In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Frances Poulin,
against Docket #FIC 1998-238
Superintendent of Schools,
Windsor Locks Public Schools,
Respondents December 9, 1998
	The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 2, 1998, 
at which time the complainant and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(1), G.S. 
	2.   By letter dated July 28, 1998, the complainant requested that the respondent 
provide her with copies of records related to the 1997 complaint against Janet Foster, 
including the original complaint, the report filed by John Byron, principal of North Street 
School, interviews with children in Ms. Foster’s class, and any correspondence relative to 
such complaint.      
	3.   By letter dated July 31, 1998, the respondent provided the complainant with 
redacted copies of the requested original complaint and the report of John Byron.  By such 
letter, the respondent declined to provide the requested children’s interviews and 
correspondence protected by the attorney-client privilege.  Also by such letter, the 
respondent informed the complainant that copies of any non-exempt correspondence 
would be provided upon the complainant’s specification of particular documents and 
payment of a fee of fifty cents per page.   
	4.  It is found that the complainant did not further specify her request but rather, 
by letter dated August 5, 1998, and filed with the Commission on August 6, 1998, 
appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of 
Information (“FOI”) Act by denying her access to withheld records.  
	5.   It is found that the requested records are public records within the meaning of 
1-19(a), G.S.
	6.   Section 1-19(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:
[e]xcept as otherwise provided by any federal law or state 
statute, all records maintained…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…hours or to receive a copy of such 
records…in accordance with the provisions of section 1-
	7.   Section 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:  
[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly 
upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.  
The fee for any copy provided in accordance with the [FOI] 
act…by [municipal] public agencies, as defined in section 1-
18a, shall not exceed fifty cents per page….
	8.   The respondent contends that the redacted records described in paragraph 2, 
above, and the requested children’s interviews described therein, are exempt from 
mandatory disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(11), G.S.  
	9.   Section 1-19(b)(11), G.S., in relevant part provides that:
[n]othing in the [FOI] Act…shall be construed to require 
disclosure of [the] names or addresses of students enrolled 
in any public school or college without the consent of each 
student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is 
[18] years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each 
such student who is younger than [18] years of age… 
	10.  It is found that the portions of the requested records which were redacted 
when provided to the complainant as described in paragraph 3, above, consist of the 
names of, and details identifying, students under the age of eighteen.  
	11.  It is found that the interviews described in paragraph 3, above, were 
conducted with children approximately 7 to 8 years of age, in the presence of their parents 
or guardians, and upon a promise of confidentiality.    
	12.  It is found that the identity of the minor students described in paragraph 11, 
above, might be gleaned from the interviews, even with their names redacted, due to the 
contents of such statements.  Accordingly, it is further found that mere redaction of such 
children’s names would not ensure that their identities would be protected.  
	13.  Based upon the findings set forth in paragraphs 10 through 12, above, it is 
concluded that in this case 1-19(b)(11), G.S., exempts from disclosure the redacted 
portions of the records provided as described in paragraph 3, above, as well as the 
interviews requested as described in paragraph 2, above.  Therefore, the respondent did 
not violate 1-19(a) and 1-15(a), G.S., by denying the complainant copies of such 
	14.  The respondent also contends that 1-19(b)(10), G.S., provides a basis to 
withhold any requested correspondence from or to legal counsel.  
	15.  Section 1-19(b)(10), G.S., in relevant part, permits the nondisclosure of 
“…communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship.”
	16.  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 
Lafaive v. DiLoreto, 2 Conn. App. 58, 65 cert. denied, 194 Conn. 801 (1984). 
	17.  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.
	18.  It is found that any correspondence between the respondent and legal counsel 
regarding the Foster complaint was drafted in confidence in the course of seeking or 
giving legal advice and, accordingly, such correspondence constitutes attorney-client 
privileged materials within the meaning of 1-19(b)(10), G.S. 
	19.  It is concluded that the correspondence described in paragraph 18, above, is 
exempt from mandatory disclosure pursuant to 1-19(b)(10), G.S., and that the 
respondent did not violate 1-19(a) and 1-15(a), G.S., by withholding such records.  
	20.  It is found, however, that the respondent failed to promptly review her file 
regarding the Foster complaint to determine if any other correspondence is contained 
therein which is responsive to the complainant’s request.  Accordingly, the respondent 
violated 1-19(a), G.S., by such failure.  
	21.  At the hearing in this matter, the respondent pledged to review such file and to 
provide the complainant with correspondence not exempt by virtue of 1-19(b)(10) or 1-
19(b)(11), G.S.    
	The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the 
record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
	1.  Henceforth, the respondent shall strictly comply with the promptness provision 
of 1-19(a), G.S.
	2.  The Commission acknowledges the pledge made by the respondent and 
described in paragraph 21 of the findings, above, and orders the respondent to promptly 
provide the complainant with any non-exempt correspondence responsive to the 
complainant’s request.  If the respondent withholds any such records, she shall provide the 
complainant with an affidavit listing the number and type of records withheld, and stating 
the exemption applicable to each such record.  

	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
Frances Poulin
202 North Street
Windsor Locks, CT 06096
Superintendent of 
Schools, Windsor Locks 
Public Schools
c/o Atty. Loren Lettick 
1062 Barnes Road
Suite 307
Wallingford, CT 06492

Melanie R. Balfour
Acting Clerk of the Commission