FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Misty Williams and Dawn Massey,  
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2004-541

James Finch, Finance Director,

Town of Branford,

 
  Respondent August 24, 2005
       

 

       The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 19, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing this matter was consolidated with Docket #FIC 2004-468, Misty Williams and Dawn Massey v. James Finch, Finance Director, Town of Branford; Docket #FIC 2004-457, Misty Williams and Dawn Massey v. James Finch, Finance Director, Town of Branford; Docket #FIC 2004-473, Misty Williams and Dawn Massey v. James Finch, Finance Director, Town of Branford; and Docket #FIC 2004-569, Misty Williams and Dawn Massey v. James Finch, Finance Director, Town of Branford.  At the hearing in this matter, Dawn Massey, for whom the complainant, Misty Williams, is agent, requested and was granted party status, pursuant to 1-206(b)(1), G.S.  The case caption has been amended accordingly.

 

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.      It is found that by letter dated November 1, 2004, the complainant made a request to the respondent for “a complete, certified copy of the Town of Branford’s telephone activity and billing records, including local and long distance calls, placed on all of the Town’s telephone and facsimile lines on the date of May 26, 2004.”

 

3.      It is found that by letter dated November 9, 2004 to the complainant, the respondent’s administrative assistant requested that the complainant clarify whether the scope of her request included all town departments, such as the fire and police departments, or if the scope was limited to the telephone records of the departments in the town hall.

4.      It is found that by letter to the respondent, dated November 16, 2004, the complainant limited her November 1, 2004 request to the telephone records of the departments in the town hall.

 

5.      It is found that by letter dated November 29, 2004, and filed on December 1, 2004 the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with her request. 

 

6.      It is found that by letter dated December 3, 2004, the respondent provided the complainant with the requested records.

 

7.      At the hearing on this matter, the complainant contended that while the respondent provided the records, such provision was not prompt as required by the FOI Act.  The complainant also requested the imposition of civil penalties.  Likewise, the respondent requested the imposition of civil penalties against the complainant.

 

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

 

9.      Section 1-210(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 . . . .”

 

10.   In Advisory Opinion #51, In the Matter of a Request for Declaratory Ruling, Third Taxing District of the City of Norwalk, Applicant (Notice of Final Decision dated January 11, 1982) the Commission advised that the word "promptly" as used in 1-210(a), G.S., means quickly and without undue delay, taking into consideration all of the factors presented by a particular request.

 

11.  It is found that the respondent provided the requested records as soon as they were compiled, reviewed and redacted.

 

12.  It is found that under the facts and circumstances of this case, the respondent provided the requested records promptly within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

13.  The Commission declines to consider the respondent’s request for the imposition of a civil penalty against the complainant.

 

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 August 24, 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:

 

Misty Williams

225 Stony Creek Road

Branford, CT 06405

 

Dawn Massey

225 Stony Creek Road

Branford, CT 06405

 

James Finch,

Finance Director,

Town of Branford

c/o Elizabeth P. Gilson, Esq.

383 Orange Street

New Haven, CT 06511

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2004-541FD/paj/8/25/2005