to that purpose, made in 
confidence by the client, are at his instance permanently 
protected from disclosure by himself or by the legal 
adviser, except the protection may be waived.
Lafaive v. DiLoreto, 2 Conn. App. 58, 65 cert. denied, 194 Conn. 801 (1984).
	14.  The attorney-client privilege protects communications between client and 
attorney, when made in confidence for the purpose of seeking or giving legal advice.  
Ullmann v. State, 230 Conn. 698, 711 (1994).  It is strictly construed because it “tends to 
prevent a full disclosure of the truth….”  Id. at 710.  The privilege is waived when 
statements of the communication are made to third parties. Id. at 711; See LaFaive v. 
DiLorento, supra.
	15.  It is found that the letter is a confidential communication between attorney 
and client and contains legal advice.
	16.  It is also found that the attorney-client privilege was not waived with respect 
to the letter.
	17.  It is therefore, concluded that the letter is permissively exempt from 
disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(10), G.S.
	18.  Consequently, the respondents did not violate 1-19(a), G.S., when they 
failed to provide the complainant with a copy of the letter.
	19.  In view of the conclusion reached in paragraph 17, above, there is no need to 
address the respondents’ further claim that the letter is exempt from disclosure pursuant 
to 1-19(b)(4), 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 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:
Robert J. Wise
3 Vincent Drive
Simsbury, CT 06070
Director, Community Planning and Development, Town of Simsbury; and Community 
Planning and Development, Town of Simsbury
c/o Atty. Janice M. Small
187 North Main Street
Wallingford, CT 06492

__________________________
Doris V. Luetjen
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-047/FD/tcg/07291998