FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
R.J. O’Brien,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-487

Chief, Police Department,

City of Stamford,

 
  Respondent September 12, 2007
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 12, 2007, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts 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.  By letter of complaint filed September 20, 2006, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his request for public records. 

 

            3.  It is found that the complainant went to the Stamford Police Department’s records desk on September 18, 2006 and requested a copy of an incident report dated August 23, 2006, and the arrest/conviction record for the same individual that was the subject of the incident report.

 

4.  It is found that the respondent denied the request at the time of the request, but subsequently provided the requested incident report on December 7, 2006. 

 

5.  It is found that, as of the date of the hearing on this matter, the respondent did not have the requested arrest/conviction record, because the department was 18 months behind in its records of dispositions of arrests.  At the time of the complainant’s request, the respondent directed the complainant to the court house, where he could obtain the requested record.

 

6.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:

 

    “Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

7.  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 (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 concluded that the requested incident report is a public record within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.

 

            10.  The respondent attributes the delay in the delivery of the requested incident report to a breakdown in its internal processes.       

 

11.  It is concluded that the respondent violated 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by failing to provide the requested incident report promptly. 

 

12.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., by directing the complainant to the local court house, where he could obtain a copy of the requested arrest/conviction record that the respondent did not have in its possession.

 

 

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

 

           

 

 

1.  Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the promptness requirements of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of September 12, 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:

 

R.J. O’Brien

204 Wardwell Street

Stamford, CT 06902

 

Chief, Police Department,

City of Stamford

c/o Michael Toma, Esq.

City of Stamford

Corporation Counsel

888 Washington Boulevard

Stamford, CT 06904

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2006-487FD/paj/9/13/2007