FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

Roy Piper,

 
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-277
First Selectman, Town of Canterbury,  
  Respondent March 23, 2005
       

 

            The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on October 14, 2004, at which time the complainant appeared, presented testimony, an exhibit and argument on the complaint.  The respondent did not appear at the hearing.

 

            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 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  By letter of complaint dated and filed with the Commission on June 21, 2004, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (hereinafter “FOI”) Act by refusing to provide him with a copy of an audiotape of the Canterbury Board of Finance’s regular meeting held on June 7, 2004 at the Municipal Building in the Town of Canterbury (hereinafter “meeting”).

 

3.  With respect to the allegation described in paragraph 2, above, it is found that

on June 7, 2004, the Canterbury Board of Finance held a meeting that was tape-recorded by the respondent utilizing equipment owned by the Town of Canterbury.

 

4.  It is found that on June 10, 2004 and June 15, 2004, the complainant orally requested, and by letter dated June 11, 2004, requested a copy of the audiotape.  The respondent informed the complainant that the tape was made for his personal use and denied the complainant’s request.

5.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” as follows:

“ ‘Public records or files’ means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, …whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.”

 

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

 

“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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.”

 

7.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”

 

8.  It is found that the audiotape is a public record within the meaning of 1-200(5), G.S.

 

            9.  It is found that the respondent failed to “promptly” comply with the complainant’s request for a copy of the audiotape within the meaning of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., and it is concluded that the respondent thereby violated such provisions.

 

            10.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant requested that due to the passage of time, the FOI Commission order the respondent to certify that the audiotape is a true, complete and accurate copy of the proceedings at the meeting.

 

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

 

            1.  Forthwith the respondent shall provide the complainant with a certified copy of the audiotape recording more specifically described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the findings, above.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 23, 2005.

 

________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

Roy Piper

62 Phinney Lane

Canterbury, CT 06331-1824

 

First Selectman,

Town of Canterbury

PO Box 26

One Municipal Drive

Canterbury, CT 06331

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-277FD/paj/3/29/2005