FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Ryshon Wells,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2006-639

Chief, Police Department,

City of Bridgeport,

 
  Respondent October 10, 2007
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 14, 2006, at which time the complainant appeared, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The respondent, however, did not appear.

 

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 respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.      It is found that by letter dated November 20, 2006, the complainant made a request to the respondent for a copy of the following:

 

a.       “Luis Rivera, D.O.B. 5/17/83, written/oral statement, Incid. no 060326-174, Date 3/26/06, Invest. no 05d451;”

b.      “Benito Rivera, D.O.B. 9/24/81, written/oral statement, Date 3/26/06, Incid. no. 060326-174, Invest. no 05d451;”

c.       “Samuel Salicrup, written/oral statement, Date 3/26/06, Incid. no. 060326-174, Invest. no 05d451;”

d.      “Pedro Feliciano, written/oral statement, Date 3/26/06, Incid. no. 060326-174, Invest. no 05d451;”

e.       “Dispatch recording, Date 3/26/06, time 1524 hours, Incid. no. 060326-174, Invest. no 05d451;” and

f.        “Bridgeport Police Officer Laricca, incident report no. 060326-174.”

 

3.      It is found that, by letter dated November 20, 2006, the complainant made a request to the respondent for a copy of the following:

 

a.       “Sergeant Strauble’s supplemental report and color photo a-ray use/made in investigation, incident no. 060326-174;”

b.      “Sergeant Lougal’s supplemental report and color photo a-ray use/made in investigation, incident no. 060326-174;”

c.       “Detective Grasso’s supplemental report and color photo a-ray use/made in investigation, incident no. 060326-174;”

d.      “Detective Lemelin’s supplemental report and color photo a-ray use/made in investigation, incident no. 060326-174;”

e.       “Detective Fiumidinisi’s supplemental report and color photo a-ray use/made in investigation, incident no. 060326-174;” and

f.        “any other photo’s used during the investigation to identify suspect in incident no. 060326-174.”

 

4.      It is found that, by letter dated November 20, 2006, the complainant made a request to the respondent for a copy of the following:

 

a.       “description of physical evidence, receipt no: 06m391, 06m392, 06cg195, Incid. no. 060326-174, Invest. no 05d45;”

b.      “Bridgeport police officer Orbegozo, related incident report case no. file 060326-198;”

c.       “Bridgeport police officer Parker, related incident report case no. file 060326-198;”

d.      “Detective Tenn supplemental report, incident report case no. file 060326-198;”

e.       “A.T.F. Task force Detective Dowling supplemental report, incident report case no. file 060326-198;”

f.        “Bridgeport police department, “Collective of Evidence Manual.”

 

5.      By letter dated November 28, 2006 and filed on December 1, 2006, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with his request.

 

6.      Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

“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 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 . . . receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

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

 

9.      It is found that the requested records described in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, above, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.

 

10.  Section 1-206(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:  

 

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 . . . 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.

 

11.   It is found that, as of the date of the hearing in this matter, the respondent did not comply with the complainant’s requests, or otherwise respond to his requests, and thereby the complainant’s request is deemed denied. 

 

12.   It is found that the respondent violated the provisions of 1-206(a), G.S., by failing to inform the complainant, in writing, within four business days, that his request was denied.

 

13.  It is also concluded that the respondent violated 1-210(a), G.S., by failing to comply with complainant’s records requests.

 

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

 

1.      Forthwith, the respondent shall provide the complainant with a copy of the requested records described in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4, of the findings above, free of charge.

2.      Henceforth the respondent shall strictly comply with the provisions of 1-206(a) and 1-210(a), G.S.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of October 10, 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:

 

Ryshon Wells

Northern Correctional Institution

287 Bilton Road

PO Box 665

Somers, CT 06071

 

Chief, Police Department,

City of Bridgeport

c/o Melanie J. Howlett, Esq.

Associate City Attorney

Office of the City Attorney

999 Broad Street, 2nd floor

Bridgeport, CT 06604

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2006-639FD/paj/10/16/2007