FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Jorge Ramos,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2008-510

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Correction; Warden,

State of Connecticut, Department

of Correction, Garner Correctional

Institution; and State of Connecticut,

Department of Correction,

 
  Respondents June 25, 2009
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 12, 2008 at which time the complainants 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 letter dated June 25, 2008 to the respondents, the complainant made  a request for the following records:

 

a.       evidence reports of “alleged attempt of escape;”

 

b.      phone records of “alleged escape attempt;”

 

c.       disciplinary process summary report of [high security D.R.];

 

d.      internal investigation report on alleged staff member; and

 

e.       confidential informant statements of [alleged escape] re-dacted.

 

3.      It is found that, by letter dated July 11, 2008, the complainant received a response which indicated that the form used by the complainant to make his request “is not official and will not be recognized by the Department of Correction . . .” and instructed him to re-submit his request on an inmate request form.

 

4.      It is found that, by letter dated July 11, 2008 to the respondents, the complainant re-submitted his June 25, 2008 request. 

 

5.      By letter dated July 16, 2008 and filed on August 4, 2008, the complainant filed a complaint with this Commission alleging that the respondents violated the FOI Act by failing to comply with his records 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:

 

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. 

 

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, to the extent such records exist, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

10.   It is found that, by letter dated November 24, 2008 and received by the complainant on December 2, 2008, the respondents provided the complainant with records responsive to his request described in paragraph 2a, d, and e, above, and informed the complainant that there were no documents responsive to his request described in paragraphs 2b and c, above.  

 

11.   At the hearing on this matter, the complainant indicated that he did not receive the records he desired which pertained to allegations that he was planning an escape from prison which allegations resulted in his inmate status changing from general population status to restrictive status.

 

12.   It is found, however, that there are no records responsive to the complainant’s request other than those provided to him as described in paragraph 10, above. 

 

13.   It is found that the respondents’ provision of the records in this matter was not prompt.

 

14.   It is concluded that the respondents violated the promptness provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

 

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

 

1.      Henceforth, the respondents shall strictly comply with the promptness provisions of the FOI Act.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its special meeting of June 25, 2009.

 

 

 

________________________________

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:

 

Jorge Ramos, #180654  

Garner Correctional Institution

50 Nunnawauk Road

Newtown, CT 06470

 

Commissioner, State of Connecticut,

Department of Correction; Warden,

State of Connecticut, Department

of Correction, Garner Correctional

Institution; and State of Connecticut,

Department of Correction

c/o Nancy Kase O’Brasky, Esq.

Department of Correction

Legal Affairs

24 Wolcott Hill Road

Wethersfield, CT 06109

 

 

 

 

___________________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2008-510FD/paj/6/29/2009