OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 2007-289|
Town of Vernon,
|Respondent||November 14, 2007|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 17, 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. It is found that, by letter dated April 23, 2007, the complainant made a request to the respondent for the following:
a. a document regarding a policy of the respondent’s “non-intervention in what is essentially a private business dispute”;
b. information relating to an answer to the question of whether a certain negotiated settlement regarding a water drainage system was in compliance with the State building code and when compliance with the code would take place; and
c. records pertaining to certain easements.
3. By letter of complaint dated May 14, 2007, and filed with the Commission on May 15, 2007, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to reply to his requests described in paragraph 2, above.
4. At the hearing in this matter, the complainant stated that the requested records described in paragraph 2c, above, had been provided to him and then narrowed his remaining request to only the requested records as described in paragraph 2a and 2b, above. Accordingly, the records described in paragraph 2c, above, are no longer at issue in this case.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Section 1-212(a)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part: “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”
8. It is found that the respondent does not keep on file any records that are responsive to the complainant’s request as described in paragraph 2a, above.
9. It is concluded therefore, that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint, with respect to the request described in paragraph 2a, above.
10. Although the complainant’s request described in paragraph 2b, above, was phrased as a request for information, it is also found that the respondent conducted a search of its records which yielded records responsive to such request, which were provided to the complainant. It is found that such records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
11. With respect to the request described in paragraph 2b, it is found that the respondent promptly provided the complainant with all requested records which he keeps on file that are responsive to the complainant’s request.
12. It is concluded therefore, that the respondent did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint, with respect to the request described in paragraph 2b, above.
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 November 14, 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:
c/o Susan Boyan, Esq.
Boyan, Balskus & Foran, LLC
62 Hyde Avenue
Vernon, CT 06066-4503
Petrea A. Jones
Acting Clerk of the Commission