FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|James H. Leonard, Jr.,|
|against||Docket #FIC 2010-207|
Chief, Police Department,
City of New Britain; and Police
Department, City of New Britain,
|Respondents||February 9, 2011|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 24, 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. By letters dated March 15 and March 25, 2010, the complainant submitted a records request to the respondents for a copy of the following records as well as any files, notes, or other documentation related to them:
a. “Search and Seizure Application dated August 26, 2002 (Case No. 02-37, 944);”
b. “Search and Seizure Warrant dated August 28 or August 29, 2002 (Case No. 02-37, 944);”
c. “Arrest Warrant Application dated November 13, 2002 (Case No. 02-35, 730);” and
d. “Arrest Warrant dated November 14, 2002 (Case No. 02-35, 730).”
3. By letter dated March 31, 2010, and filed on April 1, 2010, the complainant appealed to this Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with his requests.
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 . . . 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 requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. It is found that, by letter dated April 4, 2010, the respondents informed the complainant that his request had been received but that in order to comply with it, he needed to provide the location or address that was searched and the name of the person arrested.
9. It is found that, after receiving the additional information from the complainant, the respondents provided him with all the records responsive to his request under the cover of letters dated April 8 and May 11, 2010. A copy of those records was submitted as evidence at the hearing in this matter and was marked as Exhibit E.
10. However, at the hearing on this matter, the complainant contended that the respondents had not provided him with the arrest warrants he requested or the continuation reports related to them.
11. The respondents contended at the hearing in this matter and it is found that, in the city of New Britain, once an arrest warrant application is signed by the judge, that same document becomes the arrest warrant.
12. It is found that the arrest warrant applications that were provided to the complainant were signed by a judge and, therefore, such records are both the arrest warrant applications and the arrest warrants.
13. It is found, therefore, that the complainant was provided with a copy of the arrest warrants that he requested.
14. With respect to the continuation reports, the complainant submitted a copy of such reports, which he obtained from another agency, as evidence and contended that such records should have been provided to him by the respondents. Such records were marked as Exhibit I at the hearing on this matter.
15. After careful review of Exhibit I, described in paragraph 14, above, and Exhibit E, previously described in paragraph 9, above, it is found that Exhibit E includes a copy of the records in Exhibit I and that therefore, the respondents provided the complainant with a copy of the continuation reports he requested.
16. It is further found that the respondents provided the complainant with all records responsive to his requests.
17. Thus, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by the complainant.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is hereby dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 9, 2011.
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:
James H. Leonard, Jr.
33 Ash Street
New Britain, CT 06051-3501
Chief, Police Department, City of New Britain; and
Police Department, City of New Britain
c/o Joseph E. Skelly, Jr., Esq.
Assistant Corporation Counsel
27 West Main Street
New Britain, CT 06051
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission