FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Michael Nowacki,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-724
Chief, Police Department, Town of Darien; and
Police Department, Town of Darien,
 
  Respondents June 23, 2010
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 12, 2010, at which time the complainant and the respondents 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 respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.      It is found that on November 17, 2009 and November 23, 2009, the complainant requested records related to an incident report created by the respondents on October 3, 2009.

 

3.      It is found that on November 24, 2009, the respondents, through their attorney, provided records responsive to the complainant’s request.

 

4.      By letter received and filed on November 30, 2009, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide all the records responsive to the complainant’s request.  In particular, the complainant alleged that the respondents failed to provide him with copies of:

 

a.       Notes relating to the preparation of the incident report;

 

b.      The CAD [Computer Aided Dispatch] report on communications between Attorney Rucci and [Chief of Police] Lovello on November 13, 2009;

 

c.       The e-mail between [Chief] Lovello and his staff advising them to direct communication with the complainant only to the Chief of Police; and

 

d.      The CAD report on communication from Special Agent Rod Khattabi from the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday, October 3.

 

5.      Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” as follows:

 

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, …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 inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours or to receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.

 

7.      Section 1-212(a), 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 concluded that the records requested by the complainant, 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.

 

9.      With respect to the complainant’s request for notes, described in paragraph 4.a, above, it is found that on November 24, 2009, the respondents provided all notes that exist.

 

10.   With respect to the request for the CAD reports, described in paragraph 4.b and 4.d, above, it is found that such records do not exist.

 

11.   With respect to the e-mail between Chief Lovello and his staff, described in paragraph 4.c, above, it is found that the respondents provided such record to the complainant the day before the hearing in this matter.

 

12.   It is found that the e-mail is dated October 28, 2009, and that the e-mail was maintained by the respondents at the time of the complainant’s requests for records.

 

13.   It is found that the respondents failed to provide a copy of the e-mail to the complainant promptly upon his request; it is concluded that such failure violated 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 requirements of the FOI Act.

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of June 23, 2010.

 

 

____________________________

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:

 

Michael Nowacki

319 Lost District Drive

New Canaan, CT 06840

 

Chief, Police Department,

Town of Darien; and Police

Department, Town of Darien

c/o John Wayne Fox, Esq.

Curtis, Brinckerhoff & Barrett

666 Summer Street

Stamford, CT 06901

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2009-724FD/paj/6/28/2010