FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|John Thomas Barney,|
|against||Docket #FIC 2009-555|
First Selectman, Town of Simsbury;
and Town of Simsbury,
|Respondents||August 11, 2010|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 23,
2010, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated
to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the
complaint. For purposes of hearing, the matter was consolidated with
the following seven cases: Docket #FIC 2009-554; John Thomas Barney v.
First Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and Town of Simsbury; Docket #FIC
2009-608; John Thomas Barney v. First Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and
Town of Simsbury; Docket #FIC 2009-660; John Thomas Barney v. First
Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and Town of Simsbury; Docket #FIC 2009-661;
John Thomas Barney v. First Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and Town of
Simsbury; Docket #FIC 2009-556; Patrick Vincent McCue v. First
Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and Town of Simsbury; Docket #FIC 2009-606;
Patrick Vincent McCue v. First Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and Town of
Simsbury; and Docket #FIC 2009-662; Patrick Vincent McCue v. First
Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and Town of Simsbury.
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 September 1, 2009, the complainant made a request to the respondents for copies of the following records:
copies of any and all agreements, contracts and documents that – ‘MCCUE PATRICK VINCENT AND/OR CHRISTINA EDITH’ – has filed with, mailed to or given the Town in connection with 15 Willard Street or for any other reason or purpose.
(Emphasis in original).
3. It is found that, by letter dated September 3, 2009, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s request for records, and informed him that they were reviewing their records and would notify him if they identified any records responsive to the request.
4. By letter of complaint dated September 17, 2009 and filed September 21, 2009, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to respond to his request for records.
5. 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.
6. 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 . . . (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
7. Section 1-212(a)(1), 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.
8. It is found that, to the extent that the respondents maintain the records described in paragraph 2, above, the records are “public records” and must be disclosed in accordance with §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., unless they are exempt from disclosure.
9. Based on the testimony at the contested hearing, it is found that the respondents have no records, other than the Real Estate Tax Bill for 2009 and Assessor’s Field Card, which are already in the possession of the complainant, in their possession that would be responsive to the complainant’s request set forth in paragraph 2, above.
10. Based upon the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the disclosure provisions of the FOI Act.
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 August 11, 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:
John Thomas Barney
P.O. Box 34
Tariffville, CT 06081
First Selectman, Town of Simsbury; and
Town of Simsbury
c/o Robert M. DeCrescenzo, Esq.
Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, PC
P.O. Box 231277
One State Street
Hartford, CT 06123-1277
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission