FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Roger L. LeClair,
Complainants
against Docket #FIC 1999-050
Building Inspector, Town of
Windham; and Town of Windham,
Respondents July 14, 1999

        The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 3, 1999, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This case was heard with Docket #FIC 1999-051, Roger L. LeClair against Foreman, Department of Public Works, Town of Windham; Department of Public Works, Town of Windham; and Town of Windham; Docket #FIC 1999-052, Roger L. LeClair against Foreman, Department of Public Works, Town of Windham; Department of Public Works, Town of Windham; and Town of Windham; and Docket #FIC 1999-053, Roger L. LeClair against Superintendent, Windham Water Works, Town of Windham; Windham Water Works, Town of Windham; and Town of Windham.

         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 1-200(1), G.S. [formerly 1-18a(1), G.S.]

        2. It is found that, on December 16, 1998, the complainant requested that the respondents provide access to the demolition permit for demolition performed at 319 Jackson Street, Willimantic, Connecticut, on December 16, 1998 (hereinafter "the demolition permit"). It is also found that, at such time, the complainant was informed that there was no demolition permit.

        3. It is further found that, on or about December 30, 1998, the complainant visited the offices of the respondents, inspected the entire file related to the property described in paragraph 2, above, and found no demolition permit.

        4. By letter dated January 19, 1999, the complainant again requested that the respondents provide access to the demolition permit.

        5. By letter dated February 2, 1999, and filed with the Commission February 8, 1999, the complainant alleged that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to provide access to the demolition permit.

        6. Section 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 1-19(a), G.S.], provides in relevant part:

[e]xcept 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 the right to inspect such records promptly…

        (Emphasis added.)

        7. It is found that the demolition permit does not, and has never, existed. It is further found that the respondents informed the complainant of this fact prior to the filing of the complaint in this matter.

        8. It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the provisions of 1-210(a), G.S. [formerly 1-19(a), G.S.], in this matter.

        9. The Commission declines to impose a civil penalty against the complainant, as requested by the respondents prior to the hearing in this matter.

        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.

        2. The Commission encourages the respondents to promptly provide written responses to written requests for access to records in the future. In many instances, such responses can avoid administrative hearings at the Commission.

 

        Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of

July 14, 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:

 

Roger L. LcClair
PO Box 781
Willimantic, CT 06226
Building Inspector,
Town of Windham;
and Town of Windham
c/o Atty. Richard S. Cody
21 East Main Street
PO Box 425
Mystic, CT 06355

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC1999-050FD/mrb/07151999