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 2004-570

Barbara T. Neal, Assessor,

Town of Branford,

 
  Respondent September 28, 2005
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 12, 2005, at which time the complainants and the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  At the hearing, Dawn Massey requested and was granted party status and the case caption was modified accordingly.  For purposes of hearing, contested cases docket #s FIC 2004-426, Misty Williams and Dawn Massey v. Barbara T. Neal, Assessor, Town of Branford and FIC 2004-443, Misty Williams and Dawn Massey v. Barbara T. Neal, Assessor, Town of Branford, were consolidated. 

           

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 22, 2004, the complainants requested that the respondent provide them with “certified copies of the Town’s records containing your assessor’s field log pages/ your assessor’s field diary that would contain the identity of the individual(s) subsequent to issuance of Branford Building Department Certificate of Occupancy… #8,405 dated May 14, 2003 who physically inspected/ measured/ appraised for the purposes of property tax assessment for the 2003 Grand List the property known as … 225 Stony Creek Road and the corresponding date(s)… which said individual(s) …inspected said property.”

 

3.  It is found that by letter dated November 23, 2004, the complainants requested that the respondent provide them with “certified copies of the Town’s records containing your assessor’s field log pages/ your assessor’s field diary that would contain the identity of the individual(s) subsequent to issuance of Branford Building Department Certificate of Occupancy… #8,300 dated October 21, 2002 who physically inspected/ measured/ appraised for the purposes of property tax assessment for the 2003 Grand List the property known as … 23 Sybil Creek Place and the corresponding date(s)… which said individual(s) …inspected said property.”

 

4.  It is found that by letter dated November 24, 2004, the complainants requested that the respondent provide them with “certified copies of the Town’s records containing your assessor’s field log pages/ your assessor’s field diary that would contain the identity of the individual(s) subsequent to issuance of Branford Building Department Certificate of Occupancy… #8,559 dated May 10, 2004 who physically inspected /measured/ appraised for the purposes of property tax assessment for the 2004 Grand List the property known as … 23 Sybil Creek Place and the corresponding date(s)… which said individual(s) …inspected said property.”

 

5.  The records requested and described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, above, will be hereinafter collectively described as the “requested field log pages/field diary”.

 

6.  It is found that by letters dated December 3, 2004, the respondent, through Trista Clyne, Administrative Assistant to the First Selectman, acknowledged receipt of the November 23 and 24 requests and informed the complainants that a review would be conducted to locate any responsive records.

 

7.  Having failed to receive the requested field log pages/field diary, the complainants, by letter of complaint dated December 18, 2004, and filed on December 21, 2004, appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to provide them with certified copies of the requested field log pages/field diary.  The complainants requested that the Commission impose a civil penalty upon the respondent.

 

8.  It is found that Trista Clyne received all of the records requests, as described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 above, and such requests are the ones at issue in this appeal.

 

9.  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 … (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212…. 

 

10.  It is found that the respondent does not maintain the requested field log pages/field diary.

11.  Consequently, it is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a), G.S.

12.  The respondent’s request that the Commission consider the imposition of a civil penalty against the complainants is denied.

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 September 28, 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

 

Barbara T. Neal, Assessor,

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/2004-570FD/paj/9/28/2005