FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Franz R. Pielmeier,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2007-023

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Environmental Protection,

 
  Respondent September 26, 2007
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 10, 2007, at which time the respondent appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The complainant failed to appear.

 

            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 January 8, 2007, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent had violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying him copies of public records.

 

3.  It is found that, beginning at least as early as June 12, 2006, and continuing to the date of the complaint in this matter, the complainant has repeatedly requested (a) documentation regarding any Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) funding that may have been provided to the Town of Southbury for certain Town-owned parks designated as “Open Space,” and (b) the “document of intervention” that he could submit to the DEP to intervene in a proceeding concerning the purported unlawful use of open space with respect to these parks.

 

4.  It is found that the complainant apparently believes that DEP has funded town-owned parks in Southbury designated as “Open Space,” and also that DEP has a form that he can use to intervene in some type of proceeding.

 

5.  It is found that the DEP has not provided any funding for the Town-owned parks designated as “Open Space,” and that DEP does not possess or know of a “Document of Intervention” or any similar form that a party may use to intervene in a DEP proceeding.

 

6.  It is also found that DEP has repeatedly informed the complainant that it has not provided any funding for the Town-owned parks designated as “Open Space,” and that DEP does not possess or know of a “Document of Intervention” or any similar form that a party may use to intervene in a proceeding.

 

7.  It is also found that DEP, although it does not possess or know of a form that a party may use to intervene in a proceeding, nonetheless supplied to the complainant a sample of a pleading that a third party had used to intervene in a DEP proceeding.

 

8.  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.

 

9.  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. 

 

10.  It is found that the respondent has no public records within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S., that are responsive to the complainant’s request.

 

11.  It is concluded that the respondent did not violate 1-210(a), G.S.

 

 

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 with prejudice.

 

2.  The complainant is admonished for wasting the time and resources of the Commission and the respondent by failing either to appear for his hearing or to notify the Commission and the respondent of his intention not to pursue his complaint.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 26, 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:

 

Franz R. Pielmeier

44 East Flat Hill Road

Southbury, CT 06488

 

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Environmental Protection

c/o Melisa Chan, Esq.

Administrative & Legislative Advisor

Department of Environmental Protection

79 Elm Street

Hartford, CT 06106

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2007-023FD/paj/9/28/2007