FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Bryant Browne,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-346

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Correction; and Captain,

State of Connecticut, Department of

Correction, Cheshire Correctional

Institution,

 
  Respondents  June 27, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 20, 2006, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction.  See Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al., Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford, Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.).

 

            After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1.  The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that by “Department of Correction [DOC] Application For Freedom of Information Act” form dated June 26, 2006, the complainant made a request to the respondents for a copy of the following documents:

 

a.       a “copy of Polaroid photos used in evidence for ticket 6-8-06;”

 

b.      a “copy of paperwork involved in the incident (investigation) of D.O.C.;”

 

c.       a “copy of D.O.C. disposition of Class A ticket dated 6-8-06;”

 

d.      a “copy of bad work report written by C.O. Franklin dated 6-8-06;”

 

e.       “any work reports filed by south one staff for the complainant’s detail tenure;” and

 

f.        “all photos in evidence relevant to Class A ticket dated 6-8-06.”

 

3.  By letter dated June 29, 2006, and filed with the Freedom of Information Commission (“Commission”) on July 11, 2006, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents’ failure to provide copies of the requested records violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).

 

4.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., states 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 … receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

5.  Section 1-212(a), G.S., states in relevant part:

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record. (emphasis added)

 

6.  With respect to those portions of the complainant's request described in paragraph 2b., as they relate to an investigation report, and in paragraphs 2c., 2d. and 2e., above, it is found that no such records exist or ever existed.

 

7.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-210(a), G.S., as alleged in the complaint with respect to the requested records described in paragraph 6, above.

 

8.  It is found that the requested records described in paragraphs 2a., 2b., and 2f., above, are “public records” within the meaning of 1-210(a), G.S.

 

9.  It is found that, by letter dated August 31, 2006, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s June 26, 2006 request and notified the complainant that the requested records were available.  The respondents also requested that the complainant remit the sum of two dollars ($2.00) for 8 pages of records that were compiled in response to the complainant’s request.

 

10.  At the hearing on this matter, the complainant contended that he was provided copies of the requested records described in paragraphs 2a., 2b., and 2f., above, approximately three or four months after he initially requested such records.  However, the complainant contended that certain pages from an incident report as well as an investigation report requested in paragraph 2b., above, that should have been included with the requested records were missing.

 

            11.  It is found that, with the exception of pages two and five of a six-page incident report, described in paragraph 2b., above, dated June 8, 2006, concerning the complainant, the respondents provided all records which they maintained or kept on file that are responsive to the complainant’s request.

 

            12.  It is found that, inadvertently, the missing pages, described in paragraph 11, above, were not included with the records provided to the complainant; however, there was no evidence at the hearing in this matter to suggest that the respondents intended to deny the complainant a copy of such missing pages.

 

13.  It is also found that the respondents offered no explanation for the delay between the complainant’s June 26, 2006 request and the respondents’ August 31, 2006 acknowledgement of that request.

 

14.  It is concluded that the respondents violated the requirements of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to provide copies of the records described in paragraphs 2a., 2b., and 2f., above, to the complainant “promptly.”

 

 

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

 

1.  Forthwith, the respondents shall provide the complainant with a copy of the records described in paragraph 11, of the findings above, free of charge.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 27, 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:

 

Bryant Browne, #187036

Cheshire Correctional Institution

900 Highland Avenue

Cheshire, CT 06410

 

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Correction; and Captain,

State of Connecticut, Department of

Correction, Cheshire Correctional

Institution

c/o Madeline A. Melchionne, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

110 Sherman Street

Hartford, CT 06105

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2006-346FD/paj/6/28/2007