FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Ismael Hernandez III,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-203

Chief, Fire Department,

City of Bridgeport,

 
  Respondent January 24, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on September 18, 2006, 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 #FIC2003-242; Ismael Hernandez III v. Director of Labor Relations, Labor Relations Office, City of Bridgeport

                                                           

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 memorandum dated November 9, 2005, the complainant requested that the respondent provide him with a copy of letter from the respondent to Dr. Justin Schechter [hereinafter “the requested record”]. 

 

3.  It is found that the complainant renewed the request described in paragraph 2, above, by memorandum dated March 13, 2006. 

 

            4.  It is found that the complainant again renewed the request described in paragraph 2, above, by memorandum dated April 19, 2006.    

 

5.  By letter dated April 19, 2006, and filed on April 21, 2006, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information [hereinafter “FOI”] Act by failing to provide him with a copy of the requested record.   

 

6.  The respondent contends that the Commission lacks subject jurisdiction in this matter, since the complaint was not timely filed. 

 

7.  Section 1-206, G.S., provides in pertinent part that:

 

“(a)  Any denial of the right to inspect or copy records provided for under section 1-210 shall be made to the person requesting such right by the public agency official who has custody or control of the public record, in writing, within four business days of such request, except when the request is determined to be subject to subsections (b) and (c) of section 1-214, in which case such denial shall be made, in writing, within ten business days of such request.  Failure to comply with a request to so inspect or copy such public record within the applicable number of business days shall be deemed to be a denial.

 

(b)(1)  [a]ny person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210…may appeal therefrom to the [FOI] Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  A notice of appeal shall be filed within thirty days after such denial….”

 

                         [Emphasis added.]

 

8.  It is found that the notice of appeal in this matter was filed more than thirty days after the denials of the requests described in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, within the meaning of 1-206, G.S.

 

9.  It is found that the complainant did not receive a denial of his April 19, 2006, request, described in paragraph 4, above, prior to filing the complaint in this matter.  Therefore, it is also found that the notice of appeal was not filed within thirty days after any denial of such request.  

 

10.  It is further found that the complaint was not timely filed within the jurisdiction time prescribed in 1-206(b)(1), G.S.

 

11.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction in this matter. 

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 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. 

 

2.  The Commission notes that the respondent provided the complainant with a copy of the requested record on June 26, 2006, two months prior to the hearing in this matter. 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of January 24, 2007.

 

________________________________

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:

 

Ismael Hernandez III

42 Willow Street

West Haven, CT 06516

 

Chief, Fire Department,

City of Bridgeport

c/o John H. Barton, Esq.

Office of the City Attorney

999 Broad Street, 2nd floor

Bridgeport, CT 06604

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2006-203FD/paj/2/6/2007