FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Candee Doneiko,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-107
Chief, Seymour Police Department,
Town of Seymour; Records Division,
Seymour Police Department, Town of
Seymour; and Seymour Police
Department, Town of Seymour,
Respondents September 23, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 29, 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.   By letter dated March 4, 1998, the complainant requested that the respondent 
chief allow her “…to review and have copies of any and all parking tickets issued for 
parking violations on New Street from 1995 to present.”  Such letter also requested that 
the respondent chief contact the complainant when such tickets would be available for the 
complainant’s review.  
	3.   It is found that, after mailing her request, the complainant had several 
telephone conversations with members of the staff of the respondent department whereby 
the complainant was informed of the manner in which the tickets are kept on file and the 
fact that the respondent department was short-staffed.  It is further found that, as a result 
of such telephone conversations, the complainant granted the respondents an extension of 
time in which to comply with her request.
	4.   It is found that, on April 9, 1998, the complainant was informed by a member 
of the staff of the respondent department that she would be charged for copies of all the 
tickets matching the description specified in paragraph 2, above.  It is further found that, 
at such point, the complainant was informed that she could not personally review the file 
containing the tickets due to concerns about the integrity of the records and the security 
of the inner offices where such records are located.  
	5.   By letter dated April 16, 1998, and filed April 20, 1998, the complainant 
appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of 
Information (“FOI”) Act by denying her access to the records described in paragraph 2, 
above.  The complainant requested that civil penalties be imposed.  
	6.   It is found that the respondents keep on file approximately five to six thousand 
parking tickets.  It is further found that such tickets are filed in numerical order, rather 
than by date or geographical location, so that in order to identify the tickets sought by the 
complainant as described in paragraph 2, above, all five to six thousand tickets must be 
reviewed.  
	7.   It is found that all parking tickets kept by the respondents are located within a 
secured area of the respondent department, which is inaccessible to the general public.  It 
is further found that the complainant’s request was the first such comprehensive request 
received by the respondent chief.  
	8.   It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 
1-19(a), G.S. 
	9.   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 during 
regular office or business hours….
	10.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent chief acknowledged that the 
denial in this case was an error and pledged to make arrangements for the public to 
personally review parking tickets upon receipt of any future requests.  It is found that the 
respondents hand-delivered copies of the requested records to the complainant on April 
29, 1998, at no cost.  
	11.  Based upon the facts and circumstances of this case, and in consideration of 
the findings in paragraph 10, above, the Commission declines to impose a civil penalty. 
	
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.   Henceforth, the respondents shall comply with the provisions of the FOI Act. 
	2.   The Commission commends the respondent chief for the acknowledgment and 
pledge described in paragraph 10 of the findings, above.  In this spirit, the Commission 
urges the respondents to contact the Commission’s staff in the event of future FOI Act 
compliance questions, since such communication often results in the avoidance of costly 
administrative hearings.  

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of 
September 23, 1998.


_________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
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:
Candee Doneiko
29 New Street
Seymour, CT 06483
Chief, Seymour Police Department, 
Town of Seymour; Records Division, 
Seymour Police Department, Town of 
Seymour; and Seymour Police 
Department, Town of Seymour
c/o Atty. Colleen D. Fries
P.O. Box 1978
Bridgeport, CT. 06601


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission




FIC1998-107FD/mrb09241998