FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Joyce Simon,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2005-298

Chief, Police Department,

Town of Bethel,

 
  Respondent November 9, 2005
       

  

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 12, 2005, at which time the complainant and the respondent 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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that on May 26, 2005, the complainant telephoned the respondent department and complained about her suspicions that her granddaughter may be the victim of sexual abuse in the home of her daughter and son-in-law (hereinafter “abuse complaint”).

 

3.   It is found that on June 13, 2005, the complainant telephoned and requested that the respondent provide her with a copy of the police report into her abuse complaint (hereinafter “requested record”).

 

4.  It is found that the respondent denied the complainant’s request on June 14, 2005.

 

5.   Having failed to receive a copy of the requested record, the complainant, by letter of complaint dated June 15, 2005, and filed on June 23, 2005, appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying her a copy of the requested record.

 

6.  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. ….  [Emphasis added].

 

7.  It is found that the respondent maintains the requested record and such record is a public record within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

8.  The respondent contends that the requested record is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(3)(G), G.S., which provides:

 

Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of …records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of . . . uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-216....

 

            9.  Section 1-216, G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

records of law enforcement agencies consisting of uncorroborated allegations that an individual has engaged in criminal activity shall be reviewed by the law enforcement agency one year after the creation of such records.  If the existence of the alleged criminal activity cannot be corroborated within ninety days of the commencement of such review, the law enforcement agency shall destroy such records.

 

            10.  Immediately following the hearing in this matter, the respondent submitted the requested record to the Commission for an in camera inspection (hereinafter (“in camera records”).  The in camera records comprise 15 pages, which have been designated page #s 2005-298-1 through 2005-298-15 for identification purposes.[1]

 

11.  It is found that the in camera records are the police report that was compiled following the respondent’s investigation of the complainant’s abuse complaint.  

 

            12.  It is found that the in camera records constitute records of a law enforcement agency not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, within the meaning of 1-210(b)(3), G.S.  It is also found that disclosure of such records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to 1-210(b)(3)(G) and 1-216, G.S.

 

13.  It is therefore concluded that the in camera records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to 1-210(b)(3)(G) and 1-216, G.S.

 

14.  It is further concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a), G.S., when he failed to provide the complainant with a copy of the in camera records.

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 November 9, 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:

 

Joyce Simon

25 Broad Street

West Warwick, RI 02893

 

Chief, Police Department,

Town of Bethel

c/o Roseann Padula, Esq.

24 Stony Hill Road, Suite 106

Bethel, CT 06801-1166

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2005-298FD/paj/11/15/2005

 

 

                                                                                               

 



[1] Page #s 2005-298-6 and 2005-298-15 are identical.