FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Tina Brown and The Hartford Courant,  
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-586

Chief, Police Department,

City of Hartford,

 
  Respondents  June 13, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 2, 2007, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared and presented testimony 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 November 3, 2006, the complainant again telephoned the public information officer of the Hartford Police Department (“HPD”) and requested the names of the victims of certain crimes that had occurred on that day. 

 

3.  It is found that, on November 6, 2006, the complainant telephoned the public information officer of the HPD and requested the names of the victims of certain crimes that had occurred on that day.

 

4.  It is found that, on each date referenced in paragraphs 2 and 3, above, the public information officer declined to provide the names of the victims to the complainant.

 

5.  On November 7, 2006, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by refusing to provide the requested information.

 

6.  Section 1-206(b)(1), G.S., provides that:

 

[a]ny person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 … may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said Commission.


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

 

[e]xcept 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.

 

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

 

9.  It is found that the complainant did not request a copy of, or the opportunity to inspect any record, but rather, requested answers to questions.

 

10.  It is concluded that the FOI Act does not require public agencies to answer questions, and that therefore, the respondent did not violate the FOI Act in declining to answer the complainant’s questions.

 

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

 

1.      The complaint is dismissed.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 13, 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:

 

Tina Brown and The Hartford Courant

285 Broad Street

Hartford, CT 06115

 

Chief, Police Department,

City of Hartford

c/o Helen Apostolidis, Esq.

Office of Corporation Counsel

550 Main Street

Hartford, CT 06103-2913

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

FIC/2006-586FD/paj/6/25/2007