FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by

FINAL DECISION

Lorraine Tirella,

 

Complainant

 

 

against

Docket #FIC 2000-067

First Selectman, Town of Oxford,

 

 

Respondents

June 14, 2000

 

 

 

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 27, 2000, 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 §1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.      By letter dated February 1, 2000, the complainant made a request to the respondent for copies of:

 

a.       “a signed copy of the appraisal of Woodruff Hill Road by William Sheehy on February 7, 1998;

 

b.      the bill and payment records of the same appraisal by William Sheehy of February 7, 1998 of Woodruff Hill Road property; and

 

c.       any appraisals from the last ten years on Woodruff Hill Road Property.”

 

3.  By letter dated February 10, 2000 and filed on February 15, 2000, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying her request for a copy of the records described in paragraph 2, above. 

 

4.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

[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 receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.  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. 

 

5.   Section 1-212(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 . . .”

 

6.   It is found that the request records are public records within the meaning of §1-210(a), G.S.

 

7.   With respect to the requested record described in paragraph 2a, above, it is found that the respondent had three signed copies of the appraisal but after a diligent search, which started in August of 1999 in response to a court directive to produce the record, the respondent has determined that the record has been lost.

 

8.   It is found that by letter dated February 7, 2000, the respondent informed the complainant that a signed copy of the appraisal could not be located.

 

9.   With respect to the requested records described in paragraph 2b, above, it is found that the only record responsive to the complainant’s request is a copy of the check issued by the town attorney from his trustee account for payment of the appraisal. 

 

10.  It is found that the respondent did not produce a copy of the check described in paragraphs 2b and 9, above, until the hearing on this matter.

 

11.  It is found, therefore, that the respondent failed to promptly comply with the complainant’s request described in paragraph 2b, above, and thereby violated the provision of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

12.   At the hearing on this matter, the complainant withdrew her complaint with respect to the requested records described in paragraph 2c, above.

 

 

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint.

 

            1.  The respondent shall forthwith provide the complainant with a copy of the check described in paragraphs 2b and 9 of the findings, above, free of charge.

 

 

 

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

June 14, 2000.

 

 

 

 

_________________________

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:

 

 

Lorraine Tirella

11 Larkey Road

Oxford, CT  06478

 

 

First Selectman, Town of Oxford

c/o Atty. George R. Temple

525 Bridgeport Avenue

Shelton, CT  06484

 

 

 

 

 

__________________________

Melanie R. Balfour

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

FIC2000-067FD/mrb/06/16/00