FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Stephen J. Link,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-220
Director, Milford Mental
Health Clinic; and Milford
Mental Health Clinic,
Respondents November 18, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 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.  It is found that by letter dated July 7, 1998, to the respondent Director of the 
Milford Mental Health Clinic ( hereinafter “respondent director”), the complainant made 
a request for documents maintained by the respondents.
 
	2.  It is found that by letter dated July 14, 1998, the respondents informed the 
complainant that it was a private non-profit organization and was not subject to the 
Freedom of Information Act.
 
	3.  By letter dated July 24, 1998, and filed on July 28, 1998, the complainant 
appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondents are public agencies because of 
the level of state funding received by the Milford Mental Health Clinic (hereinafter 
“respondent clinic”) and that they therefore violated the FOI Act by failing to provide 
him with the copies as requested.
 
	4.  In determining whether the respondents are the functional equivalent of a 
“public agency,” the Commission must consider: (1) whether the respondents perform a 
governmental function; (2) the level of governmental funding; (3) the extent of 
governmental involvement and regulation; and (4) whether the respondents were created 
by the government.  Connecticut Humane Society v. FOIC Commission, 218 Conn. 757, 
706 (1991).  These factors must be considered cumulatively, with no single factor being 
essential or conclusive.  These factors also must be applied on balance on a case by case 
basis to ensure that the general rule of disclosure underlying the FOI Act is not 
undermined.
 
	5.  With respect to the respondent clinic’s creation, it is found that the respondent 
clinic was created by a private citizens board of directors in 1964 as a non-stock 
corporation under the name Milford Child Guidance Clinic, Inc., which was changed in 
1980, after a merger, to Milford Mental Health Clinic, Inc.
 
	6.  It is concluded that the respondent clinic was not created by government.
 
	7.  With respect to the respondent clinic’s function it is found that the respondent 
clinic is a non-profit mental health facility which primarily functions to treat private 
patients on a confidential out-patient basis. 
 
	8.  It is found that as the state government has become more involved in 
providing these services to the public, it has often contracted with private organizations, 
such as the respondent clinic, for their services.  It is further found that the government is 
not required by law to use the respondent clinic’s services nor is the respondent required 
by law to provide those services for the state government and that the relationship of the 
respondent to the state agencies is that of a vendor.
 
	9.  It is further found that the services the respondent clinic provides for the 
government are incidental to its primary function and that the respondent clinic would 
still function and operate without the government contracts.
 
	10.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondent does not perform a 
governmental function.
 
	11.  With respect to the respondent clinic’s funding from government agencies, it 
is found that although the respondent clinic has contractual relationships with  several 
state agencies to provide certain services for particular referred clients, funds received 
from those state agencies are payments for those services pursuant to the contractual 
relationships.
 
	12.  It is found that the respondent clinic also receives grants from the state to 
administer certain programs at the clinic.  
 
	13.  It is found that to the extent that the respondent clinic chooses to administer 
those programs, it is those programs which are funded by the government and not the 
respondent clinic. 
 
	14.  It is also found that if the respondent clinic chooses not to administer any of 
the programs funded by the government, it would still provide its out-patient services 
which are paid for by the patients themselves.
 
	15.  Therefore, it is concluded that the respondent clinic is not funded by the 
government.  Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, Inc. v. Freedom of 
Information Commission, 47 Conn.App. 466 (1998).
 
	16.  With respect to the respondent clinic’s regulation by the government, it is 
found that once the respondent agrees to administer a program and accepts the grants to 
do so, those programs are regulated pursuant to the conditions set forth in the grant.  
 
	17.  It is also found that some of the state agencies conduct site visits to ensure that 
the programs are being administered in compliance with the conditions of the grant.
 
	18.  It is found that the respondent clinic is staffed by professional psychiatrists, 
psychologists and therapists who are licensed and regulated by the Department of Public 
Health.
 
	19.  It is concluded that the respondents are subject to significant governmental 
involvement and regulation.
 
	20.  It is concluded that, on balance, the respondents are not the functional 
equivalent of a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G.S., and therefore are not 
subject to the jurisdiction of this Commission.
	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 special meeting of 
November 18, 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:
Stephen J. Link 
Christmas Steps
PO Box 316
Monroe, CT 06468
Director, Milford Mental 
Health Clinic; and Milford
Mental Health Clinic
c/o Atty. Keith R. Ainsworth
Evans, Feldman & Boyer, LLC
261 Bradley Street
PO Box 1694
New Haven, CT 06507-1694

__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1998-220FD/mrb11241998