FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Kurtulus Kalican,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-523

Chief, Police Department, City of New London;

Police Department, City of New London;

Chief Medical Examiner, State of Connecticut,

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; and

State of Connecticut,

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,

 
  Respondents July 28, 2010
       

           

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 30, 2010, 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 September 9, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his request for copies of certain police reports.

 

3.  By letter dated March 1, 2010, the complainant withdrew his complaint only with regard to the respondents Chief Medical Examiner and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

 

4.  It is found that, by letter dated July 22, 2009, the complainant requested certain records relating to case number 10-03-002793 and State v. Kalican, Docket No. CR-10-273532.

 

5.  It is found that, by letter dated August 12, 2009, the respondent New London Police Department (“NLPD”) acknowledged the complainant’s July 22 request, and required prepayment in the amount of $225.00, the estimated cost of the requested copies.

 

6.  It is found that, by letter dated August 21, 2009, the complainant replied that he was indigent, and enclosed as proof a September 11, 2006 letter from the Office of the Public Defender reflecting that his motion for waiver of fees and costs had been granted on September 7, 2006.

 

7.  It is found that, by letter dated August 27, 2009, the respondent NLPD replied that a court waiver of fees and costs in 2006 did not reflect his current status, and directed the complainant to supply his prison trust account activity for the past six months to substantiate his request for a fee waiver.

 

8.  It is found that the complainant did not provide his prison trust account activity to the respondent NLPD.

 

9.  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.

 

            10.  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. 

 

11.  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.”

 

12.  It is concluded that the requested records, to the extent they exist, are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

13.  The NLPD respondents contend that they were  not required to provide the requested records to the complainant because he neither satisfied their request for prepayment nor provided evidence satisfactory to them of his indigence.

 

            14.  Section 1-212(c), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

A public agency may require the prepayment of any fee required or permitted under the Freedom of Information Act if such fee is estimated to be ten dollars or more.  The sales tax provided in chapter 219 shall not be imposed upon any transaction for which a fee is required or permissible under this section or section 1-227.

 

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

           

            16.  It is found that the complainant neither prepaid the fee permitted under the FOI Act, nor provided evidence satisfactory to the NLPD respondents of his asserted indigence.

 

17.  It is therefore concluded that the NLPD respondents did not violate the FOI Act 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 28, 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:

 

Kurtulus Kalican #314840

Cheshire Correctional Institution

900 Highland Avenue

Cheshire, CT 06410

 

Chief, Police Department, City of New London;

Police Department, City of New London;

Chief Medical Examiner, State of Connecticut,

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; and

State of Connecticut, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

c/o Brian K. Estep, Esq.

Conway, Londregan, Sheehan & Monaco

38 Huntington Street

New London, CT  06320

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

FIC/2009-523FD/cac/8/5/2010