FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Rick Rachele,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1998-339
Secretary, Police Commission,
Town of Windsor Locks; and
Police Commission, Town of
Windsor Locks,
Respondents March 24, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 29, 1998, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, 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 on October 22, 1998, the complainant made an oral request to the respondents for a copy of the audio tape recording and minutes of the respondent commission’s October 14, 1998, meeting.

        3. It is found that the minutes were not available for inspection or copying and that the complainant was asked to put his request for a copy of the audio tape recording of the meeting in writing.

        4. By letter dated October 23, 1998, and filed on October 30, 1998, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI") Act by failing to file the minutes of their October 14, 1998, meeting within the required statutory period and requiring him to reduce his request for a copy of the audio tape recording of the meeting to writing.

        5. It is found that the records described in paragraph 2, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(5) and 1-19(a), G.S.

        6. With regard to the complainant being asked to put his request for a copy of the audio tape recording in writing, 1-15(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that "[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive...a plain or certified copy of any public record…."

        7. It is concluded that nothing in 1-15(a) or 1-19(a), G.S., prohibited the respondents from requiring the complainant to put his request for a copy of the audio tape recording of the meeting in writing.

        8. With regard to the availability of the minutes, 1-21(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that " . . . minutes [of a meeting of a public agency] shall be available for public inspection within seven days of the session to which they refer . . ."

        9. The respondents contend that the seven day requirement described in paragraph 8, above, is modified by the mandate of 1-21(b), G.S., which provides in relevant part:

[i]n determining the time within which or by when a notice, agenda or other information is required to be given, made available, posted or filed, under subsection (a), Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays and any day on which the office of the agency, the Secretary of the State or the clerk of the applicable political subdivision or the clerk of each municipal member of any multitown district or agency, as the case may be, is closed, shall be excluded.

        10. It is found that, pursuant to 1-21(b), G.S., Saturdays and Sundays shall be excluded when determining the time limits for making available to the public minutes of meetings. It is further found that the minutes of the October 14, 1998 meeting of the respondent commission were available in the office of the respondents on October 23, 1998.

Therefore, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-21(a), G.S., by making available the minutes of the October 14, 1998, meeting as described in paragraph 10, above.

 

        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 regular meeting of March 24, 1999.

 

 

 

_________________________

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:

 

Rick Rachele
44 Leslie Street
Windsor Locks, CT 06096

 

Secretary, Police Commission,
Town of Windsor Locks; and
Police Commission, Town of
Windsor Locks
c/o Atty. Christopher R. Stone
Chadwick, Libbey, Szilagyi
& Stone
111 Founders Plaza
Suite 1403
East Hartford, CT 06108

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1998-339FD/mrb03251999