FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Bryant K. Rollins,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-483

Executive Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Correctional Managed Health Care; and

State of Connecticut, University of

Connecticut Health Center,

Correctional Managed Care,

 
  Respondents July 14, 2010
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 16, 2009 at which time the complainant 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.  By letter of complaint filed August 19, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his request for a fee waiver.

 

            3.  It is found that the complainant made a written request on July 30, 2009 to the respondents for copies of certain records, and requested a waiver of copying fees on the ground that he was indigent.

 

4.  It is found the respondents acknowledged the request by letter dated August 10, 2009, but denied his request for a fee waiver. 

 

5.  It is found that the respondents, by letter dated August 26, 2010, informed the complainant that they had gathered 85 pages of documents, and that they required prepayment of $21.25 (at $0.25 per page) before they would make the copies and provide them to the complainant.

 

6.  It is found that the complainant continued to maintain that he was indigent, and declined to make payment.

 

7.  Section 1-212(a)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

… The fee for any copy provided in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act:

 

(1)  By an executive, administrative or legislative office of the state, a state agency or a department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official of the state, including a committee of, or created by, such an office, agency, department, institution, bureau, board, commission, authority or official, and also including any judicial office, official or body or committee thereof but only in respect to its or their administrative functions, shall not exceed twenty-five cents per page ….

 

8.  Additionally, 1-212(d)(1), G.S., provides:  “The public agency shall waive any fee provided for in this section when: (1)  The person requesting the records is an indigent individual ….”

 

9.  It is found that the respondents apply the same standard of indigence as that employed by the Department of Correction (“DOC), and that the respondents, by accessing a database of indigent individuals in the custody of the DOC, determined that the complainant was not indigent by DOC standards.

 

10.  This Commission has recently approved the DOC’s standard of indigence insofar as it looks at the inmate’s trust account balance as of the date of the request, and looks back in time on the inmate’s trust account history; but the Commission has not approved the DOC’s policy of looking forward in time at the trust account history to ensure that the inmate has received no funds following his request for a fee waiver. 

 

11.  It is found that this case does not involve the DOC looking forward in time from the date of the request at the inmate’s trust account history.

 

12.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate 1-212(d)(1), G.S., as alleged.

 

 

 

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 July 14, 2010.

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

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:

 

Bryant K. Rollins #14096

Gates Correctional Institution

131 North Bridebrook Road

Niantic, CT  06357

 

Executive Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Correctional Managed Health Care; and

State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health Center,

Correctional Managed Health Care

c/o Donald R. Green, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

University of CT Health Center

263 Farmington Avenue

Farmington, CT  06030

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2009-483/FD/cac/7/15/2010