FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Addie May Nesbitt,   
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-057

Lt. Scott Anderson, Commander,

State of Connecticut, Department

of Public Safety, Division of

State Police, Troop B; and State of

Connecticut, Department of

Public Safety, Division of

State Police, Troop B,

 
  Respondents August 12, 2009
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 15, 2009, at which time the complainant appeared through counsel, and presented exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The respondents did not appear. 

 

            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 January 8, 2009, the complainant requested that the respondents provide her with a copy of a recording of the January 6, 2009 conversation between the complainant and Trooper Bonetti (hereinafter “the requested record”). 

 

3.  By letter of complaint dated January 31, 2009, and filed February 2, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying her request for a copy of the requested record.    The complainant requested the imposition of a civil penalty against the respondent Anderson.   The complainant provided the respondents with a copy of her complaint at such time. 

 

4.  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.

 

5.  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. 

 

6.  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.”

 

7.  It is found that the respondents maintain the requested record, and that such record is a public record, within the meaning of 1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G. S.

 

8.  It is found that, by letter dated February 2, 2009, the respondents acknowledged the request described in paragraph 2, above.

 

9.  It is found that, under cover letter dated February 17, 2009, the respondents provided the complainants with a copy of the requested record. 

 

10.  It is found that the provision of the requested record was not prompt.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents violated the promptness requirements of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G. S.

 

11.  At the hearing in this matter, when questioned by the hearing officer as to what relief the complainant now seeks, counsel for the complainant replied that she seeks whatever relief the Commission deems appropriate.

 

12.  The Commission declines to consider the imposition of a civil penalty, based on the facts and circumstances of this case.

 

 

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 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G. S.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 12, 2009.

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

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:

 

Addie May Nesbitt

C/o Rachel M. Baird, Esq.

100 Pearl Street, 14th Floor

Hartford, CT 06103

 

Lt. Scott Anderson, Commander,

State of Connecticut, Department

of Public Safety, Division of

State Police, Troop B; and State of

Connecticut, Department of

Public Safety, Division of

State Police, Troop B

Rte. 7 Ashley Falls Road

North Canaan, CT 06018

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2009-057FD/sw/8/18/2009