FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

John M. Reilly,

 

 

Complainants

 

 

against

 

Docket #FIC 1999-082

State of Connecticut, Judicial Branch,

Court Operations Division, Legal Services,

 

 

Respondents

June 9, 1999

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on April 16, 1999, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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.  By letter dated February 18, 1999, postmarked February 15, 1999, and filed with the Commission on February 24, 1999, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by failing to furnish copies of records pursuant to requests by the complainant on January 12, 1999 and January 18, 1999.

 

            2.  The complainant’s January 12, 1999 letter requested the following records:

 

a)  the investigative report or background check in connection with the award of an offender treatment contract to The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services;

 

b)  amendments and revisions to the contract with The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services;

 

c)  any communications authorizing The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services, to raise rates to clients;

 

d)  a complete list of names and addresses of sexual offenders atttending the Wednesday Group at the New Haven Adult Probation Office from April 12, 1996 to January 12, 1999;

 

e)  statistical information concerning the failure rate of the Wednesday Group compared to the Thursday Group at the New Haven Adult Probation Office; and

 

f)  authorization by the Office of Alternative Sanctions for Jim Hughes of The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services, to “raise the rates to clients for the therapists to get raises”.

 

            3. The complainant’s January 18, 1999 letter requested the following additional records:

 

a)  records relating to home visits, workplace visits and contacts with medical doctors concerning the complainant;

 

b)  complaints concerning The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services; and

 

c)  records where the names Jim Hughes and Lynn Anderson appear as agents of The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services.

 

4.  The respondent answered the complainant’s letters with separate letters dated February 4, 1999, March 4, 1999, March 23, 1999, and March 26, 1999, stating that the contract with The Connection, d.b.a. Special Services, and the complainant’s own January 12, 1999 letter would be furnished, but that the other requested records did not relate to an administrative function and therefore the requests for such other records were denied.

 

            5.  Section 1-200(1), (formerly 1-18a(1)), G.S. states:

 

"Public agency" or "agency" ... also includes any judicial office, official or body or committee thereof but only in respect to its or their administrative functions.

 

            6.  It is concluded that the respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), (formerly 1-18a(1)), G.S., but only with respect to its administrative functions.

 

7.  The Supreme Court stated in Connecticut Bar Examining Committee v. FOIC , 209 Conn. 204, 208 (1988), that:

 

We have construed the term “administrative functions” in

1-18a(a), records of which are accessible under 1-19, to

exclude matters involved in the adjudication of cases…and

to refer only to “matters relating to the internal machinery of

the court system.”

 

8.  It is found that the respondent does not have in its custody any records as described at paragraphs 2a) and 2e), above.

 

9.  It is also found that the complainant has in his possession the records described at paragraphs 2b), 2c), 2f), 3b) and 3c), above.

 

10.  It is also concluded that the records described at paragraphs 2d) and 3a), above, are maintained or kept by the respondent in connection with the adjudication of  specific cases, and are not related to the administrative functions of the respondent.

 

11.  Therefore, pursuant to 1-200(1), (formerly 1-18a(1)), G.S., the Commission lacks jurisdiction over the respondent with reference to the records described at paragraphs 2d) and 3a), above. It is concluded that, in the context of probation supervision, an individual does not have an FOIA right to review the respondent’s records that pertain to him or her.

 

 

            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

June 9, 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:

 

 

John M. Reilly

875 Townsend Avenue

New Haven, CT  06512

 

State of Connecticut,

Judicial Branch,

Court Operations

Division, Legal Services

c/o Atty. Martin R. Libbin

Attorney, Legal Services

100 Washington Street

PO Box 150474

Hartford, CT  064115-0474

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1999-082/mrb/06141999