FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Franz Douskey,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-236
Town Planner, Planning and Zoning
Office, Town of Hamden; and Planning
and Zoning Office, Town of Hamden,
Respondents December 9, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 27, 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 July 19, 1998 the complainant asked the 
respondent town planner certain questions pertaining to the regulations for notifying 
residents of zoning changes.
	3.  It is also found that on August 5, 1998 the complainant visited the respondents’ 
office and at that time requested a copy of the July 29, 1998 Planning and Zoning 
commission meeting minutes (hereinafter “minutes”).
	4.  Having failed to receive a response to the July 19, 1998 request, and a copy of 
the minutes, the complainant appealed to the Commission by letter dated August 5, 1998 
and filed on August 6, 1998, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of 
Information (“FOI”) Act.
	5.  With respect to the July 19, 1998 request described in paragraph 2, above, it is 
found that such request is not a request for records but rather a request for answers to 
questions.
	6.  It is found that the respondent town planner is not obligated under the FOI Act 
to answer questions, however, his obligation pursuant to 1-15(a) and 1-19(a), G.S., is 
to provide the public with prompt access to inspect and to copy nonexempt public 
records.
	7.  With respect to the minutes request described in paragraph 3, above, it is found 
that at the time of the complainant’s visit to the respondent town planner’s office on 
August 5, 1998 a receptionist in the office had the minutes available, however, she denied 
the complainant a copy of such minutes.
	8.  It is found that the respondents later provided the complainant with a copy of 
the minutes approximately three to four days after the complainant’s August 5, 1998 visit 
to their office.
	9.  Section 1-19(a), G.S., 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 a 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.  [Emphasis added.]
	10.  It is concluded that the minutes are public records within the meaning 1-19(a), 
G.S.
	11.  It is found that the respondents provision of access to the minutes three to 
four days following the complainant’s August 5, 1998 visit to their office was not prompt 
within the meaning of 1-19(a), G.S.
	12.  It is therefore, concluded that the respondents violated 1-19(a), G.S., by 
failing to provide the complainant with prompt access to a copy of the minutes.
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the 
record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.  With respect to the minutes request, henceforth, the respondents shall strictly 
comply with the promptness provision of 1-19(a), G.S.  The Commission also takes this 
opportunity to remind the respondents that in accordance with 1-21(a),G.S., minutes 
should be available for public inspection within seven days of the session to which they 
refer.
	2.  With respect to the July 19, 1998 request, the complaint is hereby dismissed.
	Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of 
December 9, 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:
Franz Douskey 
50 Ives Street
Hamden, CT 06518-2202
Town Planner, Planning 
and Zoning Office, Town
of Hamden; and Planning 
and Zoning Office, Town 
of Hamden
c/o Atty. Joshua A. Winnick
Hamden Town Attorney
2372 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518



__________________________
Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC1998-236FD/mrb12141998