In the Matter of a Complaint by


Patricia A. Conrad, Raymond Conrad,
and Christopher Conrad,






 Docket #FIC 2000-410

Chief, Police Department, Town of
South Windsor; and Commander, Police
Department, Town of South Windsor,
Technical Services Division,




October 11, 2000





The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 29, 2000, at which time the complainants 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 §1-200(1), G.S.


            2.  It is found that by letter dated June 26, 2000, the complainants requested that the respondent chief provide them with:


a.       all reports, memoranda, tape recorded telephone conversations, tape recorded radio communications, log entries, and any other documents relating to an incident involving the police response on June 17, 2000 to the complainants’ residence; and


b.    copies of any and all case/incident reports, log entries,

       and complaints concerning Patricia, Raymond,

       Christopher and Carrie Conrad, and the address of 864 

       Strong Road, South Windsor, Connecticut 06074.


            3.  It is found that the respondents provided the complainants with certain records, however, upon receipt of such records the complainants notified the respondent chief, by letter dated July 21, 2000, that the following records were missing:

i)                    incident report/ complaint taken by officer 155 about the abuse of blue lights;

ii)                   report following complainants’ visit and discussion with commander Martin during afternoon of June 17, 2000;

iii)                 report following 1:00am visit to complainants’ home by officer Riggs on June 20, 2000;

iv)                 reports pertaining to gun shots in the woods behind the complainants’ house, over the past twelve years.


The complainants again requested the records described in paragraph 2a and 2b, above, in their July 21, 2000 letter.


            4.  It is found that by letter dated July 26, 2000, the respondent commander informed the complainants that “you may pick up the material requested.”


            5.  It is found that on July 28, 2000 the complainants went to the respondents’ offices to pick up the records and were told to pay $108 for the copies of records being provided.  The $108 included an hourly rate charge for the respondents’ employee involved in compiling the records.  The complainants refused to pay the hourly rate charge and left without the records.


            6.  By letter dated July 28, 2000 and filed on August 1, 2000, the complainants appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to a) provide all the records requested and described in paragraph 2a and 2b, above,  and b) overcharging for copies of records.


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



Except 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 during regular office or business hours or 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.  [Emphasis added.]


            8.  It is concluded that the records at issue, to the extent they exist, are public records within the meaning of §1-210(a), G.S.


            9.  With respect to the request described in paragraph 2a, above, the respondent commander testified that after searching all of the respondents’ records he was unable to identify or locate any records, other than those already provided to the complainants, concerning the June 17, 2000 incident at the complainants’ residence.  Specifically, in response to the complainants’ contention that a complaint or incident report that led to the police response and visit to their home on June 17, 2000 exists, the respondent commander indicated that no such incident report or complaint exists.


            10.  With respect to the request described in paragraph 2b, above, it is found that the records at issue are the records the complainants went to pick up on July 28, 2000 and for which they refused to pay $108.  Those records pertain to incidents that occurred during 1991, 1993 and 1994.  The respondent commander indicated at the hearing in this matter, that he now realizes that the complainants may only be charged the statutory rate permitted for copies of records as set forth at §1-212(2), G.S., which rate is no more than fifty-cents per page.  It is concluded, that with respect to the issue of costs for copies, the respondent commander, although unintentionally, violated §1-212(2), G.S., when he requested payment of $108 for the copies of records he was providing to the complainants on July 28, 2000.


            11.  At the hearing on this matter, the complainants indicated that they also believe the following records exist and have not been provided to them by the respondents: a tape recording of their conversation with officer Thompson; report of a June 1, 2000 conversation with commander Lewis and a 1999 complaint filed by their neighbor.


            12.  It is concluded that to the extent the records described in paragraph 11 exist, such records are public records, and are subject to public disclosure pursuant to §1-210(a), G.S. 


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


            1.   Forthwith, the respondent commander shall conduct a thorough search of the hard paper copy, tape-recorded (telephone and radio) communications, as well as computer stored records of the South Windsor Police Department to ascertain definitively whether any records that fall within the complainants’ request, as described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 11, of the findings above, exist that have not been provided to them.  Upon completion of such search, if records are located, they shall be provided to the complainants immediately.  If no records are located, the respondent commander shall forthwith so inform the complainants in a written affidavit attesting to the fact that following a complete and thorough search of the records of the South Windsor Police Department no records exist other than those already provided to the complainants.


2.  Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the copying cost provisions set forth at §1-212(2), G.S.




Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 11, 2000.




Dolores E. Tarnowski 

Clerk of the Commission






Patricia A. Conrad, Raymond Conrad,

and Christopher Conrad,

864 Strong Road

South Windsor, CT  06074


Chief, Police Department, Town of

South Windsor; and Commander, Police

Department, Town of South Windsor,

Technical Services Division

c/o Commander Hart

Police Department

Town of South Windsor

151 Sand Hill Road

South Windsor, CT  06074





Dolores E. Tarnowski

Clerk of the Commission