FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Thomas Catucci,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-136
Chief of Police, Thomaston Police
Department, Town of Thomaston,
Respondents October 28, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 30, 1998 at 
which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and 
presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The office of the chief 
state’s attorney requested and was granted intervenor status.
	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.
	2.  It is found that on May 8, 1998 the complainant was arrested and charged with 
criminal trespass by the Thomaston police department for violating a restraining order.
	3.  It is found that on May 11 and 21, 1998 the complainant requested a copy of 
the record of his arrest and the victim statement.  The respondent denied the requests on 
May 11 and 21, 1998 on the basis that the criminal trespass case was pending.
	4.  Having failed to receive a copy of the requested records, the complainant 
appealed to the Commission by letter dated and filed with the Commission on May 21, 
1998, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by 
denying him a copy of the requested records.
	5.  It is found that the complainant is seeking access to a one page police report 
generated by the arresting officer (“police report”).
	6.  Section 1-18a(5), G.S., provides that:
"Public records or files" means any 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., further provides, in relevant part:
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.  Any agency rule or regulation, 
or part thereof, that conflicts with the provisions of this 
subsection or diminishes or curtails in any way the rights 
granted by this subsection shall be void.
	8.  It is found that the police report is a public record within the meaning of 1-
18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	9.  It is also found that on June 25, 1998 the respondent mailed the complainant a 
copy of a news release and a “records database” document, which records contain some 
information about his arrest.  The complainant received the news release and “records 
database” on June 29, 1998.
	10.  It is found that the police report contains more detailed information about the 
complainant’s arrest, including a narrative portion as written by the arresting officer.
	11.  The respondent and the intervenor state’s attorney contend that the police 
report is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3), G.S.  They further contend that 
disclosure of the police report would violate the rules of discovery.
	12.  It is found that the criminal trespass case is still pending and is being 
prosecuted by the office of the state’s attorney.
	13.  Section 1-20b, G.S., in relevant part, provides:
(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….[emphasis added.]
(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.
	14.  It is found that the police report contains data or information other than that set 
forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of 1-20b, G.S.  Consequently, disclosure of the 
police report is subject to the provisions of 1-19(b)(3), G.S.
	15. Section 1-19(b)(3), G.S., in relevant part, permits the nondisclosure of:
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 … (B) 
signed statements of witnesses, (C) information to be used 
in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to 
such action….
	16.  Section 1-19b(b)(1), G.S., further provides, in relevant part: “[N]othing in the 
Freedom of Information Act shall be deemed in any manner to … limit the rights of 
litigants, including parties to administrative proceedings, under the laws of discovery of 
this state.”
	17.  It is found that neither the respondent nor the state’s attorneys office provided 
the Commission with any evidence to demonstrate how disclosure of the police report 
would be prejudicial to the pending criminal trespass case within the meaning of 1-
19(b)(3)(C), G.S., or would in any way limit their rights under the rules of discovery 
within the meaning of 1-19b(b)(1), G.S.
	18.  It is also found that the police report does not contain “signed witness 
statements” within the meaning of 1-19(b)(3)(B), G.S.
	19.  It is concluded that the respondent failed to prove that the police report is 
exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(3), G.S.
	20.  It is also concluded that the respondent’s provision of a copy of the news 
release and “records database” to the complainant on June 29, 1998, some seven weeks 
after the complainant’s request for records of his arrest, was not prompt within the 
meaning of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.
	21.  It is further concluded that the respondent violated 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), 
G.S., when he failed to promptly provide the complainant with a copy of the news release, 
“records database” and the police report.
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of 
the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.  Forthwith, the respondent shall provide the complainant with a copy of the 
police report.
	2.  Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the disclosure 
requirements of 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S.
 
 
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of 
October 28, 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:
Thomas Catucci
333 Scott Swamp Road
Farmington, CT 06032
Chief of Police, Thomaston 
Police Department, Town of 
Thomaston 
158 Main Street
Thomaston, CT 06787
Office of the Chief State’s Attorney
c/o Atty. Timothy J. Sugrue
Executive Assistant State’s Attorney
300 Corporate Place
Rocky Hill, CT 06067


__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission


FIC1998-136FD/mrb10301998